Tourism Minister of South Africa, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane Meets With Stakeholders In Lagos

Tourism Minister of South Africa, Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane, visited Nigeria to interact with South African Tourism tour operators, media and broad stakeholders at the Wheatbaker Hotel, Lagos.

Kubayi-Ngubane served briefly as the Minister of Communications in 2017 up until February 2018, when she was announced as Minister of Science and Technology. Following the May 2019 elections, she was appointed by President Cyril Ramaphosa as the Minister of Tourim.

The minister’s visit to Nigeria was an opportunity to meet with the stakeholders to share whatever issues they might be facing with the hope of finding lasting solutions to some challenges and also discuss the increase of international tourist arrivals to South Africa.

The programme of the day was directed by the deputy high commissioner of South Africa, Bobby Monroe who appreciated guests for taking out time to welcome the Minister of Tourism. He mentioned the relationship between South Africa and Nigeria government has strengthened since President Muhammadu Buhari’s state visit to South Africa to meet with President Cyril Ramaphosa where he and Ramaphosa discussed political cooperation and trade and Buhari met with members of the Nigerian business community and took part in a Nigerian-South African business forum.

The minister mentioned that there was a great need to advance bilateral relations between Nigeria and South Africa in the creative industry to achieve remarkable success for the two nations and the African continent. The minister said South Africa regretted the tensions experienced in the last couple of months, acknowledging that such attacks had happened in the past and the authorities had taken steps to ensure it was not repeated. “I want you all to know that South Africa is open for visitors from Nigeria and other parts of the world as against insinuations by many that the country is repelling visitors,” she said

Considering Nigeria as one of South Africa’s biggest market after China and India, Kubayi-Ngubane positioned South Africa as a destination of choice for West Africans who would like to travel for business, leisure and other related activities. According to her, Nigeria is an important source market to South Africa as it ranks as one of the top three countries after India and China, she also made mention that President Cyril Ramaphosa had given a directive to the tourism ministry to woo in a bid to double domestic arrivals to over 21million by 2030

South Africa is committed to strengthening partnerships and driving collaborations that will help forge a stronger cultural exchange between the people of these two West African (Ghana and Nigeria) countries and the people of South Africa that’s why from the first quarter of 2020, people intending to travel to South Africa can apply for a visa online. “Ladies and gentlemen, this means that anyone who needs a visa to come to South Africa will be able to do that from the comfort of their homes, apply online and within a few days you get your visa approved,’’ said the minister, Kubayi-Ngubane.

The tourism minister also quashed the news making the rounds that South Africans aren’t welcoming to foreigners especially Nigerians and don’t want them in their country. ‘‘It is not true that South Africans don’t want Nigerians in South Africa. We have ties across Ghana and South Africa. South Africa remains open for visitors, so please visit us,’’ mentioned the minister.

South Africa’s Consul General in Lagos, Mr Darkey Africa said that South Africa is committed to reuniting both nations through a proper exploration of the tourism industry as Nigeria and South Africa must work in purpose to achieve remarkable growth. “We want to see movies where Nigerians and South Africans will collaborate to produce, speaking in their unique and distinct accents to tell the world that we have greater things for the future of the two countries and Africa.” Darkey said.

Visit South Africa Tourism to book packages: www.southafrica.net and follow @travel2sa

HOTEL MANAGEMENT: FOCUS IS ALWAYS ON PEOPLE – STRONG PASSIONATE TEAM = GREAT GUEST EXPERIENCE = REPEAT BUSINESS

Nikola Jelenovic, General Manager of the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton, Johannesburg. By Adegoke Oluwaseyi Adeyemo

On my last trip to South Africa, I stayed in Raddison blu Gautrain Hotel, Sandton Johannesburg and I must confess that I had a great time in the exquisite hotel. Raddison blu Gautrain Hotels, which is a three-minute walk from Gautrain rail station, seven minute walk from the upscale Sandton city shopping centre, with sleek and very spacious rooms plus hip dinning, with a city view bar and an outdoor pool as well as a fitness centre. is truly a classy business traveller hotel.  In course of my stay I had a chat with Mr Nikola Jelenovic, the General Manager of the hotel and below is an excerpt of our chat:

IWA: How long have you been in the management of hotels and what has been your unique experience all through these years? 

