South African Tourism plans to set the pace for continued double digit growth in the coming year with its annual roadshow slated for later this month.
The four-city roadshow promises to offer travel agents in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Mumbai a chance to interact with a variety of suppliers. Hotel chains, airlines, products, attractions, DMCs and local tourism offices promise a host of exciting updates and look forward to networking and deal making with Indian travel agents.
The roadshow is now in its 14th edition. Encouraged by the success of prior editions and by the prospect of being on the right platform to target the Indian market, many new suppliers will be part of this year’s roadshow. 10% of the delegation will be first-timers. A closer look at the supplier delegation also points to a trend towards more qualitative tourism i.e. higher spend travelers who are also more exploratory in nature rather than touristy.
For instance, the participation of boutique hotel chain Lion Roars Hotels & Lodges and adventure-focused attraction Tenikwa Wildlife and DMC Africa Incoming point to an increasing number of Indian travelers who are keen on luxurious yet indigenous stays and adventurous experiences.
Domestic airline Safair has signed up, given the increasing number of Indians exploring various new parts of South Africa. Additionally, Air Seychelles (which many Indians use to fly to South Africa via Mahe) that is said to be starting a flight to Durban starting March will also be present.
Interestingly, with more and more Indian travelers signing up for self-drive holidays especially in South Africa, care-rental Multilayer Trade Corporation too has elected to join the India roadshow delegation.
Elaborating on the event, Ms. Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager, South African Tourism India, said, “Up until the third quarter of 2016, we noted that arrivals had grown by 26.6% in comparison to 2015 and we hope to have closed the year at 27% growth. By September 2016, our arrivals had hit 73,902. This makes India South Africa’s 8th largest long-haul tourism source market. A lot of our efforts during 2016 emerged from learnings, insights and feedback that SAT and the private sector gained during our roadshow last year, besides the more obvious benefit of deals and contacts sealed and cemented at event. We hope to enjoy a similar exchange of intelligence at this year’s roadshow too.”
Besides inking deals, networking and sharing trends travel agents attending the roadshow will get insights into SAT’s newly launched global campaign “24 hours of WOW” which showcases South Africa’s multi-segment appeal. “Indian travelers are becoming very aware of their personal tastes and often even within a family or group of friends who travel together, there are multiple preferences. This campaign showcases our ability to surpass the expectations of every segment and every type of traveler,” Ms Slabber added.
The tourism board is expecting between 600 -1000 travel agents to attend the 4-city roadshow.