Jaipur, 12th February 2024.

Setting sights on one of the fastest-growing outbound travel markets around the globe, South African Tourism concluded the first chapter of its 20th Annual India Roadshow at The Lalit, Jaipur. In a bid to expand its footprint across prominent tier 2 and tier 3 cities of India; the roadshowmarkedthe tourism board’sdebut in the pink city. Scheduled until 16th February 2024, the multi-city event will further move onto – Delhi on 13th February, Ahmedabad on 14th February, Bengaluru on 15th February and conclude in Mumbai on 16th February.

Led by Ms. Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism the inaugural day of the roadshow was complemented by an evening of experiencing the sights, sounds and culture of the Rainbow Nation along with sampling lip-smacking South African cuisine tabled by chefs from the Rainbow Nation on 11th February.In its attempt to replicate the taste and sights the tourism board will engage with their hotel partnersto offer a similar experience to its guests across other roadshow cities. The event also featured an industry panel discussing emerging trends, opportunities and challenges in India’s travel and tourism sectorwhich engaged industry experts such as Jyoti Malal, President, Travel Agents Association of India, Suzanne Pereira, Sr. Vice President Trade Relationships, Communications & Service Quality, Thomas Cook (India), Kamal Gill, Director of Gill India Concepts and Today’s Traveller, NettoMaluka, Director, Mbombela Experience Tours and Safari and Charles Victor, Co-Founder of Different Doors and Former COO Saatchi & Saatchi Propagate.

The two-day congregation collectively welcomed more than 250 Indian travel trade delegates from across Jaipur as well as 40 other Indian cities. They had an opportunity to engage with 42 hosted, prominent exhibitors from South Africa, allowing them to view their offerings and identify potential future collaborations.It is worth noting, amongst them were also 14 SMMEs who along with their counterparts presented a portfolio comprising of 40% new products showcasing diversified and affordable offerings.The multi-city roadshows are a vital platform and present opportunities for both South African and Indian trade partners. Such opportunities not only aid in boosting their brands but also forge mutually beneficial relationships across South African Tourism’s target markets.

Commenting on the occasion Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – Middle East, India and South East Asia, South African Tourism saidAs we continue to grow our presence in India and enter newerregions, South African Tourism celebrates more than two decades of investments in India. 2023 has marked another successful year for us and I am deeply grateful to Indian travellers and the trade fraternity for their continued affection and support. Both our nations share a deeply entrenchedbond established through shared history, rich culture and longstanding alliance.”

She further adds“Over the past couple of years, India’s outbound tourism sector has demonstrated remarkable resilience outpacing rest of Asia and many countries around the world. Building upon the positive momentum, South Africa witnessed 43% uptick in inbound travellers from India in 2023. The country continues to hold its prominence as our top-3 focus markets and our 20th Annual India Roadshow is a testament of our unwavering commitment to the Indian travellers.”

Jaipur emerged as one of the fastest growing markets amongst tier 2 Indian cities and showcased an increase of 26% year-on-year travellers to South Africa. Overall, too, South African Tourism witnessed an incredible growth of 43% in inbound traffic from India in 2023. In its pursuit of realizing India’s untapped potential the tourism board will continue with its endeavorsto improve accessibility and enhance connectivity. Further it will persist in its efforts toencourage dialogue aimed at establishing direct routes between the two nations.

Promoting the destination through the eyes of Indian influencers and entice consumers to explore new provinces, South African Tourism is currently running its flagship “More & More” brand campaign across target cities. The tourism board is also set to host its renown Corporate Think Tank in the coming months to engage with Indian corporates and address their business and MICE travel needs.At present, several stop-over flights fly from India to South Africa, including Emirates, Qatar Airways, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Air Seychelles.