South African Minister of Tourism, Ms Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane has hailed as a resounding success her two-day market roadshow to Mumbai, India from 14 to 16 January 2020.
The roadshow was characterised by robust engagement with tour operators, destination management companies, film producers and potential investors as South Africa increases its efforts to unlock market opportunities for the realisation of the country’s target of doubling international tourist arrivals from 10.5 million to 21 million by 2030.
“India remains one of our key trading partners and priority market for driving arrival numbers to South Africa. We will continue to invest in our marketing and engagement efforts, both with our trade partners and travellers, while providing diversified tourist products,” said the Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.
South African Tourism, the country’s destination marketing organisation, is reengineering its strategy to tap into the market potential and set new growth benchmarks, with a forecasted 1.3% rise in Indian traveller arrivals to South Africa in 2020.
“We are actively promoting our new products, and efforts are being undertaken to educate travel trade of the wide geographical extend of South Africa and unique tourism products in our less visited provinces.”
“The growth in total spend and the average length of stay signifies that Indians travelling to South Africa are staying longer as well as exploring and experiencing more activities than ever before. This is a positive indicator of the potential growth in the market and gives us the confidence to continue introducing new regions and experiences,” said Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.
With the aim to further stimulate travel and tourism from India, the Minister indicated that the piloting of e-visas for the market was under serious consideration and would be initiated shortly.
“As government, we recognise the need for solution-driven policy approaches to address impediments to access our destination for both business, leisure, education among others. We are in the advanced stages of testing and implementing interventions to liberalise our visa regulation to unlock the full potential of arrivals from India. The introduction of various visa options including electronic visas and waivers will indeed improve ease of travel,” said the South African Tourism Minister.
She also acknowledged that air connectivity was a key driver for outbound travel for business tourism from India, as she reassured the partners about the commitments to resume the Mumbai-Johannesburg direct route.
“I am convinced that the delegation of government and trade, has through this engagement impressed upon key decision makers to continue considering and making South Africa a tourism, business and investment destination of choice.”
“Tourism remains a key driver of the South African economy and our government will continue to use tourism to advance sustainable development whilst working closely with small, medium and micro enterprises to make the sector more inclusive as it creates job opportunities required for the development and prosperity of our people,” concluded Minister Kubayi-Ngubane.