NIK: As a Hotel Manager, it’s been over five years, and let me say that the very pleasant experiences I have had over the years in my career, has been due to the very dynamic environments I have had the privilege of working in, I also derive a lot of pleasure in seeing that guests and customers are satisfied with the services we render to them. The development of the team I work with is also paramount on my mind.

IWA: Now from the perspective of a practitioner, what does hotels and hotel management mean to you?

NIK:  Managing a Hotel is a serious business, thus one must always have profitability in focus. From the services you deliver to the quality of your personnel, the bottom line for management and the investors is profit and that must be properly taken care of, to keep the business running. Generally speaking the business of running a hotel is very competitive thus management of hotels, must always be very strategic in thinking and possess very good people management skills in order to succeed.

IWA: It is often said that running an airline is not necessarily a profitable venture. Is running a hotel a profitable venture, if yes, what does one need to ensure that a hotel keeps making profits? 

NIK:  Yes, running a hotel can be a profitable venture, but it is important for management and investors to clearly understand that their primary purpose and goal is to deliver great guests experience. They must do everything within their power to put a passionate and well-motivated team together to always deliver this goal. It is by so doing that there will be constant business and eventually profitability will be guaranteed.

IWA: What are the basic qualifications that one needs to succeed as a hotel manager? 

NIK: To have a formal training in hotel management is good and would definitely be advantageous for anyone a good starting point for anyone that is pursuing a career in hotel management but in my opinion the best tool one needs to succeed in hotel management is experience that one gathers on the job and the quality of mentoring one is able to get in course of one’s career.

IWA: If you were not working in the hospitality industry, in what other industry would you have preferred to work and why? 

NIK: I have a strong affinity for project management, so I would have ended up doing something that is related to project management.

IWA: Clearly, there are several lovely hotels in South Africa and particularly in Sandton. So what in your opinion are the core competitive strengths of Radisson Blu Gautrain, Hotel, Sandton?  

NIK: First; our unique location, excellent facilities as well as our service philosophy and delivery.

IWA: What are the things you love most about working with Radisson Blu? 

NIK: The Dynamic way with which things are done in the group, Radisson is a driven, fast growing international organization, Out of all the Radisson collection, the Blu is a great upscale brand where every moment matters, however, the most important part of our drive in my opinion is how we always ensure that our guests feel the difference between us and the rest.

IWA: We live in an ever-evolving world, so where do you see Radisson Blu , Hotel, Sandton in the next five years?

NIK: I see Radisson Blu Gautrain as a market leader in the Sandton area based on its prime location, excellent service and facilities and competitive pricing.

IWA: What part of Radission Blu’s corporate culture do you like most and why?

NIK: The Radisson group is clearly driven by seven pillars that sums up the group corporate culture, thus it is difficult to single out one specific one, therefore, let me mention the ones I consider the top three: We deliver memorable moments every day, everywhere , every time We serve with our “Yes I can “spirit We are many minds with one mindset. 

South African Tourism West Africa to host Annual Trade Roadshow in West Africa.

South Africa Tourism will be hosting another Trade Roadshow across the two (2) main economic centres in West Africa: Nigeria and Ghana. The Road Show will span across 5 top cities in the two countries namely: Kumasi and Accra in Ghana and Abuja, Port Harcourt and Lagos in Nigeria.

Nigeria and Ghana contributed 76% of Africa’s tourist arrival into South Africa in 2014, outbound travel and spending has grown over the years in the West African region with a 12.7% increase in trips over the period between 2013 and 2018 for the Ghanaian market and a 1.9% increase in trips from 2013 to 2018 for the Nigerian market with total outbound expenditure growing by 14.6%.

The South African Tourism Road Show will be across 5 top cities in the region, the roadshow will begin in Kumasi, Ghana on Wednesday, August 21; followed by Accra City on Friday, August 23, Abuja City on Monday, August 26, Port Harcourt on August 28 and Lagos on Friday, August 30. The roadshow will highlight 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 in the city, with a focus on opportunity for partnership development between and among South African Product Owners (SAPO), Trade partners and other stakeholders.

