How South Africa Tourism celebrated the New CEO with a Soiree in Lagos
By Friday Nwosu
South African Tourism (SAT), recently held its Soiree with tourism operators and travel agents in West Africa with the aim of building on and strengthening the existing relationship between the organisation and operators.
The event which had in attendance South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona, Consul-General of the South African High Commission, Mr Darkey Africa and Ambassador Lulama Xingwana, South African Ambassador to Ghana was also to allow for free and open communication between the media and South African Tourism stakeholders, celebrate 3 years of SAT in West Africa and the successful partnership with operators in the region.
The Soiree which kicked off with an open dialogue session included a questions and answer session between media outlets and designated panellists.
Stakeholders as well as trade partners from the Nigeria Association of Tour Operators(NATOP), National Association of Nigerian Travel Agents (NANTA), Tour Operators Union of Ghana (TOUGHA), and top travel agents like: Wakanow Travels, Tourways international Travel & Tours, Tour Brokers International, World and Travel Land, Diamond & Pearls, AvantGarde Tours, and GET centre Travel and Tours took turn to ask questions on areas of concern in South Africa as regards tourism.
Mr Ikechi Uko a member of NATOP and publisher Atqnews.com, asked if South Africa will ever operate on a visa-on-entry basis for Nigerians looking to travel to the country.
The Consular General responded by mentioning that work was being done in this regard and that South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma was present at the African Union meeting in which the All Africa Passport was discussed. She however pointed out that there was no instruction given on the matter yet.
On concerns raised in regard to the relationship between South Africa and foreigners bordering on Xenophobic attacks, the Consular General stated that the Xenophobia was long gone saying people needed to be careful not to stereotype the situation as the Xenophobia crisis was not a reflection of the general South African public’s attitude towards West Africans.
Asked if there is the possibility of the South African government elongating the visa tenure of Nigerian nationals travelling for business and other areas, the South African delegation started that the embassy would be open to accommodating such persons provided they could show valid proof of the genuine reasons they may have for continuing to go back.
The open dialogue session was followed by the South African Tourism Networking function which took place in Miliki’s garden. The Soiree, South African themed was every bit the splitting image of a South African Braai; complete with lots of meat, the braai stand and South African inspired outfits, guests were taken on a journey to South Africa. Celebrities previously hosted to South Africa such as Musicians Tiwa Savage, Praiz, Comedian Ay, and actor OC Ukeje, to name a few also were in attendance to enjoy the celebration