Pune: Indians have become the second highest buyers of adventure activities in South Africa as tourists visiting the country are looking for experiences rather than engaging in tourist activities. “Indians are more adventurous than we thought,” exclaimed Hanneli Slabber, Country Head for South African Tourism in India.
Speaking to Sakal Times, Slabber said that as compared to the global standard of engaging in two activities per day, Indians visiting South Africa are engaging in nearly six activities per day. “Seven years ago, when we came to India, we never saw India as an adventure market. But, we have learnt that Indians are more adventurous than we think. After our local populace, Indians are the largest buyers of adventure activities,” she explained.
According to Slabber, it is more interesting that Indian women lead the adventure drive in South Africa. “Indian women visiting South Africa are engaging in all sorts of activities that we have to offer. They lead the adventure drive by going in for bungee jumping, sky diving, shark cage diving, crocodile cage diving and others. Also, we do not have age restrictions for adventure activities which has led to a record of a seven-year-old Indian boy being the youngest to have engaged in sky diving in South Africa,” Slabber said.
Speaking about Indians visiting South Africa, she said that last year the arrivals footfall from India stood at 95,377, 21.7 per cent up from the 2015 figure. “About six per cent of these 95,377 people were from Pune. The demand for experiential travel from the Pune market has been steadily increasing, there is a shift from seeing to experiencing. South Africa is a perfect destination for such an audience as it has a wide range of activities to offer in close proximity. We also have a special package called Indian Express, which enables Indian tourists to engage in more activities in a day,” she stated.
Slabber stated that South African Tourism has engaged in offering tailor-made packages for tourists from various Indian cities based on their preferences. “Punekars are looking at South Africa as a family destination where they can enjoy activities together and with no age limit for activities, families can enjoy activities together. Youths are another important market from Pune who are asking how much they can do during their visit. Through the travel operators here, we are trying to make packages wherein the visitors can seamlessly engage in 10 activities per day,” she added.