Indian Market Hungry for Ideas to Access Cape Town
30 January 2014
“The Indian market is very interested in Cape Town,” says Enver Duminy, as he sums up the findings of Cape Town Tourism’s team, after participating in South African Tourism’s successful 2014 India Road Show, alongside Wesgro.
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 destinations that have been visited by friends and family.
The road show was well attended, with a reported 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 customers, so as to stand out from their competitors.
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), family groups of up to fourteen - and honeymooners. 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 like to experience a wide range of activities whilst in destination, and travelers are looking to travel agents to advise them on new activities 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 are an attractive market for Cape Town as they prefer to travel during the city’s low season, a large percentage of Indian travelers speak English and most have generous budgets. However, they are also astute travellers looking for value for money offerings.
Indian travel trade that Cape Town Tourism met at the road show fell predominantly into one of three categories:
o New to Cape Town –keen to learn more about the destination
o Knowledgeable about Cape Town –know the iconic attractions and are looking for new and different activities to do in the city
o Business Development – looking for Destination Management Companies (DMC’s) and Tour Operators to work with
Duminy continues; “An interesting finding was that some travel agents highlighted the fact that Indian travelers do not like to drive whilst overseas (Indian traffic is harrowing and congested) but find the cost of shuttles and transfers in South Africa to be more expensive than they are used to. With education about our relatively hassle-fee driving conditions, self-drive holidays will no doubt become more popular with this market.”
He concludes; “India is an exciting emerging source market for Cape Town. The hunger is certainly there and we are ready to respond with packaged ideas, content and connectivity. The market should do the same.”
Released for Cape Town Tourism by Rabbit in a Hat Communications, Tammy White, +27 21 671 2640, +27 73 202 5041, firstname.lastname@example.org.