South Africa courts Indian tourists


The South African Tourism Department is bullish that by the year 2012 number of tourists from India will double to 100,000. According to representatives from the tourism department the small cities and event based tourism will be focus areas to increase the tourist arrivals. They also added, on an average a tourist from India spends around Rs 80,000 for 7-10 days in South Africa.

Medha Sampat, country manager, South Africa Tourism, said that unlike other countries South Africa is new to the tourism market. The country has entered five years before and a total tourist arrival of 52,637 till October 2009 as compared to 44,578 in October 2008, an increase of 18.1 per cent.

She said South Africa will focus on bill board, cinema and television promotions and through B2B.

“Our target will be small cities and tier II towns and event based tourism,” Sampath said.

Currently the country is promoting FIFA 2010, 19th Soccer World Cup. Events such as IPL and the many others that we have successfully hosted in the past, augment these figures. And we are confident of a good showing in the year ahead.

According to Sampat, India which was on 12 or 13 three years back on foreign tourist arrival to South Africa, moved to seventh currently by overtaking countries including China and Italy. “While tourist from China to South Africa dropped, India reported a 18 per cent growth.

She added, number of companies taking up incentive tourism also grew. “This segment rose by 50 per cent year on year, more corporate are now looking at South Africa as an incentive package for their performers including employees and dealers.” Apart from which, South Africa is also attracting corporate for business conclave along with adventure tourism.

Commenting on the connectivity, she said, currently South African Airways operating four flights from Mumbai, while Jet Airways operating two flights and other airlines connecting South Africa are Emirates and Qatar Airways.