31 August 2012

Nigeria's tourism minister visits South Africa

Nigeria and South Africa will revisit the ‘Cooperation in the field of Tourism Agreement’ signed in 2008 when the 2 countries’ tourism ministers and other officials meet in Pretoria.

Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk with Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa and Nigeria's Tourism Minister, Chief Edem Duke at the launch of Tourism Month. Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk with Deputy Tourism Minister Tokozile Xasa and Nigeria's Tourism Minister, Chief Edem Duke

Nigeria is a major growth market for our destination. We saw monumental tourist arrivals growth of 37.5% from Nigeria in 2011 and arrivals from Nigeria grew a further 28.7% in the 1st 4 months of this year.

The meeting between the tourism ministers of Nigeria and South Africa follows an invitation from Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk to his Nigerian counterpart, Chief Edem Duke, for an official 4-day visit to South Africa.

The wide-ranging agreement covers interaction between tourism and travel officials, the exchange of tourism research and statistics, human resource development, investment, exchange programmes, joint marketing, entry formalities, environmental matters, and the establishment of a joint commission.

Duke said it was Nigeria’s aim to continue to forge partnerships and working relationships between Nigeria and South Africa. ‘We want to further boost and grow our tourism sectors to provide employment opportunities as well as contribute a significant percentage to the economies of our nations,’ he said.

He added that Nigeria and South Africa had partnered in areas such as telecommunications, media, tourism and aviation.

‘This has led to more than US$3-billion in trade volume between South Africa and Nigeria and there is great potential for both countries to not only to maintain this mutual and symbiotic relationship, but to up the ante too,’ he said.

Van Schalkwyk said South Africa’s relationship with Nigeria was one of deep friendship, a strong partnership and a united determination to grow tourist arrivals not only to the 2 destinations, but to the entire African region.

‘Nigeria is a major growth market for our destination. We saw monumental tourist arrivals growth of 37.5% from Nigeria in 2011 and arrivals from Nigeria grew a further 28.7% in the 1st 4 months of this year,’ he said.

During his 4-day trip, Duke joined Van Schalkwyk at the launch of South Africa’s Tourism Month at the Getaway Show on 31 August 2012. Duke is also visiting Cape Town, where his delegation will be treated to a host of leisure activities.