Recognising the strong uptick in tourist arrivals throughout the first half of the year, South African Tourism with an aim to sustain the travel momentum hosted the second workshop of ‘Learn South Africa’ 2023 in Pune. In line with the tourism board’s strategy to surpass pre-pandemic arrival numbers by the end of the year, the hallmark travel trade training session ‘Learn SA’ is aimed at equipping travel agents with the finest tools to sell the destination effectively.
In efforts to propel the strong travel momentum witnessed during the initial six months of 2023, the 6-city training session which concluded in Delhi and Pune will be followed by Kolkata, Kochi, Indore and Jaipur. On-ground events such as ‘Learn SA’ assist the tourism board in setting the ground for aligning trade partners with the board’s well-developed strategy to boost growth and attract Indian travellers to the Rainbow Nation. The workshops also act as a valuable platform for expanding South African Tourism’s network of trade partners by inviting a delegation of new players and encouraging them to participate. This immersive experience aims to equip them with the necessary knowledge and tools to effectively market and represent the country, further enhancing our collaborative efforts to showcase the diverse attractions and experiences that South Africa has to offer.
India is currently the 6th largest international source market for South Africa and the tourism board believes that the country has a significant role to play when it comes to the prospering tourism landscape of South Africa. In Pune, the workshop garnered the participation of over 111 trade partners. Further, for this year’s edition of ‘Learn SA,’ more than 1,000 trade partners are expected to be in attendance from all over India. The 9th edition of ‘Learn SA’ focuses its lens on novel activities, unexplored provinces, and hidden gems of South Africa.
Commenting on ‘Learn South Africa’ 2023, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head – Middle East, India and South-East Asia, South African Tourism said, “I want to extend my heartfelt gratitude to the Indian trade fraternity for being a part of this workshop and playing a pivotal role in its success. Their enthusiasm, dedication, and eagerness to learn more about South Africa have not only elevated this initiative but laid the foundation for enduring partnerships that will continue to grow in the years to come. This year, through our collaborative efforts, we have witnessed a significant growth in tourism from India and it further reinforces my belief that this is only the beginning. It will be our endeavour to innovate and to explore newer avenues of association by expanding such programs to tier-2 and tier-3 cities of the Indian market.”
Pune is one of the key emerging source markets for South African Tourism in India. The Rainbow Nation has been seeing an increased preference for leisure as well as business travellers from the country, thereby contributing to the flourishing footfalls. During the period January – June 2023, the tourism board witnessed a 18 per cent jump in business travellers from Pune in comparison to January – June 2022. Of the overall inbound traffic from the city, over 88 per cent of the travellers chose South Africa for their business and MICE initiatives.
Owing to its novel initiatives and collaborative efforts throughout the year, South African Tourism has witnessed over 80 per cent growth in arrivals from January – July 2023 in comparison to the same period last year. South African Tourism is deeply invested in India as part of its long-term global strategy, and it is one of the top three focus markets for the tourism board globally.