South African Tourism up 64% in forward bookings, Jan-June 2023

Owing to its robust recovery efforts and aim to promote diverse, authentic destination offerings through the More & More South African Tourism campaign, an increasing number of Indian tourists are choosing South Africa as their next adventure destination.

Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism
Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism

Witnessing over a 200% surge in travellers from India compared to the previous year, the Rainbow nation welcomed nearly 50,000 Indians till November last year, significantly exceeding its goal of bringing 33,900 plus visitors set at the beginning of the recovery year.

To propel the momentum further, South African Tourism organised Roadshows in key Indian cities – Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai between the 13th and 16th of February along with its 35-member trade delegation showcasing innovative and one-of-a-kind offerings for Indian consumers and trade partners.

Participating exhibitors represented key regions such as Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Eastern Cape aspiring for fruitful partnerships. The Roadshow held in Mumbai resulted in the reinforcement of existing business deals between key Indian and South African trade partners and South African Tourism as well as paved the way towards building many such meaningful partnerships in the near future. 

In 2022, India moved up two spots to become the 6th largest international source market for driving tourism in South Africa. Providing guidance on its strategic roadmap for 2023, its tourism board is aiming to achieve a substantial increase of 72%, in Indian travellers over their previous year’s target. Keeping in mind the current demand, the tourism board is also eyeing an overall increase of 35% in MICE travellers from India. 

“This is the 19th edition of our annual India Roadshow, and each time we are humbled by the warmth destination South Africa receives from travellers across the country. India continues to remain one of our key focus markets globally and it is encouraging to see upward growth from emerging cities like Kolkata, Chennai, and Hyderabad, while traditional markets like Mumbai and Delhi continue to flourish.

”Building on this momentum further, we recently launched the second leg of our More & More campaign to engage with the audience from our target regions within India through desi and localized content. Through our customized engagement models we hope to further build aspiration and intent to travel,” said Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism.

With more Indian visitors travelling from Mumbai, the city continued to be the leading source market for South African Tourism in India. Mumbaikars chose Rainbow Nation as their preferred leisure, MICE and bleisure destination enjoying the country’s social life and natural landscapes.

Moreover, South Africa witnessed highest number (64%) of forward bookings from the city for January-June 2023. The relaxation in travel norms post the pandemic has been one of the biggest motivators and is showing no signs of slowing down.

Confident in retaining the momentum and maintaining South Africa as a desired overseas destination, the tourism board has inked a strategic deal with Ethiopian Airlines. This value-driven deal offers Mumbaikars the lowest fares to Johannesburg and Cape Town, starting from INR 42,139/- with additional offers for bookings until 31st March 2023.

Against the backdrop of celebrating the completion of 30-years of bilateral relations with India, during the press conference, South African Tourism rejoiced over its shared rich heritage and warm hospitable culture that brings the two countries together. At present, several stop-over flights fly from India to South Africa, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Air Seychelles.

Read More: News

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