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South Africa eyes larger slice of India's tourist pie

Posted on Jan 21 2014 | IANS

New Delhi, Jan 21 : Witnessing a steady growth in the number of Indian visitors to South Africa, the country will be promoting itself more aggressively across India, wanting a bigger piece of the tourist pie, an official said Tuesday.

Evelyn Mahlaba, regional director of Asia, Australasia in South Africa Tourism (SAT), said the number of Indian tourists have risen from 71,587 in 2010 to 90,367 in 2011 and to 1,06,774 in 2012.

"The growth has been strong and steady over the years and this fiscal year ending March 31 we are expecting around 1,33,000 Indian tourists," Mahlaba told IANS on the sidelines of the SAT's annual roadshow here which showcased the experiences that South Africa offers as a holiday destination.

"In the last three years, India has become a core market for us," she added.

On the aggressive marketing campaign, Mahlaba said that apart from training Indian tour and travel operators on selling South Africa as an adventurous destination to Indians, the focus will be on outdoor and audio-visual promotion as well.

"Around 500 billboards that depict the popular holiday spots and cultures will be put up across 21 cities in India. While cricketer Jonty Rhodes, our brand ambassador, will continue to lure the cricket crazy Indians though TV advertisements," she said.

In addition, a selected Indian family would visit South Africa and their vacation would be recorded and turned into a commercial advertisement promoting the country.

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