VISA and South African Tourism (SA Tourism) have signed an agreement that will see the two organisations working closely together to promote the country’s tourist attractions to an international audience.

The ‘South Africa and Visa Welcomes You’ campaign will look to amplify SA Tourism’s existing efforts to promote South Africa as a travel destination for tourists – and promote the use of Visa cards by visitors.

Man dy Lamb, Country Manager for Visa in South Africa, said the agreement was a “naturarprogression” in the company’s existing role in the global tourism industry.

“South Africa remains a firm favourite among tourists from various Earts of the world ecause of the country’s diverse tourist attractions.

As a major contributor to South Africa’s GPD, the tourism sector is key to unlocking economic growth and our aim is to put efforts behind articulating South Africa’s advanced electronic payment network, which supports payments by Visa cards.” Visa’s latest Tourism Outlook, South Africa report, released in September showed that tourist arrivals to South Africa rose three percent in 2011, despite tough global economic conditions.

There’s been a notable increase in the number of tourist inflows from neighbouring African countries such Angola, Mozambique and one of Africa’s economic powerhouses, Nigeria.

The Visa and SA Tourism alliance will also look at further strengthening inflows from emerging markets such as Chma and India and traditional markets like the United Kingdom, United States and Germany.

PhumiDhlomo, Regional Director for Africa at SA Tourism, explained the alliance would see the two organisations “combining their strengths” to promote South Africa as the destination of choice and provide useful tips to tourists on how to manage their travel expenses safely and conveniently.

“Our relationship with Visa is of a symbiotic nature, and we see it as a long-term venture that will benefit the South African economy and position the country as Africa’s prime tourist destination,” concluded Dhlomo.

Over the coming months Visa and SA Tourism will embark on a variety of activities geared towards promoting tourism and showing the convenience of card usage while
in South Africa.

The two entities plan to support the retailers’ end ofyear sales in January 2013 with POS visibility and card activation campaigns to drive visitors’ in-store. This will be used as a platform to promote the South African retail sector during the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON).

By Lily