The SAT Soiree which was held on 12 January, 2017 at the Miliki Lounge in Victoria Island, Lagos.
The soiree was geared at:
- Introducing the new South African Tourism CEO
- Celebrating 3 years of South African Tourism in West Africa
- Celebrating the successes of partnerships thus far.
The SAT Soiree kicked off with an open dialogue session which included a question and answer session between media outlets and the designated panelists. Stakeholders as well as trade partners from NANTA, NATOP, TOUGHA, Wakanow Travels, Tourways international Travel & Tours, Tour Brokers International, World and Travel Land, Diamond & Pearls, AvantGarde Tours, GET Centre Travel and Tours were equally present at the media briefing.
The aim of this was to allow for free and open communication between the media and South African Toursim stakeholders – The panel included: South African Tourism CEO Sisa Ntshona, Consul-General of the South African High Commission, Mr Darkey Africa and Ambassador Lulama Xingwana, South African Ambassador to Ghana.
During the Open dialogue there were discussion around the challeges the industry faces, notable topics of discussion:
Will South Africa ever operate on a visa-on-entry basis for Nigerians looking to travel to South Africa? Mr Ikechi Uko of ATQ News asked.
The Consular General responded by mentioning that work was being done in this regard and that South Africa’s President, Jacob Zuma was present at the African Union meeting in which the All Africa Passport was discussed. She however pointed out that there was no instruction given on the matter yet.
Questions were raised in regards to the relationship between South Africa and foreigners; there was mention of the hostility experienced during the Xenophobic attacks and queries on what was being done to salvage this relationship. In response, it was made mention that Xenophobia was long done. It was also highlighted that we ought to be careful not to stereotype as the Xenophobia crisis was not a reflection of the general South African public’s attitude towards West Africans.
A question was raised about the tenure on Visas for Nigerian nationals travelling to South Africa. The media wanted to know if there were possibilities of elongating the visa tenure for those who for example, conduct regular business and others with equally genuine reasons to keep going back to the country. In response, the panelists mentioned that the embassy would be open to accommodating such persons provided said persons could show valid proof of the genuine reasons they may have for continuing to go back.
The Open Dialogue session was followed by the South African Tourism Networking function which took place in Miliki’s garden. The Soiree, South African themed was every bit the splitting image of a South African Braai; complete with lots of meat, the braai stand and South African inspired outfits, guests were taken on a journey to South Africa. Celebrities previously hosted to South Africa such as Musicians Tiwa Savage, Praiz, Comedian Ay, and actor Oc Ukeje, to name a few also were in attendance to enjoy the celebration.
See pictures below