South African Tourism unveils evolved brand strategy for India market

Sets target to cross 100,000 visitors from India in 2020
2020-01-15
/
/ New Delhi
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South African Tourism ushered in the new year with its biggest travel trade initiative in India – the 17th edition of their annual roadshow intending to capitalise on the strong potential consumer demand in India in order to surpass the target of 100,000 Indian visitors to South Africa in 2020.

Neliswa Nkani

“India continues to remain one of our key focus markets globally and it is encouraging to observe consistent, upward growth from traditional regions like Mumbai, Delhi & Bangalore as well as rising visitor traffic from emerging cities like Pune. With more and more visitors citing South Africa’s scenic natural beauty as reasons to visit, we are focused on our efforts towards opening up newer geographies in our country. This will serve a dual objective of catering to this very consumer demand as well as offering a diversity of itinerary options for our trade partners to sell,” said Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism.

Mumbai continues to be the leading source market for South African Tourism in India. Between January to June 2019, around 43 pc of total Indian visitors to the Rainbow Nation was from Mumbai. About 62 pc visitors from Mumbai travelled solo, while 13 pc travelled with their partners. According to market research conducted by the tourism board, travellers from Mumbai make the trip to South Africa to soak in scenic beauty (50 pc), engage with locals (29 pc), explore wildlife offerings (27 pc), culture and history (21 pc) while also immersing themselves and making the best of the diversity of experiences (27 pc) offered by the Rainbow Nation. Leisure travel (29 pc) is the primary reason for visitors from Mumbai to travel to the destination. MICE (22 pc), business travel (25 pc) and VFR (10 pc) closely follow suit.

Delhi continues to be the second leading source market for South African Tourism in India. Between January to June 2019, around 21 pc of total Indian visitors to the Rainbow Nation was from Delhi. 40 pc visitors from Delhi travelled solo, while 26 pc travelled with their partners. According to market research conducted by the tourism board, travellers from Delhi make the trip to South Africa to soak in scenic beauty (22 pc), engage with warm locals (13 pc), explore wildlife offerings (13 pc), culture and history (8 pc) while also immersing themselves and making the best of the diversity of experiences (13 pc) offered by the Rainbow Nation. Leisure travel (35 pc) is the primary reason for visitors from Delhi to travel to the destination. MICE (30 pc), business travel (13 pc) and VFR (14 pc) closely follow suit.

The summer and winter holiday periods of April, May and December emerged as preferred travel months amongst the Mumbaikars and Delhiites for their South Africa trips.

MICE activities to attract all sizes and shapes

Sharing further insights, Nkani stated, “While South Africa has traditionally been perceived as a multi-generation, family destination, it is heartening to see the substantial share of solo travellers in the overall Indian traveller pie. Our evolved brand strategy will help us drive South Africa’s value proposition across stakeholders while creating customised engagement models showcasing destination product offerings to suit the unique requirements from each of our target regions within India.”

With 81,316 Indian arrivals as of October 2019, the destination board shared a positive outlook for the Indian market, noting that as of September 2019, total spends by Indian travellers in South Africa had reached a four-year high. The average length of stay witnessed a year on year increase of 8 pc in the first half of 2019.

Adventure activities will be the key attractions

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Speaking exclusively to India Outbound magazine on how selling a destination in India has evolved over the years, and how SAT sees its strategy in 2020, Nkani commented, “At South African Tourism, we have undergone a marked shift from selling the destination to selling an experience. We know that Indian travellers enjoy the adventure. In fact, market research shows that India travellers want to indulge in as many activities as possible, within short periods. To stay relevant to the modern Indian traveller, we have shifted our brand strategy to hinge around adventure. All of our product offerings – be it staying at a lodge nestled in the nook of a scenic cliff, shark-cage snorkelling or sampling traditional braais during a boma dinner under the South African night sky, have a tinge of adventure to it.”

“We are also undergoing a strategic shift from trade sales to sales marketing to effectively tap into the market potential and set new growth benchmarks. We will also be focusing strongly on the MICE segment in India and will be rolling out various initiatives to this effect. In 2020, we will further innovate the way we sell in India. Towards that, we are exploring the rising trend of dual destination packaging and will reintroduce South Africa to Indian trade while developing iconic experiences for Indian travellers through buying missions and other initiatives,” she concluded.

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