South Africa Tourism to focus on Indian MICE and luxury travellers

India remains a key market for South Africa Tourism globally.

India is one of the key source markets for South Africa Tourism. Over the past few years, the number of luxury and business travellers, alongside MICE moments, has only skyrocketed.

Prior to Covid-19, India was the 8th largest international market for South African Tourism and, today, it remains a key market for South Africa Tourism globally.

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Whale wactching town of Hermanus, South Africa

“The Indian market is important to us. About 53% of our arrivals from Indian are leisure, 28% is MICE, and 47% comprises business travellers. MICE definitely is a strong focus for us,” says Neliswa Nkani, Hub head – Middle East, India and South-East Asia, South African Tourism.

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Neliswa Nkani, Hub head – Middle East, India & South-East Asia, South Africa Tourism

The tourism board is making efforts to increase Indian arrivals to South Africa.  

“We are actively engaging with key decision makers in big corporates and showcasing the taste, sights, and sounds of South Africa so they consider our destination for incentive trips and business events,” she says.

The tourism board is also partnering with airlines such as Emirates and Qatar Airways to enable easy access for Indians coming to South Africa. South Africa has over 3000 adventure activities, and the largest consumer of those activities are Indians.

“Tourism in South Africa goes beyond safaris. There is shark diving, whale watching, snorkeling and more.” says Nkani.

South Africa has more to offer the Indian luxury traveller. In February, the tourism board unveiled its ‘More & More’ campaign to highlight the lesser-known experiences of South Africa. It showcased the highest commercial bungee in the world at Bloukrans Bridge, shark-cage diving in KwaZulu-Natal, a scenic road trip across the stunning Garden Route, a night of stargazing in Knysna, interacting with indigenous tribes like the Zulus, and retracing Nelson Mandela’s life journey.

“We have seen luxury travellers come to South Africa by private jets and charters. They know South Africa is exclusive and that it offers a diverse range of experiences and stay options. The Indian luxury customers know that they are well looked after. South Africa makes them feel like they are the most important person in the world. Our people are welcoming. South Africa is about service. South Africa is about diligence. More importantly, we are here to fulfill traveller’s dreams,” she says.

South Africa Tourism is also planning a big digital drive to make South Africa accessible through virtual reality and other metaverse-centric technologies.

Nkani says, “We are going to dial up the consumer. We are going to talk to the consumer in the language that they want. We want to make sure that the South Africa as a destination resonates with them and speaks to their soul.”

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