South Africa is eyeing more than 1 lakh Indians visiting them this year and is focusing on promoting the country as a destination with numerable activities that suit all age groups. “We have observed that Indians are fond of activities, even on a leisure trip. So this year we are focusing on promoting activities here, which are suitable for all age groups,” Alpa Jani of South Africa Tourism told PTI here. India is the eighth largest source market for South Africa, following the US, Britain, Germany, the Netherlands and France being the top five, she said. Majority of the Indians visiting South Africa are families (multi-generation), honeymooners, millennials and MICE (meetings, incentives, conventions, and events). During the January-September 2017, MICE accounted for 32.8 per cent of the total Indian arrivals, leisure holidayers at 26.8 per cent, business travellers at 16.4 per cent and VFR (visiting family and relatives) at 16 per cent, according to a data by South Africa Tourism.
The number of millennial Indians visiting South Africa rose from nearly 35 per cent of the visitor base comprising 35-year-olds in the first quarter for 2017, to 46 per cent in the second quarter. Mumbaiites accounted for 37 per cent of the overall arrivals last year, Delhiites at 22 per cent, Gujaratis at 11 per cent, Bangaloreans at 8 per cent and Bengalis at 7 per cent. Last year proved to be a successful year for agency as it could manage to keep its performance at the 2016 levels. “This is encouraging in the light of the overall challenges faced by the Indian tourism industry which was recovering from the effects of demonetisation and GST. In addition to visitor arrival numbers, in-destination spends remained stable while length of stay by Indians saw a positive spike,” she said.
During January-November 2017, 89,882 Indians visited the rainbow nation and we are still waiting for the December figures, she added. In 2016, 95,377 Indians travelled to South Africa, she said, adding 40 per cent visitors are repeat travellers. Further, she said, even as there are no direct flights to South Africa, there are numerous connecting flights. At present, Emirates, Ethiopian Airlines, Etihad, Air Seychelles, Turkish Airlines and Jet Airways connect Mumbai and Delhi with South Africa.