Emirates and South African Tourism have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly promote tourism and boost visitor arrivals and inbound traffic to South Africa from key markets across the Emirates network.
The MoU was signed on the side-lines of the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) today by Badr Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, and SA Tourism Acting CEO, Themba Khumalo.
Also present at the signing ceremony was Adnan Kazim, Emirates Chief Commercial Officer, Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu and a senior government delegation from the South African Consulate in Dubai, headed by Consul General David Magabe
Kazim said: “For more than 25 years we have invested in, and grown our operations to, South Africa. We’re working hard to restore our services to pre-pandemic levels to help generate more opportunities for travellers from around the world to experience South Africa’s unique natural experiences, world-renowned cuisine, and local culture.
“Emirates is well-placed to support the recovery of South Africa’s tourism sector and help raise the profile of the destination again, offering convenient connections from over 130 destinations, and providing even more links for travelers who want to explore beyond our three South African gateways through our four airline partners.”
Sisulu welcomed the signing of the MoU, citing the benefits it will yield for travel between South Africa and the Middle East. “We want to continue ensuring ease of access into South Africa for Middle Eastern travellers and this collaboration will assist us in elevating our trade efforts in terms of packaging the destination.”
Khumalo highlighted that the Middle East was a critical market for South Africa. “This partnership will increase direct airlift, making room for more travellers, and as our tourism sector recovers we look forward to welcoming more visitors from the Middle East,” he said.
Under the MoU, Emirates will explore opportunities to promote South Africa and encourage travelers to experience the abundance of attractions that the country has to offer across its network of over 130 destinations.
South African Tourism will also work closely with the airline to support travel trade partners and tour operators across the Emirates’ network to develop and promote itineraries, introduce special packages and promotional giveaways, encourage incentives, among other marketing initiatives.
Both parties will also explore opportunities to collaborate on joint advertising and marketing campaigns, as well as familiarisation programmes to South Africa for travel trade and media representatives, among other initiatives. Emirates will also support the transport of South African Tourism’s marketing collaterals to select destinations in its network.
Emirates has been serving South Africa for 27 years, connecting close to 20 million travellers to and from South Africa and Dubai and beyond to its global network
Currently, the airline currently serves South Africa with 26 weekly flights, including double daily services to Johannesburg, daily services to Cape Town and five weekly flights to Durban.
Customers can also access popular regional destinations across South Africa via the airline’s codeshare agreements with South African Airways and Airlink, and interline agreements with FlySafair and Cemair.