SA Tourism Minister Patricia De Lille

South Africa urges its citizens to visit Ghana

David Mawuli

The Minister of Tourism of South Africa, Patricia de Lille, has said her country is ready to aggressively market Ghana to its citizens to encourage them to visit the West African country for leisure. This, according to the Minister, will ensure two-way traffic for airlines.

Patricia de Lille announced this new strategy during an interview with David Mawuli, editor of MawuliTravels.com and Ghanafuo.com, at the recently concluded Africa’s Travel Indaba 2024 held in Durban.

Between January and March this year, South Africa received 1.8 million tourist arrivals from the African continent, marking a significant 74.5% of all arrivals.

Ghana was among the top countries that stood out for its remarkable growth. Ghana recorded a 249.4% surge when compared to 2023, reaching 7,904 arrivals from January to March 2024.

Patricia attributed this remarkable growth to the recent visa waiver agreement between Ghana and South Africa.

But to even strengthen Ghana-South Africa bilateral relations and boost air traffic between the two countries, the Minister has said South Africa will implement integrated marketing initiatives to attract visitors from Ghana and further encourage its citizens to visit Ghana frequently.

President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nana Akufo-Addo
President Cyril Ramaphosa and Nana Akufo-Addo

“We need to now start marketing Ghana more aggressively in South Africa to encourage South Africans also to visit Ghana,” she told David Mawuli on May 14, 2024.

The Minister noted that this initiative will directly benefit South Africa’s aviation industry.

I mean it will increase travel to South Africa because it is directly linked to the South African airspace. If a full flight arrives from Ghana to South Africa but must go back half-empty, it’s not viable for the airlines,” she revealed.

She said the bilateral agreement between Ghana and South Africa will foster this move while creating business and investment opportunities between the two countries.

“Together with the airlines, the Department of Tourism, and the bilateral agreement with Ghana, we need to make sure that we up our game in terms of marketing South Africa-Ghana as a tourist attraction. But we need to combine that with business and investment opportunities.”

“As you know South Africa and Ghana have got a bi-national commission that meets at least twice a year and we’ve started doing joint marketing already,” she concluded.

South Africa’s success in tourist arrivals in recent times is not only credited to African travelers.

In the first quarter of 2024, tourist arrivals from the Americas registered at more than 118, 000, reflecting a 12.4% growth compared to the same period in 2023.

South Africa also saw more than 420,000 tourist arrivals from Europe, an 8.6% increase from January to March 2024 compared to the same period in 2023.

The United Kingdom remains the top European source market, with more than 125,000 tourists choosing South Africa, marking a 5.3% growth compared to 2023.

Germany experienced a 9.9% increase in arrivals compared to 2023, amounting to over 98,900 tourists.

Asian markets also showed significant growth with more than 49 000 arrivals from the region, representing an astounding 25.4% when compared to the same period in 2023.

Over 16,209 Indian tourists and over 11,000 Chinese visited South Africa, another massive 82% surge in 2024 when compared to 2023.

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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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