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VENTURES AFRICA- Africa’s largest economy’s tourism promotion agency, South Africa Tourism has launched its first African-based regional marketing office in Lagos, Nigeria, as it seeks to exploit the growing global interest in the Africa.
“Global interest in visiting Africa is at an all-time high, and it is also our intention to do our bit to convert this interest into increased arrivals across the continent,” said Marthinus Van Schalkwyk, South Africa’s Tourism Minister.
Africa is the 2nd fastest growing region in the world, averaging 5-7% economic growth in the last 5 years with countries such as Nigeria and Ghana leading investment inflows from global businesses. This has increased the level of interest from foreigners, subsequently boosting travel inflows.
launching the new office which will enhance the country’s West African travel trade as well as cement and increase economic co-operation between southern and western Africa regions, the Minister explained at the opening ceremony in Lagos.
According to Van Schalkwyk, SA Tourism has experienced positive growth figures out of West Africa in recent years. A total of 73,282 Nigerian tourists visited South Africa last year, representing a 13.8 percent increase from 2011. At the end of June 2013, that figure has grown to 15.9 percent.
Likewise, number of tourists from Ghana to South Africa grew by 23.8 percent in 2012 with South Africa welcoming 22,953 Ghanaians. By mid 2013, arrivals from Ghana increased by 27.3 percent.