The call of the wild is what brings us to South Africa. The rainbow nation received 81,316 Indian arrivals from January – October 2019 and is aiming to welcome 1,00,000 Indian arrivals in 2020. To achieve the target growth, South Africa Tourism (SAT) in India is working on multiple business & marketing strategies on B2B and B2C level. Apart from this, the tourism board assured that the government is working on e-visa options and is also in talks with multiple airlines in India to start a direct connection soon.
Over the last decade, South Africa has become a popular tourist destination among Indian travellers in not just wildlife but also in adventure & self drive holidays. The destination has registered tremendous growth from India and received over Indian arrivals in 2019. However, with the growth, the tourism board is constantly working with local suppliers to innovate and develop new products and itineraries to engage repeat travellers as well.
Talking about the 2020 campaign, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – MEISEA, South African Tourism informed that the perception of South Africa as a wildlife, nature and wine destination is now upgraded to adventure destination for Indian travellers. She said, “This year we are going to work with our four pillars – Our coastlines (beaches), wildlife, food and adventure. Indian travellers are sophisticated as they know what they are looking for a holiday in South Africa. So, instead of promoting the conventional packages and holidays, we will be selling experiences. Along with the local South African suppliers, we will be offering unique ways to experience South Africa for every segment of traveller. So we are going to keep our anchor destinations but we are going to give more of South Africa in an amplified manner.”
Apart from packaging the right destinations and experiences, SAT is also in process of individually selling activities among Indian travellers. There are over 3,000 activities across the country which can interest Indian travellers. “In few months, we are going to launch the biggest online partnership where we are going to sell South African activities online, be is sky diving, bungee jumping, and hence to make it more convenient and accessible, we will be working with top online travel partners in India,” adds Nkani.
This year, the tourism board is strongly promoting KwaZulu-Natal region in India to bring in few fresh products, itineraries and packages. During the annual multi-city roadshow, SAT brought in new suppliers to provide more options and itinerary to Indian travel agents & operators.
Talking about the Zulu Kingdom, Thabisile Mthethwa, Region Co-ordinator at Tourism KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa said, “Indian market is important for us politically and also because it’s a new market for us. Be it beaches, adventure, wine, nature, culture or heritage which are not weather dependent. We have sunny and pleasant days round the year.” Research revealed that the beach is still the number one attraction, followed by going to theme parks, adventure and wildlife. KwaZulu-Natal has plenty to offer, with lots of beautiful beaches and top-rated national parks such as Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve and uMkhuze Game Reserve.
However, SAT is all set with multiple strategies to not only entice repeat travellers but also inspire first time travellers to South Africa in all segment of travellers.
Mumbai continues to be the leading source market for South African Tourism in India. Between January to June 2019, around 43% of total Indian visitors to the Rainbow Nation were from Mumbai. 62% visitors from Mumbai travelled solo, while 13% travelled with their partners. According to market research conducted by the tourism board, travellers from Mumbai make the trip to South Africa to soak in scenic beauty (50%), engage with locals (29%), explore wildlife offerings (27%), culture and history (21%) while also immersing themselves and making the best of the diversity of experiences (27%) offered by the Rainbow Nation. Leisure travel (29%) is the primary reason for visitors from Mumbai to travel to the destination. MICE (22%), business travel (25%) and VFR (10%) closely follow suit. The holiday periods of May, April and December were preferred travel months amongst Mumbaikars for their South Africa trips.
Delhi continues to be the second leading source market for South African Tourism in India. Between January to June 2019, around 21% of total Indian visitors to the Rainbow Nation were from Delhi. 40% visitors from Delhi travelled solo, while 26% travelled with their partners. According to market research conducted by the tourism board, travellers from Delhi make the trip to South Africa to soak in scenic beauty (22%), engage with warm locals (13%), explore wildlife offerings (13%), culture and history (8%) while also immersing themselves and making the best of the diversity of experiences (13%) offered by the Rainbow Nation. Leisure travel (35%) is the primary reason for visitors from Delhi to travel to the destination. MICE (30%), business travel (13%) and VFR (14%) closely follow suit. The summer and winter holiday periods of April, May and December emerged as preferred travel months amongst Delhiites for their South Africa trips.