Buoyed by a 21 per cent jump in Indian tourist arrivals in 2016, South Africa has set a target to receive 104,000 visitors from India in 2017, a 10 per cent increase. Hanneli Slabber, country manager of South Africa Tourism in India, said: “The 2017 figure implies a tremendous growth. It will mean intense and aggressive promotions coupled with a focus on new markets across geography and demographics.”
South African Tourism plans to engage potential travellers in tier two markets and smaller Indian cities through targeted ‘Learn South Africa programme’ which will train travel agents in 17 Indian cities in July this year. The NTO plans to train tour operators and MICE event planners to customise travellers’ needs in these cities with city-specific joint promotions with travel agents in all 17 chosen cities. South African Tourism is also keen on targeting younger and prolific travellers, considering that India has a significant population aged 18-35 years, some of whom form today’s market and some of whom will constitute the travel markets of the future. Moreover, the profile of MICE travellers, especially incentive groups, are mostly in the 30-45 age group and South Africa offers many active itineraries involving safaris, drives, wine-tasting, helicopter rides as well as soft adventure activity designed for team building and peer bonding.
“Besides the staples like Mumbai, Delhi and Bengaluru – all of which make a strong contribution to arrivals – our B2B road show will travel to Kolkata and Ahmedabad,” said Slabber. This year, South African Tourism is going to focus on its smaller coastal towns where travellers can pack a lot of action into shorter time-spans. “We will train travel agents and also create demand and awareness for these smaller towns in the consumer space. We look forward to an exciting year!”