30 January 2014

Great interest in SA at 2014 India Roadshow

Now in its 11th year, South African Tourism’s India Roadshow attracted 1 200 Indian travel agents and 66 of South Africa’s top product suppliers.

The 2014 India Roadshow The 2014 India Roadshow

Indian tourists love South Africa for its wildlife and adventure, but at this year’s roadshow there were a lot of queries about the art and cultural experiences available in South Africa. – Hanneli Slabber, SAT country manager: India

The success of the 2014 India Roadshow once again proved the enormous interest the Indian market has in South Africa, and the growing realisation among South African tourism product suppliers of the massive opportunities that exist in the Indian market.

Over the years, South African Tourism (SAT) has witnessed tremendous growth in Indian travellers to South Africa. The latest tourist arrivals figures reveal that between January and September 2013, 84 202 Indian tourists visited South Africa, a 6.2% increase over the same period in 2012.

This year, the India Roadshow attracted many of South Africa’s key tourism role players.

Among them were Cape Town Tourism, African Pride Tours, African Hotels and Adventures, Buffalo City Metropolitan Municipality, Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Durban Tourism, Europcar, Gauteng Tourism, Hilton Worldwide, Legacy Hotels & Resorts, MalaMala, Tsogo Sun, City Lodge Hotel Group, Peermont Global, Sun International, and the Western Cape Destination Marketing, Investment and Trade Promotion Agency.

Hanneli Slabber, SAT country manager: India, said every year SAT makes sure it brings new products to India to ensure its Indian trade partners are equipped with knowledge of the varied offerings available in South Africa.

Product suppliers who were not present last year but attended this year included the Ambassador Hotel, Aquila Private Game Reserve, Fancourt Hotel, Face Adrenalin bungee jump, Mirchee, the Apartheid Museum, and Village & Life.

To sustain growth and widen its audience reach in India, SAT continues to explore newer markets and traveller segments to leverage opportunities that become available.

‘Last year we took the roadshow to Bangalore and Hyderabad. This year we made sure we reached out to key markets like Chennai and Kolkata. Our efforts to cover newer markets will continue next year as well,’ said Slabber.

She said SAT is extremely happy to see the tremendous response from Indian travel agents at the roadshows, which were also held in Delhi and Mumbai.

‘Indian tourists love South Africa for its wildlife and adventure, but at this year’s roadshow there were a lot of queries about the art and cultural experiences available in South Africa. We are very glad to see this transition from being recognised as a wildlife destination to the adventure capital of the world, and now seeing Indian tourists interested in exploring new experiences and regions in the country,’ she said.

SAT India has kicked off 2014 with several new initiatives.

Its new cinema campaign – besides showcasing advertisements on South Africa in leading multiplex cinema chains across India – engages its joint marketing agreement (JMA) partners. Travel desks are being placed at prominent multiplex cinemas by SAT’s JMA partners as part of a consumer engagement programme to sell South African holiday packages.

It is also producing a guide with the various film commissions and provincial tourism boards in South Africa that will be used to actively market South Africa as a film destination in India.

‘Movies introduce new areas of interest for people. Magical locations create the desire to visit a destination. Hence we are putting in our best efforts to support more films being shot in South Africa’s many picturesque locations,’ explained Slabber.

SAT India also recently announced an all-new outdoor advertising campaign across 22 cities in India. The campaign, ‘Meet South Africa’, highlights the diversity of experiences offered to Indian travellers.

Further, the DMO is investing in advertorials in publications across the media mix and will host travel trade and Indian media in South Africa in 2014, and it continues to invest in the training of Indian travel agents.