South Africa wooing Indian Tourists

With more and more Indian tourists going to South Africa, the country’s national tourism agency is focussing on tapping three high-income segments, a senior official said.

“We are focussing on three segments with high income levels and who travel frequently,” said Hanneli Slabber, country manager, South African Tourism.

“The segments we are looking at are young couples with dependent children (young family adventurers); young singles/couples with no children seeking adventure tourism (social explorers); and middle-aged couples who travel frequently and stay in five-star hotels (seasoned leisure seekers),” she said.

South African Tourism is responsible for marketing the country as a preferred tourist destination.

A study on Indian tourists notes that an annual income of Rs.1.6 million ($28,500) is the threshold level for households to participate in long-haul leisure travel.

As per the report, there are around 2.3 million Indian adults who would qualify for the over Rs.1.6 million income per annum category.

According to the report, there are 528,000 Indians who would fall under the three focus categories of the agency.

“The number of Indian tourists to South Africa has been increasing steadily over the last five years. In 2011, the total number of Indians who visited South Africa was 90,367. The target for this year is over 100,000,” Slabber said.

People from Mumbai lead the country in visiting South Africa, followed by people from Delhi, Chennai, Kolkata, Pune, Ahmedabad and Coimbatore.

She said typical Indian tourists to South Africa were men aged between 25 and 34 who stayed there for around 25 days and spent around Rs.13,000 per day.

A majority of the Indian tourists to the African country are first timers; they travel alone and on business.

“The popular South African destinations for Indians are Gauteng, Western Cape and Johannesburg. The purpose of visiting South Africa is to experience a different country as well as going on a safari and wildlife experience,” she said.

South African Tourism is currently holding a training programme ‘Learn South Africa’ for its travel partners till July. The training will enable the partners to promote, plan and organise attractive packages as per clients’ needs.