Emirates Aims To Increase South African Tourism

The carrier serves three South African cities.

Credit: Rob Finlayson

Emirates Airline and the South African Tourism Board have agreed to work towards growing passenger arrivals in South Africa.

Dubai (DXB)-based Emirates and the board signed a memorandum of understanding “to jointly promote tourism” to South Africa, which seeks to take advantage of the potential passenger feed from Emirates’ extensive global network. Emirates agreed a similar accord with Spanish tourism institute Turespaña in February.

By Feb. 1, Emirates had resumed service from DXB to three South African cities: Cape Town (CPT), Durban (DUR) and Johannesburg (JNB). CPT is served daily, DUR is served 5X-weekly and the DXB-JNB route is operated 2X-daily. 

“For more than 25 years we have invested in and grown our operations to South Africa,” Emirates CCO Adnan Kazim said in a statement. “We’re working hard to restore our services to pre-pandemic levels to help generate more opportunities for travelers from around the world to experience South Africa’s unique natural experiences, world-renowned cuisine and local culture.”

He added: “Emirates is well-placed to support the recovery of South Africa’s tourism sector and help raise the profile of the destination again.”  

South Africa tourism minister Lindiwe Sisulu said the pact will create more “travel between South Africa and the Middle East,” adding: “We want to continue ensuring ease of access into South Africa for Middle Eastern travelers and this collaboration will assist us in elevating our trade efforts—in terms of packaging the destination. We look forward to welcoming more travelers from the Middle East.”

South African Tourism Board acting CEO Themba Khumalo said the Middle East “is a critical market for South Africa, so this partnership will be very instrumental in ensuring ease of access to and from South Africa for travelers from this region.”

Under the agreement, Emirates said it “will explore opportunities to promote South Africa and encourage travelers to experience the abundance of attractions.” 

The South Africa Tourism Board said it will “work closely with the airline to support travel trade partners and tour operators across the Emirates’ network to develop and promote itineraries, introduce special packages and promotional giveaways, encourage incentives, among other marketing initiatives.”

Emirates and the board said they are considering collaboration on joint advertising and marketing campaigns.