South africa goes aggressive to attract indian tourists
statesman news service
Bangalore, 26 July
South Africa is going aggressive to attract Indian tourists. After having welcomed over 1.06 lakh Indian tourists  in 2012, it  has now decided that it wants more of them. With their deep pockets, of course, as they contributed over one billion Rand to its economy last year.
From being its  eighth biggest market, India nay become even bigger in the coming days. This explains why the tourism authorities from that country have pulled out all stops to woo Indian tourist, evidenced by the road shows and education sessions for travel agents that they have  launched in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai, Jaipur and the southern parts of the country.
South Africa has seen a major increase in tourist traffic from India which rose from 57,000 in 2009 to its present numbers, thanks to the opening provided by the  inaugural T20 championship in 2007 followed by the popularity of the Indian Premier League and the cricketers from South Africa.
Encouraged by the growing number of cricket enthusiasts and their visits to the country, the RSA is also looking for possible tie ups with the Board of Control for Cricket in India.
According to Ms Hanneli Slabber, country head, South African tourism, the average Indian is a big spender and is game for adventure tourism.
While the tourists comprise several businessmen and incentive travellers, a huge chunk is made up of those who come purely for holidays and  stay even up to a fortnight or so. It is this segment that Ms Hanneli and her team is targeting, hoping to raise the numbers substantially as they spend about Rs 100,000, on an average.
This means big business and creation of jobs in the tourism industry in that country. Already, over one million people are employed in South Africa&’s  tourism sector.
She told the media today that RSA provides over 130  adventure activities which are enough to entice the hungry Indian traveller who is out to seek and explore newer avenues  to de-stress. Surprisingly, almost 55 per cent of the Indian tourist traffic  is a repeat with the bulk coming from the southern states, followed by Mumbai and the northern regions of the country. And South Africa wants even more of the Indian traveller now.