Tourism: Travels to South Africa from Nigeria grew by 4.7% in November and Ghana up by 22%

South African Tourism (SAT), Hub Head for West Africa, Thekiso Rakolojane has said Nigeria and Ghana plays pivotal role in its marketing strategy and remains one of its focal marketing platforms for the country.

The newly appointed hub head stated that research carried out by the agency revealed that both countries have the highest number of tourists from the sub region wanting to visit the southern African country for tourism.

Speaking to in an interview at the agency’s office in Lagos, Rakolojane said figures available to the agency revealed that the number of tourists from the two West African countries improved appreciably with Nigeria having 4.7% and Ghana up by 22%.

He added that the agency might consider marketing South Africa to other West African countries if there positive indications by its research that these countries are ready to be marketed.

According him, the annual fam trips being organised by SAT for its West African trade partners have been impactful in shoring up the number of visitors from West Africa.

He said: “One of the things I mentioned earlier about our five strategic thrust, is that we are much targeted on where we do our investment. So, research told us that in the West African market Nigeria and Ghana, are people with the most appetite to travel to South Africa, this is the two markets that have the biggest appetite for that. We looked at the infrastructure, we looked at quite a number of variables that will inform us to invest in this market and these two markets ticked all the boxes. So, the other surrounding market unfortunately might have ticked all the boxes but not most boxes and therefore as a result they fall outside our consideration in terms of countries that we can invest in.

“But that in itself does not necessarily mean that we will not have those areas as focus. For example Senegal, within the next five years things might change in terms of its landscape that might necessitate that we go in and do research and if the result of the research comes back and tells us that that we need to head into the West African market that we focus on we will do that but we are driven by the research and our strategic insights in the analytic department at the head office. That is why it enables us to identify those markets where we can then go and do further investments and start marketing those other destinations.”

Commenting on the annual fam trip he said: “It has been very impactful, as of fact we are just looking at the November numbers now that came out today, Nigeria is up by 4.7 in terms of arrivals, I think Ghana is up to about 22% which is quiet encouraging and that performance comes from the work that has been done by ourselves and our partners. And as I said, we created the demand and our fulfillment partners sell the packages therefore people travel to the destination. “

By Friday Nwosu and Deborah Taiwo

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