South African Tourism CEO Nombulelo Guliwe

South Africa is ready for Ghanaian travelers; they’ll experience more than Amapiano and wine – SA Tourism CEO

David Mawuli

The Chief Executive Officer of South Africa Tourism, Nombulelo Guliwe has said her country is ready to welcome and entertain Ghanaian travelers. And this time, it will be more than just Amapiano and wine.

Over the years, South Africa has dominated the Ghanaian wine market, and recently, amapiano – their trademark afrobeats music which has also gone global. But to experience more than wine and amapiano, Nombulelo Guliwe has said South Africa has opened its doors to Ghanaians to come and experience their music, food, wine, wildlife, and beautiful weather.

She made this statement during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, during the 2024 edition of Africa’s Travel Indaba.

“South Africa is ready for our guests from Ghana. They will experience more than Amapiano and wine,” she told David Mawuli.

Nombulelo said Ghanaians and other African leisure seekers who visit other continents for leisure instead of Africa are missing out.

“You are missing out if you don’t want to travel your own continent. It is also unfortunate that as Africans we don’t want to grow our own sector that ultimately contributes to our economies,” she said. “The same countries and continents outside of Africa, their people travel their continents and countries and that’s how they grow their economies.”

She continued: “The first thing I’ll say is that people must reconsider and analyze the impact of traveling your own continent because there are benefits to it. We already know it’s beautiful and has got diverse tourism offerings but it’s been proudly African. That’s why I always say that Africa’s Travel Indaba is a pan-African trade show. Because it is important for the African continent and its economy that we invest in our own continent.”

“Domestically, sometimes, you find South Africans saying I’m a South African and I know the country but it’s our job to educate them about Africa and the experiences. Some of our strategies are to pro-analyze our competitors so that we can respond to that and get to retain our travelers.”

South African Tourism CEO Nombulelo Guliwe meets Ghanaian journalists, David Mawuli, Akesse Sanza and Maclean Kwofi
South African Tourism CEO Nombulelo Guliwe meets Ghanaian journalists, David Mawuli, Akesse Sanza and Maclean Kwofi

On her authority’s strategy to retain repeated visitors from Ghana and other West African countries, she said her country has invested in West Africa and is eager to do more.

“We have invested in an office in West Africa so that we will be able to service the region and the hub. We don’t have a physical presence all over the world but, this particular market (West Africa) was important to us so that we have close proximity.”

“So we then invested physically in it and we’ve got highly talented and capable individuals who are selling South Africa in West Africa. Why? Because it is important for us. Our numbers to South Africa are driven by the African continent. We’ve got almost 7 million of those from the continent.”

Nombulelo admitted that South Africa can even do better but it all boils down to resources. She said her authority is still exploiting other opportunities to drive numbers to South Africa.

“Can we do more? Definitely. Not just investment but resources as well. We’ve got capable people who are marketing South Africa and are engaging with trade and the media to seek opportunities for us to drive our numbers to South Africa. We will keep doing that because this is an important market. And I think the fact that we’ve experienced more than 240% growth in this market, it is also a testament that the efforts and investments put in the market are actually working.” she concluded.

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David Mawuli is a Ghanaian journalist and, travel and food content creator. He kicked off his career as an entertainment reporter and spent 7 years with Pulse.com.gh where he cut his teeth in journalism. David has been nominated for several awards in Ghana but has won two so far. He is currently ranked the 6th top blogger in Ghana. He currently runs MawuliTravels.com alone and is also the Lead Editor at Ghanafuo.com.
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