Johannesburg - Emirates airline and SA Tourism have signed a marketing pact to boost visitor numbers to the country, the two parties said on Tuesday. "South Africa is a very important market for Emirates, and this agreement reinforces our commitment to promote inbound tourism to the country," Emirates divisional senior vice president Hubert Frach said in a statement. Currently, Emirates flies to Cape Town, Durban, and Johannesburg. "It is a diverse country with a rich heritage, world-renowned cuisine, and the friendliness of its people makes it a very attractive destination for leisure travellers and adventure seekers. We are pleased to play our part in growing the market," said Frach. SA Tourism chief executive Thulani Nzima said the Middle East region could make significant contributions to the local tourism industry.