Published on : Friday, February 10, 2017
Minister Derek Hanekom is currently on a working visit to Iran for attending the 10th annual Tehran International Tourism Exhibition, at the invitation of Vice President Dr. Zahra Ahmadipour. During the visit, Minister Hanekom had bilateral discussions with Dr. Ahmadipour on growing tourism relations between the two countries and how to increase tourist arrivals from Iran to SA.
To quote Minister Hanekom, “We have a good base to work from and grow tourism between our countries. We have been very warmly received in Iran, and the government and tourism trade has responded very positively to our effort to promote further tourism ties.” For SA, Iran is among the top three source markets for inbound tourists from the Middle East.
More than 4,000 Iranian tourists visited South Africa between January and November 2016. For Muslim travelers, SA is the most favored tourist destination in the world. About 117 million Muslim visitors travelled the world in 2015, representing 10% of the entire travel market. This is expected to grow to 168 million visitors by 2020.
To quote Minister Hanekom, “South Africa and Iran already have a strategic partnership that will benefit the people of both our countries. The Department of Tourism is now working with our Iranian counterparts on finalising a Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation.”