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TOURISM: 'Let's Keep The Indians Coming'


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Keeping travel destination Cape Town and the Western Cape top-of-mind in India, following the recent Indian Cricket Test Series and last year’s World Cup, is vital if the city and province wants to continue to steadily grow arrivals from this non-traditional incentive travel market.

This is why Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU), the tourism destination marketing organisation for Cape Town and the Western Cape, supported by Cape Town Tourism, is participating in South African Tourism’s Annual Workshops in India this week. The aim is to establish relationships with up to 550 travel agents and media expected to attend the workshops held from 31 January to 4 February 2011 in Mumbai, Ahmedabad and Delhi.

South Africa’s very successful hosting of the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2009 contributed to an increase of 17.5% in arrivals from India to South Africa that year. In 2009, Cape Town and the Western Cape received 16 411 arrivals from India, up 14.5% from the previous year. With most of them travelling to the city and province in April and/or May, the Indian market contributes to addressing seasonality in the destination.

The recent sports events generated powerful destination publicity for South Africa in India. The Proteas are also expected to be travelling to India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh soon for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, starting on 24 February 2011. CTRU and the South African delegation want to ensure that South Africa is what India keeps on talking about.

Says Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of CTRU: “Since Cape Town received the Best Incentive Destination Award from the United Kingdom’s Conference & Incentive Travel Magazine in 2009, there has definitely been an increase in incentive and corporate travel to the destination from non-traditional incentive markets such as India and China. Our Convention Bureau can barely keep up with requests from top Asian corporate groups. The Indian market regards Cape Town and the Western Cape as the ideal South African destination. Wildlife is not their first priority and they need to fit in a range of activities into a short space of time. Cape Town and the Western Cape offers both the desired options.”

According to SA Tourism three quarters of Indian travellers to South Africa in 2009 visited the country for business purposes, with 21% for leisure. Their favourite activities were shopping and nightlife, followed by visiting natural attractions and doing business. Their most positive experience related to the country’s scenic beauty.

Explains Itumeleng Pooe, Executive Manager: Destination Marketing of CTRU: “The Indian traveller has a very sophisticated taste and for that Cape Town and the Western Cape has the perfect answer: a textbook combination of exquisite natural scenery, award-winning gourmet houses and trendy shopping places. Now that people in India have seen our city and province’s popular attractions as part of the sports events’ global television coverage, we want to show them what Cape Town and the Western Cape has to offer beyond that.”

Representing the city and province at the SA Tourism Workshops in India, Ms Pooe’s message is: “There is so much more in Cape Town and the Western Cape that’s waiting to be discovered by this every-growing market. The city is the gateway to the province’s five other diverse tourism regions, offering visitors a variety - from shark-cage diving in the Cape Overberg, open-air seafood restaurants on the Cape West Coast, to hot-air balloon rides in the Cape Winelands, star-gazing in the Cape Karoo and the impressive Cango Caves in Cape Garden Route & Klein Karoo.”

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