Kenyan and South African travel exhibitors freely mingled in Nairobi despite the travel difficulties between the two countries over visa issuance to Kenyans.
In a bid to improve tourism between Kenya and South Africa, South African Tourism (SAT) held a trade workshop in partnership with Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) and South African Product owners (SAPO) on Tuesday with the theme of heritage, hospitality and sustainable tourism development.
With an aim of selling travel products, services and offerings to the travel trade industry, the conference comes just days after South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba announced an ease in visa regulations in South Africa to enable more tourists to visit and tour the country.
This initiative will enable South Africa to grow the already 400 Billion Rand industry that contributes about 8% of the country’s GDP.
It will further enable KATA to mine more revenue from South Africa.
The partnership will also enable KATA to negotiate for more affordable rates for Kenyans in order to enable more Kenyans to travel to South Africa to explore business opportunities or simply for pleasure.
“As South African Tourism we are very passionate and enthusiastic about the East African market especially Kenya. We greatly understand the lucrative potential that this market has to offer South Africa and we are very excited for Kenyans to explore the great opportunities South Africa has to offer. Inter-regional travel coped with the unmatched travel discounts we aim to offer KATA will ensure that both Kenya and South Africa benefits from this exciting partnership,” stated Bontle Madiba, SAT’s Regional Trade Relations Manager Africa.
KATA CEO Nicanor Sabula expressed his confidence in the partnership.
“This is indeed a momentous partnership between Kenya and South Africa. The partnership will enable KATA to provide fantastic opportunities for Kenyans be it for business or pleasure purposes. We have been promoting destinations such as Dubai and Turkey to our citizens and it is now time we sell South Africa to create new and exciting opportunities for Kenyans and the rest of East Africa.”
The improved security status in the country coupled with the relaxed visa processes will aid in enticing more people to visit South Africa.
The South African delegation received a Kenyan immersion from the KATA members in order to help them get the full Kenyan experience and get to see what Kenya has to offer.
The South African delegation toured the Giraffe Centre and the Maasai market and also enjoyed an array of Kenyan cuisine.
Educational campaigns on the various offering of South Africa will be conducted in order to showcase the vast business opportunities and leisure opportunities the country has to offer to the rest of the world especially Kenya.