India could become South Africa’s biggest source market

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Country set to overtake UK in terms of visitor arrivals by 2020

India could overtake the UK to become South Africa’s biggest source of visitor arrivals by 2020, a senior South African tourism official has said.

The Financial Express reported the Indian country manager for South African Tourism, Hanneli Slabber, as saying that India is expected to surge up the inbound rankings in the coming years.

“Presently, India features among the top seven source markets and is expected to become number one by 2020 replacing United Kingdom,’ Ms Slabber was quoted saying at the tourism board’s annual Indian roadshow in Mumbai.

Improved air connectivity, the emergence of South Africa as a destination for high-end business events, rising awareness among the travel trade and local promotional campaigns in India are some of the factors that are contributing to this growing popularity.

Indian travellers tend to travel to key cities such as Cape Town, Durban and Johannesburg, but South African Tourism is also looking to promote travel to secondary destinations, including Hermanus, Port Elizabeth, Stellenbosch, Franschhoek.

“South Africa gets 50% of repeat travellers. This year we are welcoming people to visit smaller cities and experience the vineyards along with other activities,” Ms Slabber added. “There are 300 Indian restaurants in the country and we have trained the chefs in vegetarian and Jain food. We are also in talks with Etihad Airways to make the connection smoother.”

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