The participation of South African small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs) at the Arabian Travel Market is anticipated to boost destination competitiveness, catalyse industry transformation and accelerate tourism growth.
South African Tourism, along with a group of the SMMEs in the country, is taking the international stage at the event in Dubai, until May 4.
These SMMEs are showcasing their brands alongside prominent players of the industry, including tourist destinations, travel technology providers, airlines and leaders in hospitality and accommodation.
“SMMEs are a very critical part of our tourism offering,” Nomasonto Ndlovu, SA Tourism Chief Operations Officer, said.
“Through these businesses, we are able to showcase a wide range of tourism products and experiences that travellers are looking for.”
Ndlovu added, “By having these SMMEs taking part at trade shows of this magnitude, we are able to fully show the world what our country has to offer as a business events and leisure destination.”
SA Tourism is doing this in partnership with Small Tourism Enterprise Association (STEA), whose core mission is to empower small businesses through engagement, employment, and active participation in the tourism sector.
Jabu Matsilele, Chairperson of STEA, emphasised the importance of market access for small businesses.
“It plays a key role as a strategy for transformation in the industry, where historically disadvantaged enterprises are still at the bottom of the pyramid,” he added.
The COVID-19 pandemic severely impacted the tourism industry.
SMMEs were hit the hardest.