Recognizing the strong growth in tourist arrivals in the first half of the year, South African Tourism, aiming to maintain the travel momentum, hosted the second Learn South Africa 2023 workshop in Pune. In line with the tourism board’s strategy to surpass pre-pandemic arrivals by the end of the year, the flagship ‘Learn SA’ travel trade training session aims to provide travel agents with the best tools to sell the destination effectively.
In an effort to drive the strong travel push seen in the first six months of 2023, the 6-city training session that concluded in Delhi and Pune will be followed by Kolkata, Kochi, Indore and Jaipur. On-site events such as ‘Learn SA’ help the tourism board lay the groundwork for aligning trade partners with the board’s well-developed strategy to drive growth and attract Indian travelers to the Rainbow Nation. The seminars also act as a valuable platform to expand South African Tourism’s trade partner network 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 present the country, further enhancing our joint efforts to showcase the diverse attractions and experiences that South Africa has to offer.
India is currently the 6th largest international market for South Africa and the tourism board believes the country has an important role to play when it comes to South Africa’s thriving tourism landscape. In Pune, the workshop attracted the participation of over 111 trade partners. Additionally, for this year’s edition of ‘Learn SA’, more than 1,000 trade partners are expected to attend from across India. The ninth edition of ‘Learn SA’ focuses its lens on new activities, unexplored provinces and hidden gems of South Africa.
Commenting on Learn South Africa 2023, Neliswa Nkani, Head of Center – Middle East, India and South East Asia, South African Tourism said: “I would like to express my heartfelt gratitude to the Indian business fraternity for being a part of this workshop and plays a key role in its success. Their enthusiasm, dedication and eagerness to learn more about South Africa not only elevated this initiative, but also laid the foundation for lasting partnerships that will continue to grow in the years to come. This year, through our joint efforts, we have witnessed a significant growth in tourism from India and this further strengthens my belief that this is just the beginning. Our endeavor will be to innovate and explore newer avenues of association by expanding such programs to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities in the Indian market.”
Pune is one of the key emerging markets for South African tourism in India. The rainbow nation is seeing increased preference for leisure travelers as well as business travelers from the country, thus contributing to booming visitation. During the period January-June 2023, the tourism board witnessed an 18 percent jump in business travelers from Pune compared to January-June 2022. Of the total inbound traffic from the city, over 88 percent of travelers chose South Africa for their business and MICE initiatives.
Thanks to its new initiatives and joint efforts throughout the year, South African tourism has witnessed over 80 percent growth in arrivals from January to July 2023 compared to the same period last year. South African Tourism is heavily 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.