South African Tourism is bolstering its marketing efforts in the Middle East by elevating its presence at the four-day Arabian Travel Market (ATM), which kick started in Dubai today (Monday, May 9).
ATM is the market-leading, international travel and tourism event that unlocks business potential within the Middle East for inbound and outbound tourism professionals.
This year, ten South African products and experiences will showcase authentically South African experiences that are geared to travellers from the Middle East.
In addition, South African Tourism will provide nine Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises with the opportunity to showcase at ATM. This is part of the organisation’s efforts to provide market access to upcoming tourism businesses, to not only aid in the recovery of the sector, but to ensure inclusion in the sector.
This will be the sixth time that South African Tourism will be participating at the Arabian Tourism Market. Its delegation will be led by the Minister of Tourism, Lindiwe Sisulu, and will include engagements with key trade partners to reignite travel between the two markets in line with the sector’s recovery.
“It is really important for us to intensify our efforts in promoting our beautiful country on global platforms again as we have had limited opportunities to do so in the last two years. Our tourism sector recovery depends on this and, of course, on us working collaboratively to really show the full might of our tourism potential,” said Sisulu.
South African Tourism Acting CEO, Themba Khumalo, echoed the Minister’s sentiments. “As our tourism sector recovers, we want to once again assure travellers from the Middle East that South Africa as a destination caters for them and is ready to welcome them to our shores. South Africa is well positioned to cater for the needs of the Muslim traveller seeking the halaal travelling experience.”
The Middle East formed one of South Africa’s key source markets and, although travel during the pandemic did slow down, travellers from this market were once again returning to South Africa, said Khumalo.
During January and February 2022, travel from the Middle East increased by 327% compared with the same period in 2021.
According to Khumalo, South Africa offers various quality-assured products and experiences that cater for the Middle East market. These include family-friendly accommodation establishments and activities, a diverse offering of cuisine, wildlife and safari as well as one-of-a-kind shopping experiences.