Patricia De Lille, South African Minister of Tourism
Patricia De Lille, South African Minister of Tourism

Ghana to be marketed in South Africa as tourism, investment destination

South Africa’s Department of Tourism has said that discussions were ongoing with some airlines and other relevant stakeholders to aggressively market Ghana as a tourism and investment destination to South Africans.

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The move, which is being championed through the South Africa-Ghana Bi-national Commission (BNC), is to help create a win-win situation to promote tourism in both countries. It would also help reverse the phenomenon where airlines such as the South African Airways (SAA) flew at full capacity to South Africa, yet returned nearly empty to Ghana.

Aggressive marketing

The South African Minister of Tourism, Patricia De Lille, said in an interview with the Daily Graphic at the ongoing Africa's Travel Indaba (ATI) at Durban in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa, that deploying aggressive marketing initiatives would help attract potential tourists from South Africa to Ghana.

She said the initiative was part of measures being designed through a bilateral agreement with Ghana to further help put the tourism sector on a positive trajectory. "And so, we do have a solid plan to improve and sustain the international arrival numbers seen recently from Ghana

"We need to forge a strong collaboration between the Department of Tourism and the airlines riding on our bilateral agreement with Ghana to make sure that we up our game in terms of marketing the two countries as tourists destinations to the world," the minister said.

She further said that the BNC also offered an opportunity to strengthen and consolidate cooperation between the two countries, including the exchange of views on latest development in their regions, particularly in the areas of peace, security and economic development.

Investment

Ms Lille attributed the continuous growth trajectory seen in the country’s international tourists arrivals to consistent investment, including improvement of security in that country.

He said the government a year ago, formed a national safety forum made up of representatives from the private sector, the police, national prosecuting authority and all the provinces, as well as metropolitan cities to help address safety challenges tourists faced.

“For us, whether it is perception or not, we have put in place proactive plans to deal with the safety issues,” the minister said. She said last year, for instance, the government invested R174 million to train and employ 2,300 young safety monitors at hotspots, adding that the private sector had also developed an app to provide tourists’ access to over 300 security companies in case of any eventuality.

Ancestral sites

The minister also described South African culture as rich. “Right here in Durban, we have the Mandela Capture Site and PheZulu Cultural Village Day Tour. This site marked a turning point in our history and saw the start of Nelson Mandela’s 27 years of imprisonment – his most notable sacrifice for our freedom.

“Visitors can take a day’s trip to Pietermaritzburg from Durban and visit the site where Nelson Mandela was captured, learn about the traditional Zulu culture, among others, on an eight-hour excursion,” she said.

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