Home » Tourism: Nigerian Tourists to South Africa grew at double digit figures last Year – SAT boss

Tourism: Nigerian Tourists to South Africa grew at double digit figures last Year – SAT boss

by Atqnews
0 comment

Tourism: Nigerian Tourists to South Africa grew at double digit figures last Year – SAT boss
The head of South African Tourism (SAT), the department charged with marketing and promoting South Africa  as a destination, Mr.  Sisa Ntshona said the country has relaxed the stringent conditions given to Nigerian families wishing to the enter the country.

He said the law was aimed nipping child trafficking but ended up affecting genuine Nigerian travelers wishing to visit the country with their children.

He said genuine efforts are being made by the country to make sure Nigerian families do not experience difficulties entering the country with their children.

His words: “The policy was aimed at curbing child trafficking. We have what is called unintended consequences. It has made it difficult for genuine people to come. This is where the balance is becoming clear.    If you close the door and let zero children come, you are killing an economy, and if you don’t do that, you become a haven for traffickers. You have to create a balance. We have relaxed some of those rules but we keep a balance. The same is the case with the visa issue. When something goes wrong, the first thing they look at is who let these people come in, how come our immigration officers didn’t do their jobs? It is the balance. As we get more confident with each other and know each other better, I am of the view, we will become more relaxed. These are not directly in our control, but these spaces we influence.”

The SAT boss made this clarification during a get together with practitioners in the travel and tourism industry in Lagos.

Ntshona said SAT will continue to invest in the Nigerian tourism market because of its importance to the South African tourism. He said his country has continued to see a steady rise in the number of Nigerians visiting his country.

This he attributed to the current devaluation of currency by some countries in Africa including Nigeria which has helped in pushing for greater travel within Africa as Europe, America and Asia becomes too expensive.

One why the SAT focused much on Nigeria, he said: “We look at the world and we size it up and we identify areas of opportunity. Where is the fertile ground for us to be able to invest together? Nigeria is definitely one of them. Infact the whole ECOWAS region led by Nigeria. A couple of things attract us, first is the population itself; second is the income potentials. So, we have been in this market for some time up till the last two years when we opened our physical office. Now, we want to make sure we profile our country in the best possible manner that is relevant for basically what Nigerians are looking for as experience.

“Remember, all over the world, people take vacations differently. Some people love the beach, some are surfers, some love events. So, it is based on this insight that we have to make sure that we profile South Africans in the light that Nigerians want to see it. We have seen growth. Just between now and last year, we have seen a growth of 13 percent.  This double digit growth by the way is at the period when the world is just growing at 4 per cent in terms of tourism.”

Ntshona also said the trade shows by his department to sell South Africa to Nigerians and also make Nigerian travel agents understand and experience the country was also yielding dividend as it has seen a rise in the number of Nigerians touring  South Africa: “It is absolutely necessary for local tour agents to sell South Africa as a destination if they themselves don’t know it and have not experienced it. So, there a lot of resources, money, time and efforts to take Nigerian tour agents to South Africa to experience the country and verse versa. We bring travel agents from South Africa to Nigeria to create linkage and synergies. That is one; the second one is that when a country’s brand receives favorable responses, things start to happen. I think we are also waking up as a continent to the fact that why do we travel to Europe, why do we travel to the United States? Why do we have to travel to East Asia when we can travel among ourselves? It is that level of co-operation that we are trying to put across.

“I think our depreciating currencies have also help us, because we became more affordable than other destinations. I think all these put together has made us an attractive destination.
“The thing about statistics is that you can get lost in statistics. The fact that you tell me that the Nigerian economy is down, that is an average down. There are some that have an upswing; there are some that is negative.  Guess what, we have hit the fertile grown of those that are growing. I mean with a population of 180 to 190 million, 10 per cent of that has probably seen growth figures. It is also smart to invest in an economy especially when it is down, so that when it starts swinging up, you get the positive element.”

The SAT head also said the country is creating new tourism experiences and developing new tourism products for the visitors and also creating a better understanding between South African tour operators and their Nigerian counterparts:  “We also have theme parks like in Dubai, ours are natural theme parks. You don’t have to build anything. We are always adding new products all the time. We have got six other provinces that we want to showcase. We also have certain unique experiences. We have sports, medical, conventions, incentives, are all areas we are driving to make sure that you come over and over again.

“Today we are holding a conversation in providing a platform between the South African trade associations to link up with Nigerian trade associations. We need both sides to do very well because when only one side is doing very well it becomes very well. We are also linking them up to pair. We also spoke about tourism programme we have every year in May. That is an opportunity for everyone to come. You will not only meet South African businesses, you those from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania to have opportunity to cross-pollinate and start to have integrated approach when you look at tourism business.”

“Today we are holding a conversation in providing a platform between the South African trade associations to link up with Nigerian trade associations. We need both sides to do very well because when only one side is doing very well it becomes very well. We are also linking them up to pair. We also spoke about tourism programme we have every year in May. That is an opportunity for everyone to come. You will not only meet South African businesses, you those from Rwanda, Kenya, Tanzania to have opportunity to cross-pollinate and start to have integrated approach when you look at tourism business.”
Source: thenationonlineng.net

You may also like

Leave a Comment

ATQnews.com

ATQnews.com® a member of Travel Media Group is the online platform for African Travel Quarterly (ATQ), the first travel magazine in West Africa which solely focuses on travel and tourism issues. 

ATQNEWS

Latest News

ATQNEWS @2024 – All Right Reserved.

Are you sure want to unlock this post?
Unlock left : 0
Are you sure want to cancel subscription?
-
00:00
00:00
Update Required Flash plugin
-
00:00
00:00