The roadshow activities during the event will include, Trade Workshop/Engagement in Each city, SA Specialist Graduation Ceremony, Launch of the South Africa Trade Awards (Accra for Ghana & Lagos for Nigeria Only).
For more information on the West Africa Roadshow visit: www.southafrica.net
Also, Follow @Travel2SA1 Instagram, @Travel2SA1 on Twitter and Travel To South Africa on Facebook.

Adekunle Gold, Jackie Appiah, Mawuli Gavor, Stephanie Coker, Joselyn Dumas, Kemi Adetiba and more Experienced Gauteng, KZN and the Free State in Style With Great Wave of Excitement For the Global Citizens Concert

There is something about South Africa that makes each experience worth the trip… the scenic beauty of its landscape, the ever welcoming people, their rich cultural heritage and the variety of wines and cuisines. Best believe it is the perfect holiday destination. Need extra proof?
South African Tourism in partnership with Inifinix Nigeria hosted, Nigerian Singer, Adekunle Gold, Nigerian TV Presenter and Influencer, Stephanie Coker, Ghanaian Actor and Actresses, Joselyn Dumas and Jackie Appiah, Mawuli Gavor critically acclaimed Nigerian Filmmaker, Kemi Adetiba, Bloggers and OAPs from Nigeria and Ghana, Tosin Ajibade, Noble Ezeala, Ono Bello, Ameyaw Debrah, Osi , Kemi Smallz, Lexis Bill, Eugune, and Francis Doku and Media Guru, Colette Otutesho on a 10 day trip to explore the offerings of South Africa.


One thing you are sure to experience in South Africa is luxurious accommodation with views that just starts your days right. From the Drakensberg Sun Resort in Drakensberg with the mountain views to Protea Hotels in Clarens with the swimming pools and the Davinci Hotel in Nelson Mandela Square – J’Burg which is perfect for shopping.


In South Africa – there’s something for everyone, you can relax, stay in beautiful properties, as well as experience wines and cuisines that will leave you coming back to South Africa again and again.
With South Africa only 6 hours away, the group arrived Johannesburg and set off on a road trip to ‘home’ for the next few days; Drakensberg Sun Resort. With fresh mountain air and awestruck views, the resort is situated high in the dramatic landscapes of Drakensberg also known as ‘the dragon mountain’.


After time spent on a plane and on a bus, rejuvenating spa sessions with complimentary drinks at the Champagne Sport Resorts was the perfect welcome to kickstart the vacay. After the pampering, came the food; the in-house cuisine at the Drakensberg Sun Resort was absolutely amazing and quintessentially South African.


What better way to take in the awe-inspiring and truly magnificent landscape of Drakensberg than going on a horse ride through the area. The group was definitely excited about the horse-back riding experience and was even more thrilled to go on a canoe ride on the Drakensberg’s lake.


Next stop for the group; Cathedral Peak Wine Estate. A must do when in South Africa is wine tasting, and when in Drakensberg, a must visit is the Cathedral Peak Wine Estate – the vineyards of this wine estate is simply magnificent, and the view is even more magical. The group got to sample some of the best of South African wine served with cheese and grapes over happy talks and bonding. For Adekunle Gold and Stephanie Coker, the wine tasting was the highlight of their trip.

This year being the Centenary of Nelson Mandela, the group took a long walk on the path to freedom as they visited the Nelson Mandela Capture Site. In 1952, Nelson Mandela was apprehended for his anti-Apartheid activism acts and a cultural and historical exhibition was set up at the site in his honor. The sculpture at the Nelson Mandela Capture Site comprises of 50 steel columns that were laser cut to form an image of Mandela when viewed at the correct angle. The walk to the capture site was a monumental moment for the group as they got a deeper insight on the fight of Mandela for the freedom of the people of South Africa.


Ready for another road trip, the group was back on the tour bus and it was goodbye Drakensberg and hello! Clarens. The small town of Clarens – just a 3 to 4 hours drive from Johannesburg- is situated at the foothill of the magnificent Maloti Mountian. Clarens welcomed the guests with beautiful sun kisses, and something to get the blood pumping – Quad Biking and Zip Lining at Clarens Xtreme. Dear adrenaline lovers, this has got to be your first stop when you visit Clarens and the best part of it is you do not have to break a bank. Most activities are as little as a half-/full day R250/350.


