Africa is set to be the go-to travel destination for Indian travellers, and tourism stakeholders across the continent are ready to promote Africa to India and implement strategies with tangible results.

South African Minister of Tourism Mmamoloko Kubayi-Ngubane was in Mumbai this week as part of a trade roadshow to grow South Africa’s Indian tourist market. She spoke to Tourism Update and described how successful the roadshow had been.

“We are working very closely with Indian tourism stakeholders and our Ministry of Home Affairs to work on the challenge of visas,” said Kubayi-Ngubane. “We have a team that has remained in India to work closely with Indian Ministry of Home Affairs to work on a number of solutions such as e-visas and long-term visas.”

Tourvest DMC Sales Director, Suzanne Benadie, was also at the roadshow and acknowledged that air routes played an important role in influencing international travellers. “A direct flight from any of our key source markets is a huge advantage, as travellers have easy access and the quickest possible flying times.” 

“Air access between the countries remains an issue and we understand that our national carrier is under a lot of pressure to take on the challenge of launching a direct route. We are engaging with various airlines in the two countries to work with our own Ministry of Transport to discuss solutions on this matter,” said Kubayi-Ngubane. 

The Minister was pleased by the large number of South African tourism business and operators that were able to attend the roadshow. “Alternative destinations in our country were highlighted during the roadshow thanks to the many meetings between Indian and South African tourism businesses,” she said.

According to Kubayi-Ngubane, there were many “fruitful” meetings with Indian film industry companies to market South Africa as a wedding destination to the Indian market on a popular Indian TV programme.

“We got the value we wanted from this roadshow and we are happy to see we’re on the right track.”