In order to strengthen relationships with travel agents and tour operators, to boost West African arrivals to South Africa as part of the 2019 marketing strategy, South Africa Tourism recently organized a five-city roadshow in Kumasi, Accra, Port-Harcourt, Abuja and Lagos all in the West African region. Activities kicked off in Kumasi, the event saw a total of 53 Delegates and 17 SA Specialist graduates. Accra was the next stop, the event had a total delegate of 117 and 20 SA Specialist graduates. In Abuja total delegates that attended were 132 and 14 SA Specialist Graduates. Port Harcourt had a total of 91 delegates present and 10 SA Specialist graduates. At the final roadshow event in Lagos, a total of 185 delegates were present and 122 SA Specialist graduates.
During the event in Lagos, South African Consul-General in Lagos Mr Darkey Africa stated the importance of cultural diplomacy which he claimed is a tool of diplomacy that focuses on promoting South Africa's culture in West Africa to advance the country's trade, political, diplomatic, and socio-economic interests. He believes that Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa have a lot in common.
The roadshows witnessed participation from key South Africa Tourism stakeholders, trade partners and South Africa Products Owners (SAPO). The roadshow highlighted South Africa’s affordable experiences and diversity of offerings to key travel partners in the West African region spanning across travel, accommodation, entertainment and events, with a focus on the opportunity for partnership development.
During the West African region roadshow, participants engaged in workshops, SA Specialist graduation ceremony and the launch of the South Africa Trade Awards. Among the exhibitors were the Tsogo Sun group, Sun International, the Hilton, South African Airways, other airlines from East Africa and numerous tour operators.