The world’s largest airline, 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 airline’s network.
The MoU was signed on the side-lines of Arabian Travel Market by Badr Abbas, Emirates’ Senior Vice President Commercial Operations for Africa, and The South Africa Tourism’s Acting CEO, Themba Khumalo. Tourism Minister, Lindiwe Sisulu and Dubai Consul General, David Magabe, were also at the signing.
Adnan Kazim, Emirates’ Chief Commercial Officer, said the airline, which had more than 25 years invested in and grown operations to South Africa was working to restore its services to pre-pandemic levels.
This, he said, would “help generate more opportunities for travellers from around the world to experience South Africa’s unique natural experiences, world-renowned cuisine, and local culture”.
He said: “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 travellers 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 yielded for travel between South Africa and the Middle East.
She said: “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.
“We look forward to welcoming more travellers from the Middle East, to experience the various quality assured products and experiences that cater for this market, including; family friendly accommodation establishments and activities, a diverse offering of cuisine as well as wildlife and safari”.
Khumalo said the Middle East was a critical market for South Africa, saying the partnership would be instrumental in ensuring ease of access to and from South Africa for travellers from the Middle East.
Aimed at supporting South Africa’s tourism recovery efforts, the partnership between Emirates and South African Tourism is part of the airline’s longstanding commitment to grow the tourism market in the country.
Under the MoU, Emirates will explore opportunities to promote South Africa and encourage travellers to experience the abundance of attractions that the country has to offer across its network of over 130 destinations.
He said South Africa 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, proudly connecting close to 20 million travellers to and from South Africa and Dubai and beyond to its global network, firmly establishing the airline as a long-term partner of South African aviation, tourism, and trade.
Today, 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. – SAnews.gov.za