South African Africa Tourism (SAT) is planning to work with Nigeria Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) to mutually market Nigeria and South Africa tourism offerings in both countries.
Ntshona Sisa, CEO, SAT made this known at a strategic meeting between the executives of NATOP and SAT held at the GET Centre on Thursday.
According to him, getting a higher share from the two tourists’ destinations is very crucial to the growth and expansion of both markets in 2017.
“We must work together on how to get the higher share of the tourism markets. Tourism is a very important sector. We can’t do this without partnership. We are looking for a mutually beneficial partnership,” he said.
Sisa expressed satisfaction with the increase in traffic of tourists to South Africa in 2016. However, he said SAT is willing to reciprocate this for Nigeria tourism market in 2017.
“My time here is to reinforce the message of my colleagues. We have seen some positive numbers in terms of statistics of growth to South Africa. We want to reciprocate to help build Nigerian tourism sector for out bound tourism.”
Ikechi Uko, founder, AKWAABA Travel Market who spoke on behalf of NATOP said the association is already putting its best foot forward for 2017 on how to market the numerous Nigeria tourism offerings.
“We all need your help and experience to sell our tourism products. We want to market them in 2017. We will need your help because you have the experience. We have had a good relationship with you; we want more,” he said.
Uko further explained that NATOP has outlined its events and programmes on which destinations to market to Africa in 2017. Some of the destinations are: Carnival Calabar, Osun Osogbo, Akwaaba African Travel Market Lagos and Kano Durbar.
NATOP members, Bolaji Mustapha, CEO, GET Centre, Abiola Lawal of flyboku.com, appealed to Sisa to discuss with the South African High Commission in Nigeria to make visa procurement seamless for tourists.
Also, Uko cut his birthday with NATOP members and the South African executives.