From a time of adventure, to a time with the people of the Basotho Cultural Village. The Basotho Cultural Village, located at the foot of huge sand stone mountains would take you through time, highlighting the lifestyle of the people of South Sotho from the 16th century to the present. The group was welcomed into the “khotla”, the gathering place of men and had a sip of the traditional beer offered as a gesture of the Basotho hospitality.


Ready to explore more, the crew hit the beautiful streets of Soweto, where Adekunle Gold couldn’t help but beatbox to the music of one of the locals… music is a universal and no matter your country, the music always unites us all.
Next stop was the Mandela House, also known as the Nelson Mandela National Museum. The Mandela family’s four-roomed Soweto home houses various memorabilia, artworks, awards and honorary doctorate conferred on Nelson Mandela and his family, as well as photographs of the family dating back to the 1950s. Mandela had lived here from 1946 to 1962, and the now museum houses the history on the life of Mandela featuring his works on promoting human rights, democracy, reconciliation, mutual respect and tolerance amongst the people of South Africa. The group couldn’t help but feel the spirit of Mandela still lived on.

This year had been a long walk through history for the people of South Africa as it marked the 100th year of the birth of Nelson Mandela and to further honor his legacy, the Global Citizens Festival put together the Mandela 100 concert at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg as part of one of the biggest campaigns to end extreme poverty across the world. With Trevor Noah as the host and performance by A-list artists such as Beyoncé and Jay Z, Usher, Ed Sheeran, Pharrell, and our very own Wizkid, Femi Kuti, D’banj, Tiwa Savage and many more. The ever welcoming and hospitable people of South Africa hosted over 70,000 visitors from different parts of the world for the festival. The guests were thrilled to be a part of such historical event.


No better way to end a fun filled trip than a time out shopping at the beautiful Sandton Mall.
The beautiful moments and memories made on the trip were also captured on the Infinix Zero 6 and we are officially looking forward to seeing South Africa through the lens of the Zero 6 as this ground-breaking device is set to launch in Nigeria January 2019.

See all the adventure on Instagram @travel2Sa @infinixnigeria
#MySAExperience #DiscoverSAwithZero6

South African Tourism Partners With Sun International And South African Airways To Reward Upcoming Travel Agents

In support of Small and Medium Scale Business in the Travel Industry in Nigeria, South African Tourism (SAT) partnered with South African Airways (SAA) and the Sun International (SI) to give 9 small and upcoming travel agents (trade) executives an opportunity to explore South Africa and have their products at a Brand Expo which took place on 29th & 30th June 2018 at Federal Palace Hotel, Lagos, Nigeria. The 9 travel agencies taken on the trip includes Crew Training Institute, Greater View Travels, Saffron Travels, Apeiron Travels, Vectra Travels, Foshizi Tours, Teeysz Tours, Akenn Tours and Nje Tours.

Taking off in the brand new South African Airways Airbus A330-300 series from Murtala Muhammed Airport in Lagos and led by Trade Relations Manager, South African Tourism West Africa, Mr Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa and Mrs Motunrayo Ajomale of South African Airways Nigeria, the trade executives were prepped ahead of the two-week power packed and exciting trip to South Africa. Arriving at the O.R Tambo International Airport in the early hours of the 2nd of August, the travel agents were whisked off on a 30-minute drive to the Maslow Hotel in the heart of Sandton.

While SAA was responsible for providing the flight to South Africa, Sun International provided the befitting accommodation at Maslow for the travel agents and SAT provided the experiences & ground logistics throughout their stay in South Africa. The experiences were specially curated to give the agents a chance to experience that culture and the variety of memorable attractions that South Africa offers in & around Gauteng (Johannesburg & Pretoria) & North West (Sun City) provinces which was the coverage area of the fam trip while they sell the beautiful country as a top travel destination.

