25 exhibitors partner with South African Tourism to showcase at Arabian Travel Market 2024

South African Tourism’s Visit South Africa stand at Arabian Travel Market 2024. Picture: Supplied.

South African Tourism’s Visit South Africa stand at Arabian Travel Market 2024. Picture: Supplied.

Published May 9, 2024


South African Tourism (SAT), in partnership with 25 exhibitors, is at Arabian Travel Market (ATM) in Dubai, showcasing South Africa as a destination.

ATM kicked off at the Dubai World Trade Centre from Monday, May 6 and it will run until Thursday, May 9, under the theme, “Empowering Innovation – Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship.”

SAT explained that the travel market serves as a vital platform which connects travel products and destinations from across the world with buyers and trade visitors as the premier global event for the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East.

South African tourism businesses showcasing with the SAT include the Aquila Collection, Tamrich Tours , Kwantu Private Game Reserve, Durban Tourism, Gold Restaurant and Peermont Hotels, Casinos & Resorts.

The entity that promotes South Africa as a tourism destination said the exhibitors would have the opportunity to network with industry professionals, potential partners, buyers and media representatives, with the aim being that the interactions led to collaborations, partnerships and business opportunities.

SAT explained that in 2023, visitor numbers saw a remarkable surge, boasting a 63% increase, with 25 435 visitors from the Middle East compared to the preceding year’s 15 594.

“A significant factor contributing to this phenomenal growth has been the strategic addressing of visa barriers through a visa waiver initiative. they said.

“Since August 15, 2019, travellers from The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the State of Qatar and the United Arab Emirates have enjoyed the benefits of this pivotal step, enabling seamless travel for both business and leisure purposes, with stays of up to 90 days.

“This initiative has notably enhanced accessibility to South Africa’s captivating experiences, fostering greater engagement with its diverse attractions and cultural offerings.”

Neliswa Nkani, the hub head MEISEA at South African Tourism, said that as per the Gulf Cooperation Council’s analysis, it witnessed the influential factors propelling the outbound market of the Gulf Cooperation Council, with particular emphasis on the significant contributions projected from Saudi Arabia and the UAE.

She said that forecasts indicated that by 2028, expenditures from Saudi Arabia were anticipated to soar to $11.1 billion (R206bn) and from the UAE, $18.2bn.

Embracing the synergy between South African Tourism and the Middle East, the ATM served as a vibrant testament to their enduring partnership.

“We deeply value the Middle Eastern market for its cultural richness and adventurous spirit, which greatly enhance our tourism landscape.

“Together, we will work towards a common goal of exploration and connection, spotlighting the allure and warm hospitality of South Africa to our esteemed friends from the Middle East,” said Nkani.