South African Tourism’s Middle East, India and South East Asia (MEISEA) hub recently concluded a visit to the Saudi Arabian capital, Riyadh, where they met key travel partners.

The engagements come after the recent visa waiver announcement by the Department of Home Affairs, which included Saudi Arabia as one of three Middle East countries to have visas waived for travel to South Africa.

MEISEA Hub Head, Neliswa Nkani, who led the engagements, said: “There is a need to increase the product offering for Saudi Arabia. A diversification of products will enhance the true image of South Africa as a destination that has thousands of adventure activities.”

Travellers from Saudi Arabia have a keen interest in safari, culture and scenic beauty and, coupled with the facilities offered to Muslim travellers, means that South Africa features very high on their aspiration list. These travellers are also among the highest spenders when it comes to travel.

In a recent development, Saudi Arabia has also announced that women over the age of 21 are allowed to travel on their own. The demand for beach holidays is also growing in the Saudi market, which makes South Africa an ideal destination for honeymooners and family holidays.

Having prioritised Saudi Arabia as a key growth market, South African Tourism and its partners are also making efforts to promote Halal Tourism in the region.

As a follow-up to this visit, South African Tourism will embark on a roadshow in March 2020 to connect, engage and showcase South Africa’s tourist offerings.