Cape Town - Despite the challenging global economic environment, tourist arrivals to South Africa rose 3% in 2011. There has also been a notable rise in tourist inflows from neighbouring countries such Angola, Mozambique and one of Africa’s economic powerhouses, Nigeria. That's according to Visa’s latest Tourism Outlook: South Africa report, released in September. Visa and South African Tourism aim to make the most of this by signing 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 aims to amplify SA Tourism’s efforts to tout South Africa as a travel destination for tourists, as well as promote the use of Visa cards by visitors.Mandy Lamb, country manager for Visa in South Africa, said the agreement is a “natural progression” in the company’s role in the global tourism industry.“South Africa remains a firm favourite among tourists from various parts of the world because of the country’s diverse tourist attractions. "As a major contributor to South Africa’s gross domestic product, 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.”The Visa and SA Tourism alliance will also look at further strengthening inflows from emerging markets such as China and India and traditional markets like the United Kingdom, United States and Germany.