SA Tourism sets sights on India to boost recovery - but first we'll need flights

accreditation
0:00
play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
There are currently no direct flights between SA and India.
There are currently no direct flights between SA and India.
Getty Images

South African Tourism is targeting India as a potential high-growth source market for SA –  though there are currently no direct flights between the two countries.

Acting SAT CEO Sthembiso Dlamini says the organisation hopes this will be addressed.

Emirates, Qatar Airways and Ethiopian Airlines have flights scheduled with layovers at Dubai, Doha and Addis Ababa respectively.

"We are engaging with various airlines to see if we can get direct air lift from India again. It would also help a lot if SA's intention to launch an e-visa application process for India is implemented soon. We are crossing our fingers that this might be implemented by December perhaps," says Dlamini.

Fin24 reported in August this year that the Judicial Commission of Inquiry into State Capture heard testimony from former SAA CEO Siza Mzimela on evidence related to the cancellation of SAA's profitable Mumbai route. She testified that during the period when SAA fell under Malusi Gigaba's tenure as minister of public enterprises, he failed to act to prevent SAA from losing the route, to the advantage of Jet Airways - an Indian airline founded by Naresh Goyal, which the Guptas used for the controversial flight that landed in the Waterkloof military airbase in Pretoria in 2013. Gigaba has denied conspiring to have SAA scrap the route to aid the Gupta-linked airline.

About 700 million of India's population consists of millennials and that is the key segment targeted by SAT during a virtual roadshow this week.

Over 1 000 Indian buyers and 100 South African suppliers - including tourism experience products, accommodation establishments, destination management companies and airlines - are expected to take part in the roadshow.

SAT recently hosted a similar virtual roadshow for the Chinese market.

In 2019, before the pandemic, SA had 95 621 tourists from India and about 100 000 from China and SAT is confident that these numbers can be increased.

It has also identified China and Nigeria as potential growth source markets for SA.

Dlamini says SAT is seeing a gradual uptake for travel with forward bookings showing an upward curve as well as a general opening of many of SA's source markets. The UK recently having removed SA from its so-called red list of very strict travel restrictions is also contributing to the increased uptake.

As for SA heading into its traditional peak summer tourism season, SAT is about to launch its campaigns, including for the domestic market. 

Dlamini urged South Africans to get vaccinated, especially those in the tourism industry. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Rand - Dollar
17.88
+1.1%
Rand - Pound
20.15
+0.1%
Rand - Euro
17.52
+0.9%
Rand - Aus dollar
11.64
-0.5%
Rand - Yen
0.12
+1.0%
Gold
1,696.10
+2.1%
Silver
20.62
+8.3%
Palladium
2,242.00
+3.5%
Platinum
903.50
+4.5%
Brent Crude
85.14
-2.4%
Top 40
57,850
+0.8%
All Share
64,227
+0.8%
Resource 10
61,646
+2.4%
Industrial 25
77,524
+0.2%
Financial 15
13,816
+0.1%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Company Snapshot
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.

LEARN MORE
Government tenders

Find public sector tender opportunities in South Africa here.

Government tenders
This portal provides access to information on all tenders made by all public sector organisations in all spheres of government.
Browse tenders