Unaware of the many robust attractions and world-class locations in South Africa, many tour operators have been limited in offering South Africa as a potential holiday destination to their clients due to negative mind-sets about the country. Through the hosting, the travel agents who went on the trip were able to see a different side of South Africa and also experience the warmth and diversity of her people. From the visit to the Lesedi Cultural Village to the trip to Soweto, home of the legend, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, the travel agents had an opportunity to interact with South Africans who welcomed them with warm smiles and were also eager to share their culture with them.  At the Lesedi Cultural Village, less than one-hour drive from Jo-burg, they encountered people of Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Ndebele and Basotho origin. From listening to individual cultural stories of the people, to tours of the local houses, the travel agents received a fuller picture of the South African heritage.

While exploring top tourist destinations like Gold Reef City theme park and Sun City Resort, a world-class resort that offers a wide variety of hotels, attractions and events, including the luxurious Palace of the Lost City where they stayed, the travel agents were also able to witness, first-hand, the fun side of South Africa. Boasting of many top tourist attractions with exciting activities, South Africa is a place to go and let your hair down, either alone or with family or friends. Individually or in a group, South Africa has something for everyone. There are also a wide variety of activities from mountain climbing to zip lining to suit different interests and passions. The travel agents were able to take part in these activities as they continued to explore South Africa during their the one-week visit.

Aside from the places visited and the activities they were involved in, the trade had a taste of indigenous South Africa food bursting with flavours and richness in palate. At Maboneng, which boasts of a wide selection of restaurants and artistic stores for visitors to enjoy, the trade tucked into sumptuous meals and they also had an opportunity to experience foot tour of the artistic environment, South African style.

Seeing the beauty in the natural landscape in South Africa while taking a tour of Johannesburg, the trade was convinced that South Africa is the top travel destination which everyone should experience. Conversations throughout the trip was centered around building the capacity of the trade and giving inputs to help them scale their travel business and offer competitive services to their clients.

According to Victoria, MD, Akenn Travels, “This was a huge privilege given us even as a relatively new business, we have taken this with both hands and commit to delivering on the purpose for which this hosting was put together.” while Ms Tina Tinachi, MD, Nje Tours says “The trip was amazing, fun & informative”

On a similar note, Mrs Folasade Adegboyega of Apeiron Travel & Tours confessed “I have been to SA a couple of times, but this experience was exceptional. There was so much to do & see that time didn’t permit us. South Africa is an AMAZING destination. I will sure visit & sell again and again.”

With South Africa as a top travel destination in their minds, the travel agents now understand the key highpoints of the country that their clients must encounter. What better way to sell a location as a potential holiday destination than to have first-hand experience of the fullness of what the location has to offer? The travel agents ended the tripped equipped to increase and diversify their offerings to their clients and curate the best experiences in the travel packages they offer to them.

 

 

 

Senator Ita Giwa, Banky W And Others Visit The South African Tourism Stand At Akwaaba African Travel Market 2018

It was a delightful experience for all attendees at the 14th AKWAABA African Travel Market held at Eko Hotel and Suites in Lagos from the 9th to the 11th of September 2018.

AKWAABA – African Travel market is the biggest Travel & Tourism Show in West Africa hosting exhibitors and buyers to meet with airlines, hotels, restaurants, tour operators, travel agents, state tourism boards, foreign trade and tourism sectors from over 20 countries in Africa and the UAE.

 

Making a mark this year at AKWAABA was South African Tourism, with its alluring  and fascinating destination stand where it engaged with Trade, Consumers and Exhibitors alike, sharing information on the amazing offerings the destination has to offer in line with the focus of the event for this year 2018 which included; introducing and encouraging African tour operators who promote African destinations to Africans, growing future of Aviation in Africa, showcasing wining and dining as a key element of tourism through food fair, wedding destinations, SPA and Wellness across Africa and engaging youths in Africa Tourism & Travel.

