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South Africa targets 1 lakh Indian tourists this year
South Africa is all geared up to welcome over a lakh tourists from India this year with specialised offerings.
“We have been witnessing consistent growth in tourists inflow from India. Looking at the growth trend we are expecting to host 1,04,000 Indian tourists in 2017,” says South Africa Tourism in India Country Manager Hanneli Slabber. Indian visitor numbers to South Africa had surged by 21.7 per cent to 95,377 during 2016.
“We look forward to an exciting year. We are focused in increased our engagement with travel agents and customer outreach through outdoor media, television, digital and print. January’s arrival figures are out and we welcomed about 6,300 Indian travellers and we look forward to very high numbers during the summer holiday season running from now until Mid-June,” she adds.
South African tourism is planning to engage potential travellers in tier II markets through the agent-specific ‘Learn South Africa’ programme, which will train travel agents in 17 Indian cities during July 2017, she says. “We are planning to train and customise specialised product offerings for travellers in these places with city-specific joint promotions with travel agents in all 17 cities,” she adds.
Demographically too, South African Tourism is also keen on targeting younger globe-trotters given that India has a sizeable proportion of young population aged between 18-35, Slabber says.
Traditionally, young couples followed by families from the majority of the tourists from India within the 45 years. “Going forward, we are focused on the Meetings, Incentives, Conferences, and Events segment and also on young solo travellers from India,” she points out.
With over 3,129 product offerings, and more being added. Slabber notes. Further she says, Indians are great spenders and rank among the top five in the category.
“We find Indians love spending on experiences, food and shopping especially local handicrafts. In 2016, we saw the overall spends from India crossing 1.2 billion ZAR (South African currency) by the end of the third quarter,” she adds. India, Slabber says, is an important market for South Africa and is ranked in the eighth position among its international source markets.