After witnessing a 25 per cent increase in Indian arrivals in November 2018, South African Tourism now aims to cross the 100,000 mark this year. Addressing a press conference on the sidelines of its four-city roadshow, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head—Middle East, India and South East Asia, South African Tourism, said, “We want to now go over 100,000 travellers from India. India is our biggest international source market. It is our NIC market, which stands for India, China and Nigeria. India is also our largest consumer of adventure activities. Keeping this in mind, we have a new strategy for the trade for this market. We will now look at above the line marketing collaborations with price points with the trade. This means that when Indians are looking to travel to South Africa, they will first see the price and details of the tour operator with whom they can travel and book right away. We are also looking seriously at developing a mobile campaign to enable this.”
The recent visit by the South Africa president to India on Republic Day led to discussions between the two countries about easing of visas and direct flight connectivity by bringing back the South African Airways direct flight between Mumbai and Johannesburg. The South African delegation will travel from Mumbai to Chennai, Kolkata and finally to Delhi for this roadshow.
South African Tourism has been working closely with the Consulate General of South Africa in Mumbai to introduce an updated visa procedure. Consul General Maropene Ramokgopa said, “In an effort to ease visa procedures, the Consulate of South Africa is working in close association with South African Tourism. We are collaborating to accredit select travel agents and tour operators to allow fast-tracking visa applications from preferred partners. We ensure a quick turnaround time of five to seven days which is a lot shorter than some of our competitors.”
With 86,405 arrivals as of November 2018, the destination board shared a positive outlook for the Indian market, noting that as of June 2018, total spend by Indian travellers in South Africa had increased by 20 per cent and that there was an upswing in the average length of stay (+7.7 per cent) and total bed nights (+4 per cent).