This year’s Arabian Travel Market, which takes place in Dubai from 9-12 May 2022, will see South African Tourism bolster its presence in the Middle East.
At this year’s trade show, ten South African products and experiences will be showcasing South African experiences, which is geared toward travellers from the Middle East. In addition, South African Tourism will be providing nine Small Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs) the opportunity to showcase at the Arabian Travel Market. 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, and for the first time, the trade show now forms part of the organisation’s nine strategic platforms due to the importance of the Middle Eastern market.
The South African Tourism delegation is 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 two last 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. I am looking forward to the engagements at Arabian Travel Market,” says Sisulu.
South African Tourism acting chief executive officer, Themba Khumalo echoes the Minister’s sentiments, saying: “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 onto our shores. South Africa is well-positioned to cater for the needs of the Muslim traveller seeking the Halaal travelling experience.”
The Middle East forms one of South Africa’s key source markets, contributing to international arrivals and although travel during the pandemic did slow down, travellers from this market are once again returning to South Africa. During January and February 2022, travel from the Middle East increased by 327% compared to the same period in 2021.