13 Muharram 1446 - 19 July 2024
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Eye of Riyadh
Tourism & Hospitality | Thursday 9 May, 2024 10:08 am |

South African Tourism Showcases Vibrant Offerings at Arabian Travel Market 2024

South African Tourism, in partnership with the greater tourism industry will be participating at the Arabian Travel Market to be held from the 6th to the 9th of May 2024 at the Dubai World Trade Centre. As the premier global event for the travel and tourism industry in the Middle East, ATM serves as a vital platform connecting travel products and destinations from around the world with buyers and trade visitors.


This year, under the theme "Empowering Innovation - Transforming Travel Through Entrepreneurship," ATM 2024 focuses on sustainable travel trends and strategies for growth within key sectors of the industry.


When engaging our insights, consumers highlight leisure as the primary motive for visiting South Africa. Gauteng and the Western Cape emerge as favored destinations, offering a plethora of activities ranging from shopping and dining to exploring natural attractions. Working with the industry to enhance and diversify these offerings ensures that South Africa remains a top choice for leisure travelers seeking unforgettable experiences. 


According to the latest data, the average spending per trip, excluding prepaid expenses, demonstrates notable fluctuations over the course of 2023. In the first quarter of 2023, travelers recorded an average expenditure of R28,000 per trip. This figure surged significantly in the second quarter, reaching R38,200. The third quarter witnessed a slight downturn, with average spending decreasing to R26,400 per trip. These fluctuations underscore the dynamic nature of consumer behavior within the tourism sector, reflecting changing preferences and economic factors influencing travel expenditure.


In 2023, visitor numbers saw a remarkable surge, boasting a 63% increase with 25,435 visitors compared to the preceding year's 15,594 visitors from the Middle East. A significant factor contributing to this phenomenal growth has been the strategic addressing of visa barriers through a visa waiver initiative. Since August 15, 2019, travelers 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.


Partnering with South African Tourism are 25 exhibitors that will have a chance to network with industry professionals, potential partners, buyers, and media representatives. These interactions will look to lead to collaborations, partnerships, and business opportunities. Included in the delegation are the Aquila Collection, Tamrich Tours , Kwantu Private Game Reserve, Durban Tourism , Gold Restaurant, Peermont Hotels, Casinos & Resorts 


South African Tourism is set to engage industry partners through a series of dynamic events. Beginning with a press conference on May 6th, tailored for UAE media, the initiative will highlight collaborations and initiatives. On May 9th, workshops will provide comprehensive training to 75 Dnata and 75 Akbar agents, alongside a roundtable discussion on opportunities within the GCC sector. Concluding on May 10th, a trade workshop for 50 key partners aims to bolster visibility and partnerships within the trade space. These efforts emphasize South African Tourism's proactive approach to industry engagement and collaboration.


Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head MEISEA at South African Tourism, states, " As per the Gulf Cooperation Council's analysis, we witness the influential factors propelling the outbound market of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), with particular emphasis on the significant contributions projected from Saudi Arabia and the UAE. Forecasts indicate that by 2028, expenditures from Saudi Arabia and the UAE are anticipated to soar to US$11.1 billion and US$18.2 billion, respectively. “


"Embracing the synergy between South African Tourism and the Middle East, the Arabian Travel Market (ATM) serves as a vibrant testament to our 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." Concluded Nkani. 


South African Tourism eagerly anticipates the opportunity to connect with visitors and industry partners alike at the Arabian Travel Market. We're excited to showcase the best of what South Africa has to offer and to foster fruitful collaborations that will enrich the experiences of travelers from the Middle East.


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