Lesser known destinations such as Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, and Oudtshoorn were showcased at South African Tourism’s recent India Roadshow. The roadshow took place in Chennai, Bangalore, New Delhi and Mumbai from January 30 until the February 3.

For Indians who choose to travel to Cape Town during the December period, finding a room can be a difficult task, said Hanneli Slabber, SA Tourism’s Country Manager: India. “An Indian very seldom gets their leave approved more than 28 days in advance,” said Hanneli Slabber, SA Tourism’s Country Manager: India. Slabber said they encouraged trade to use Cape Town as merely a gateway to the other towns during December peak.

SA Tourism’s campaign, 24 Hours of Wow, also plays a part in promoting these lesser known destinations. The campaign introduces visitors to a summary of experiences that can be enjoyed in South Africa through eight second video clips on an interactive website. Users can also customise their 24 Hours of Wow by selecting from 144 videos that include categories such as untouched wild, breathtaking scenery, sun-soaked coastlines, vibrant culture, outdoor adventure, or bustling city life. Slabber said when the campaign was launched in India a number of activities available to do in Plettenberg Bay were also highlighted.

Slabber added that the Indian market’s high desire for adventure has a significant impact on job creation. “Here, they’re buying huge amounts out of SMME operators and from a job creation market, they’re really important to us.” The majority of adventure tourism activities are also sold in-country.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa also participated in the roadshow to advise the Indian trade on the different star grading. “Once they understand that every star grading is clean and neat, and safe and hygienic, they’re willing to stay at establishments where they will pay less and are able to do more activities.”

Slabber noted that there has also been a rise in South Africa destination weddings from the Indian market. Not only is it convenient because all the services needed for an Indian wedding are available in South Africa, said Slabber, but South Africa is beautiful destination for an event such as a wedding. “When you look at the scenery of South Africa, it’s incredibly beautiful so you’ve also got a great backdrop.”