Indian Market Hungry for Ideas to Access Cape Town
Cape Town Tourism, alongside Wesgro, attended the South African Tourism Road Show in India from 20 – 23 January, visiting four cities in four days. The road show was a great success with many of the Indian travel trade members eager to receive more information on Cape Town.
Indian travelers are an attractive market for Cape Town as they prefer to travel during our low season. A large percentage of Indian travelers speak English and most have generous budgets.
Interest from the Indian market in travelling to South Africa has spiked over the last three years as the number of travellers to the country has increased, largely due to the fact that Indians’ choice of holiday destination is heavily influenced by previously visited by friends and family.
The road show was well attended, with a total of 62 South African product exhibitors and 1,235 attendees at workshops hosted in four cities (Kolkata, Chennai, Delhi and Mumbai) over four days (20 – 23 January 2014). Cape Town’s stand did brisk business with trade delegates repeatedly asking for information on new activities that they can package for their customers in order to stand out from their competitors.
Key findings from the road show include:
Travellers from India generally spend ten days and nine nights in South Africa, visiting Johannesburg, Sun City, the Kruger National Park, the Garden Route and Cape Town.
The main travel segments are Foreign Independent Travel (FIT), honeymooners and family groups of up to fourteen. Interestingly, there is also a growing appetite for Indian weddings in South Africa.
Indian travelers spend an average of three nights in Cape Town, frequently requesting iconic attractions such as Table Mountain and Robben Island to be included in their itineraries.
Apart from these key sites, they also like to experience a wide range of activities in Cape Town, and look to travel agents to advise them on things to do in the city.
Cultural travel is not high on their agenda for the time being, unlike our traditional market segments that prefer experiences such as ‘township’ tours or Cape Malay Cooking Safaris.
Indian travelers do not like to drive whilst overseas (Indian traffic is harrowing and congested) but find the cost of shuttles and transport in South Africa to be more expensive than they are used to
Indian travelers are astute travellers looking for value for money offerings.
- The Indian travel trade that Cape Town Tourism met at the road show fell predominantly into one of three categories:
1. New to Cape Town – keen to learn more about the destination
2. Knowledgeable about Cape Town – know the iconic attractions and are looking for new and exciting activities in the city
3. Business Development – looking for Destination Management Companies (DMC’s) and Tour Operators to work with.
India is an exciting emerging source market for Cape Town and we should all respond with packaged ideas, content and connectivity.