South Africa is looking at reaching pre-covid levels of inbound tourism from India in FY25. In FY24, the country received 79 thousand tourists from India which was 82 per cent of pre-covid times. It aims to reach pre-covid levels by penetrating into tier 2 markets, and generating MICE and Corporate travel from India, Neliswa Nkani, Hub head, Middle East, India and Southeast Asia, South African Tourism told businessline.

South African Tourism is doing its annual road show in five cities Jaipur, Delhi, Ahmedabad, Bengaluru, and Mumbai. Speaking to businessline, Nkani said that Indians have been one of the highest contributors of travelers for South Africa. Today over 8 million travelers visit the rainbow nation, of this, “29 per cent of these are Indians as of FY24. Today inbound tourists from India has reached 82 per cent of pre-covid levels, I am confident that in FY25, it will reach pre-covid levels.”

When asked what makes her confident about this growth, she added, “We are targeting growth mainly from corporate travellers and Tier 2 cities.”

Corporate travellers

Today, 48 per cent of the travellers that visit South Africa are for Meetings, Incentives, Conferences and Exhibitions (MICE), especially Incentives for employees. “We have meetings with corporates in India on a regular basis, and if I have a meeting with 50 corporates, of this, we have a conversion rate of 20 per cent.  In the next fiscal, I think MICE will overtake leisure travel for South Africa,” she said.

In the road show in Delhi, especially for trade partners, the tourism board showcased 40 per cent newer products to gauge interest from industry players.

She further added that the tourism board is heavily focusing on penetration into the tier 2 markets. “We feel that there is immense potential in tier 2 markets, and there is a lot of spending power as well. We are going to partner with Indian travel associations to promote South Africa tourism in Jaipur, Surat, Chandigarh and Nagpur among other places.” 

She pointed out that e-visa issues needed to be ironed out. “Indians have the facility of e-visa, we feel, South Africans too need to have the same facility, too.”

Along with this, she added that “the two nations are mulling to sign another MOU to agree on mutual sharing knowledge, an understanding on history and culture, tourism and iron evisas issues.” India and South Africa already have an MOU to share capabilities in skilling which was signed last year.