Image for representational purpose only. Photo courtesy: istock
At the 30th edition of the South Asia's premier travel exhibition, which was hosted at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida in Delhi NCR from February 9-11, the tourism board promoted South Africa as a travel destination.
South Africa became one of the top tourist destinations for Indians in 2022 as a result of its strong recovery efforts and desire to promote a variety of genuine destination options through the More&More campaign. The Rainbow nation considerably surpassed its aim of bringing 33,900 or more visitors established at the beginning of the recovery year by receiving close to 50,000 Indian visitors last year through November. The tourism board wants to surpass last year's goal by 72 per cent this year.
For Indian business partners from important regions including the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng, Limpopo, and Eastern Cape who are seeking profitable relationships, South African Tourism, along with 35 eminent exhibitors, presented creative and unique destination options. The carefully chosen offers, which catered to the interests of Indian tourists, included luxury experiences, unusual activities, cutting-edge MICE infrastructure, as well as adventure, wildlife, and culinary pursuits.
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The annual trade expo aims to give local SMMEs, which are the backbone of the South African economy, a place to showcase their wide range of products. The show strengthened current commercial agreements with significant purchasers from India and South Africa and opened the door for the creation of a great deal more fruitful alliances in the near future.
India has risen to become South Africa's sixth-largest foreign source market as the two countries commemorate their 30-year anniversary of diplomatic relations. One of the main drivers of the recovery has been the loosening of travel regulations following the pandemic, and this trend is still going strong. Additionally, South African Tourism expects a 35 per cent rise in MICE visitors in 2023. In an effort to capitalise on this momentum, the tourism board will also hold consumer events on February 11 and 12 at DLF Mall in Saket and between February 13 and 16 at roadshows in important Indian cities including Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad, and Mumbai.
Speaking about the association, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head - Middle East, India and South East Asia, South African Tourism said, "This is our third consecutive collaboration with SATTE and we are extremely delighted by the response destination South Africa is receiving here. I would like to express my gratitude to the trade fraternity for their support which pushed us to achieve a 200 per cent increase in Indian arrivals to South Africa. With our evolved brand strategy and customized engagement models, we have managed to stay on top-of-mind of the consumers. We are already witnessing an uptick in forward bookings for the year, especially from groups of more than 6 pax and we intend to keep driving this momentum."
"This association also comes in parallel with India and South Africa commemorating 30 years of bilateral relations and I am beyond grateful that I get to play a part in sustaining this much celebrated alliance between the two nations through travel," she continued.
With enhanced connectivity, alluring travel deals, and a wide range of experiences available in South Africa, the country's tourism board is still optimistic that India will maintain its recovery trajectory and continue to be one of the source markets for travel to South Africa that is growing the fastest. Several airlines, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways, and Air Seychelles, currently offer stopover flights between India and South Africa.
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