Indian Traveller Spend In South Africa Crosses Zar 1.1billion In 2016; Notched Up To 8th Ranking International Arrivals Market

South African Tourism noted an increased length-of-stay, average spend and an overall increase in arrivals from India in 2016

BANGALOREI, 31 JANUARY 2017: Even amidst demonetisation woes and a generally gloomy travel outlook towards the third quarter of last year, the Indian market has shown good numbers for South Africa during 2016. The destination closed 2016 on a successful note, noting a 27% growth in arrivals that clocked at 81,429 by the end of the third quarter.

Darryl Erasmus Tourism Grading Council South Africa
 Darryl Erasmus Tourism Grading Council South Africa

Hanneli Slabber Country Manager India South African Tourism
 Hanneli Slabber Country Manager India South African Tourism

South African Tourism - 14th Annual Roadshow 2017 - Chennai Leg (2)
South African Tourism - 14th Annual Roadshow 2017 - Chennai Leg (2)

Stats tell a positive story:
Overall spends from India crossed an astounding ZAR 1,100,000,000 by the end of the third quarter and average spend per leisure traveller was placed at INR 590,000 (approx. ZAR 150,000) indicating that destination South Africa attracts a variety of pocket-sizes. Market intelligence delivered by trade partners tells the tourism board that the destination sells to travellers with an INR 1.5 lakh budget as effectively as it appeals to travellers with 10.5 lakh budget.

“We want to sustain this growth and also attract return travellers. Going forward, we are going to focus on increasing the geographical scope of the market – our biggest sources are Mumbai and Delhi, followed by Bangalore and Chennai,” said Hanneli Slabber, country manager, South African Tourism – India.
The average number of nights spent by Indian tourists in South Africa is now at 11 days for holidays and 19 days for business travellers. Slabber added, “I reckon that they’re taking some time off to explore South Africa after the conclusion of their work in SA.  VFR is at 21 days average stay.”

Trends indicate market evolution and high potential:
Holiday choices are increasingly experiential i.e. there has been a marked shift from seeing to experiencing. Indians are signing up for adventurous activities like the world’s highest bridge bungee, shark-cage diving and skydiving, idyllic experiences like Boma dinners and tours of loyal vineyards and an interest in history, culture and local lifestyle in addition to South Africa’s world-famous trademark wild-life experiences.

The fact that Indian travellers are delving deeper, exploring wider and also making second and third visits to the destination works conveniently in line with South Africa’s recently launched a campaign – wow in every moment – that has kicked off earlier this year. “Indian travellers are becoming very aware of their personal tastes and often even within a family or group of friends who travel together, there are multiple preferences. This campaign showcases our ability to surpass the expectations of every segment and every type of traveller. It also entices repeat visitors by reminding them that there is so much more to see, feel, taste and experience in South Africa.” Slabber added.

2017 will focus on ‘wow in every moment’
The global campaign will be rolled out in India through joint marketing campaigns with travel agents, a brand-new Facebook page (Visit South Africa India), television and outdoor advertising campaigns. “When travellers to South Africa were asked where they first heard about us nearly 30% said online (articles and social media combined). We knew it was time to start talking to India via Facebook,” Slabber explained. The Facebook page and all other campaigns will be tailored for India.
Travel agents will also undergo destination training and all the aspects that make South Africa amazing through a 17-city Learn SA programme slated for mid-2017.

South Africa hopes to cash in on cricket connect
According to a statement by Cricket South Africa, India and Australia will both tour for four-Test series in late 2017 and early 2018. “We eagerly await confirmation on India’s tour of South Africa because it will mean a huge surge in visitor numbers,” Slabber concluded.