Nigeria, SA to accelerate implementation of signed tourism agreement

Posted: September 18, 2012 in travel & tourism

Nigeria and South Africa have agreed to accelerate the implementation of the ‘Cooperation in the field of Tourism Agreement,’ signed in 2008 and designed to deepen tourism relations between both countries and the rest of Africa.

This was one of the fallouts of a meeting held in Pretoria last week between top level officials of the Federal Ministry of Tourism, Culture and National Orientation including the Permanent Secretary Mrs Ibukun Odusote, led by the minister Chief Edem Duke and his South African counterpart Mr. Marthinus van Schalkwyk.

The meeting also had in attendance Nigeria’s High Commissioner in South Africa, Ambassador Sonni Samuel Yusuf.

The meeting on its part formed highlight of the official four-day working tour of South Africa by the Nigerian Tourism ministry on the invitation of the South African Tourism minister, van Schalkwyk.

The tourism bilateral agreement between South Africa and Nigeria which covers interactions between tourism and travel trade officials; the exchange of tourism research, statistics and human resource development, also includes investment, exchange programmes, joint marketing, and establishment of a joint commission, entry formalities and environmental matters between the two countries.

During his trip to South Africa from August 30 through to September 2, Duke participated at the commemoration of the South Africa’s Tourism Month. The Tourism Month is celebrated annually in South Africa every September and was officially launched this year at the Getaway Show August 31in Johannesburg.

Speaking at the launch of Tourism Month, Minister Duke stressed the need “to continue to forge partnerships and working relationships between Nigeria and South Africa to further boost and grow our tourism sectors to provide employment opportunities, as well as to contribute a significant percentage to the economies of our dear nations”.

“Both Nigeria and South Africa have seen a tremendous partnership and significant engagements in areas such as telecommunications, media, tourism and aviation. This has led to more than US$3 billion in trade volume between South Africa and Nigeria. And there is further rich potential for both countries not only to maintain this mutual and symbiotic relationship, but to up the ante too,” he added.

In his key note address to declare the start of the Tourism Month celebrations, South African Tourism Minister, Marthinus Van Schalkwyk stated that  “South Africa’s relationship with Nigeria is one of deep friendship, a strong partnership and a united determination to grow tourist arrivals not only to the two destinations, but to the entire African region,” Minster Van Schalkwyk.

“Nigeria is a major growth market for our destination. We saw monumental tourist arrivals growth of 37.5per cent from Nigeria in 2011 and arrivals from Nigeria grew a further 28.7% in the first four months of this year,” Minister Van Schalkwyk disclosed.

This year’s Tourism Month agenda focus intensely on encouraging South Africans to travel their own country and to get a better understanding of the affordable and exciting leisure travel attractions available to them on their own doorstep.

The Getaway show is organised by South Africa’s national travel and outdoor magazine, Getaway, whose editorial content gives readers ideas on where to go in South Africa, what to do and what to see in South Africa and the rest of Southern Africa.

Before proceeding to the Tourism Month launch, both Ministers featured on SABC 2’s ‘Morning Live’ programme, a highly-rated breakfast TV show on state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) television.

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