TravTalk - India
E-visas to be a game-changer
While India continues to retain its place among the top three focus markets for South African Tourism, it has the potential to reach the number one source market for the destination, says Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism.
Boosting connectivity and ease of travel to South Africa was a core area of focus for the tourism board of the country this year. The destination, which remains open to Indian travellers, is also processing tourist visas on priority. Also on track is the e-visa pilot programme for India. Neliswa
Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism, said, “E-visas are going to be a game-changer for India as a source market for South Africa. It is also the affordability in terms of air connectivity and direct connection that will put India at number one position immediately.”
Prior to the pandemic, India was the eighth-largest international market for South African Tourism.
She re-asserted, “If we get a direct airline that is affordable, and easy to access from the main cities, which is New Delhi
and Mumbai, India will be sitting at number one. I foresee India climbing up to number four in the next 18 months if we continue on this trajectory and we continue to receive the support from the travel trade! This is the market to watch out for.”
At present, several stop- over flights fly from India to South Africa, including Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, Ethiopian Airlines, Kenya Airways and Air Mauritius. Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai and Pune continue to be
top Indian source markets to South Africa, with 48 per cent of total Indian visitors from Mumbai. Forty- five per cent of them travel for business. “We are in the process of testing evisas. Travellers can apply but it must be made clear to them
that it is a pilot programme, so we do not create high expectations. There might be some teething issue, so please be patient. Alternately, we are currently turning around normal tourist visas in five days,” Nkani added.