Tourism between Brazil and South Africa has increased in recent years, however the two countries were only “scratching the surface”, said Nurunessa Moolla, Chief Director of International Relations and Cooperation at the Department of Tourism, and  the potential for tourism growth  is immense.

Moolla was speaking at a seminar on tourism between Brazil and South Africa at the Gallagher Convention Centre on November 27, hosted by the Embassy of Brazil in Pretoria, in partnership with Border Air.

Brazil has been one of South Africa’s strong source markets for international arrivals.

Arrivals  saw an 11.9% increase for September 2019 compared with September last year, Statistics SA noted in its September 2019 Tourism and Migration Statistics report, published this month.

Combined, SAA and LATAM Brazil offer 12 direct weekly flights between São Paulo and Johannesburg. LATAM operates an Airbus A350XWB on the route, increasing capacity by more than 50%.

Brazilian Ambassador Nedilson Jorge noted that Brazil and South Africa were united by a long-standing friendship that has allowed for the establishment of a vibrant strategic partnership.

In the context of the countries’ bilateral relations, tourism had already demonstrated its strength as an instrumental channel, people-to-people exchange, and to consolidate the social and cultural ties between the two countries, he said.

“As one concrete example we gladly notice that the number of Brazilians visiting South Africa has more than doubled in the past four years,” he said, adding that the figures were accompanied by a growing interest among Brazilians about South Africa and its history and society.

South African Tourism Global Brand Innovation Manager Mzi Mbane highlighted Brazilian tourists’ interests in cultural and arts events in South Africa.

These include events such as Afropunk Festival and art fairs, while the Brazil LGBT community are interested in events such as the MCQP.

International visitors looked forward to culinary experiences and South Africa’s food sector, as well as nightlife, Mbane said.