South African Tourism begins 2018 with the 15th edition of its biggest travel trade initiative in India, South African Tourism’s Roadshow. The 60-member South African Tourism trade delegation is a reflection of the strong consumer demand witnessed from India which is currently the 8th largest international source market for South African Tourism. Hanneli Slabber, Regional General Manager, Asia/Australasia/Middle East, South African Tourism and Ms. Alpa Jani, Acting Hub-Head, Middle East/India/South East Asia, South Africa Tourism graced the event.
This unique interactive platform has been developed with an aim to offer for trade partners in Kolkata an opportunity to interact and educate on diverse product offerings and experiences from South Africa. In addition to experiences, accommodation establishments, destination management companies, airlines, tourism associations formed part of the trade partners in the roadshow. These B2B engagements act as catalysts for booking conversions which stimulate visitor growth. Nearly 200 travel agents from Kolkata met up with 60 South African suppliers to better align efforts and address the ever evolving demands of the Indian traveler.
One of the key focus areas is to go beyond the immensely popular Cape Town, Durban, Johannesburg & surrounds and Kruger National Park and create awareness about new destinations such Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth and the Drakensberg region. These are picturesque areas where travelers can pack in a lot of action into shorter time-spans. The garden route is one route that a tourist must explore.
2017 proved to be a successful year for South African Tourism who managed to keep its performance consistent to that of 2016. For the period of Jan 2017 to September 2017, MICE contributed 32.8% of total Indian arrivals into South Africa, leisure holidays made up 26.8% while business travelers made up 16.4% and VFR was at 16%. Another significant observation was the rise in millennial Indian travelers to South Africa. In the first quarter for 2017, nearly 35% of the Indian visitor base comprised of 35 year olds while for the second quarter of the year, this grew to 46%. In 2017, West Bengal contributed 7% to the overall Indian arrivals to South Africa.
Over 70 international airlines now fly into South Africa. Efforts are on to increase seat capacity on relevant flight routes ex-Kolkata. Presently, Kolkata is connected to South African cities by Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad Airways, Jet Airways and Air Seychelles which fly via their respective hubs and domestic India connections. Travelers have a variety of airlines, connections and consequently, multiple fare options to choose from.
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