At the opening, Trade Relations Manager: West Africa for South African Tourism, Mr. Mohammed Tanko Kwajaffa received the DG, Nigerian National Council for Arts & Culture (NCAC), Chief Otunba Olusegun Runsewe who declared the exhibition open alongside other top dignitaries from across the continent at the South African Tourism Destination Stand. The DG expressed his admiration saying “We are very proud of South Africa as they made the whole of Africa proud during the World Cup 2010 as the first African Country to host the World Cup”

   

 

One of the key game changer at Akwaaba Travel Market this year was the inclusion of the Local & Small scale Tour Operators & Travel Agents to exhibit as it attracted more foot fall from their own clients & followers.” Kwajaffa extended a huge appreciation to the founder of AKWAABA, Mr. Ikechi Uko for organizing a good event this year and also thanked Stakeholders from National Association of Nigeria travel Agency, Nigeria Association of Tour Operators & Tour Operators of Ghana who visited the stand to show their continued support and partnership “this gave us opportunity to showcase destination South Africa to more than the usual clientele hence reaffirming SAT’s commitment to supporting such initiatives & activities in the market. Congratulations to all the award winners of the Top 100 Africa Tour Operators and the organizers for a well-organized event – he further said.

Also in attendance, NANTA BOT Chairman, Mr Steve Isokarie, NATOP President, Hajiya Bilikisu Abdul, FTAN President, Alhaji Rabo Kareem, HATMAN President, Mr Badaki Aliyu Ajayi, NANTA National VP, Mrs Susan, NANTA VP Lagos Zone, Mrs Lola Adewale, NANTA VP Western Zone, Mr Dagunduro Tokumbo all of Nigeria and from Ghana TOUGHA President, Mr Kwesi Eyison, GHATOF Rep, Mr Ahmed Naaman, and celebrities such as Ghanaian famous actor, Van Vicker and Nigeria’s famous Singer, Producer, Actor, Banky W, resounding Nigerian Contemporary Vocalist & Chanter, Ire ‘D’ Stage Diva and many more who visited the South African Tourism destination stand.

AKWAABA was a valuable opportunity for the African Trade Market to network and discuss, trade businesses with others across the continent.

Africa’s Travel Indaba gets a taste of Madiba Magic

In celebration of African art, song and memory, renowned South African playwright and artistic director of the Market Theatre, James Ngcobo, has produced a stellar showcase of the life and legacy of Nelson Mandela in celebration of the former statesman’s 100th birthday.

This forms part of the official opening of Africa’s Travel Indaba hosted by South African Tourism at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli Convention Centre in Durban.

The theatrical showcase is also a celebration of the partnership between South African Tourism and the Nelson Mandela Foundation who have come together to commemorate the centenary celebrations of former president, Nelson Mandela.

Describing the two 20-minute performances, Ngcobo called the production “a festival of our continent’s iconic songbook – inspired by our collective beauty and victories; some of which Madiba inspired and contributed to”. Without giving away too much, Ngcobo excitedly shared how the many faces of Madiba, some familiar and others less so, are set to tantalize audiences as they share in his legacy. From uTata the father, President Mandela the head of state and Rolihlahla, the young man born in Mvezo, rural Eastern Cape, the performances uncover the quintessence of the man who became a global icon.

Ngcobo revealed he is inspired by bodies of work that were written by some of Africa’s literary giants, elaborating that he is “always looking for opportunities and platforms where, as I curate, I am able to balance emerging voices with more prominent ones”. Local talent from the host province of Africa’s Travel Indaba – KwaZulu-Natal – form part of the production’s cast. The music ensemble has been influenced by tastes from across the continent, making it an authentically African offering. This, concludes Ngcobo, is “part of constant efforts to collaborate with and empower artists working in the creative industry”.

Delegates attending Africa’s Travel Indaba can also expect to be immersed in Madiba’s legacy by way of various installations situated throughout the iNkosi Albert Luthuli ICC. Activations located throughout the exhibition will all bear testament to the legacy of Nelson Mandela.

South African Tourism has also collaborated with South African Airways and Mango Airlines to create excitement ahead of tomorrow evening’s performance at Africa’s Travel Indaba.

Passengers travelling to Durban from OR Tambo International Airport, Cape Town International Airport and Lanseria airports have received a Nelson Mandela book at the check in counters.

The showcase of South Africa through Nelson Mandela’s memory can be found on the Madiba’s Journey App, which allows users to view the attractions on a map, build their itineraries and share their own journeys on social media. Visitors can also experience the emotion and relevance of each location through audio, text and image galleries. The app also offers real-time weather information, distances and details of nearby attractions. The Madiba’s Journey app can be downloaded here.