The former cricketer Jonty Rhodes will be part of South African Tourism’s campaign aimed specifically at travellers from God’s Own Country.
Beginning next January, Jonty Rhodes, one of the best fielders seen by the cricket world, will introduce travellers from Kerala to adventure, wildlife, food and nightlife in South Africa.
At present, 43-year-old Jonty is the fielding coach of the Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians. He was in Kovalam recently to inaugurate the first National Surfing and Stand-up Paddle (SUP) competition in India.
Hanneli Slabber, country head, South African Tourism, who was here in connection with the programme “Learn South Africa,” told The Hindu that the campaign to woo travellers from Kerala using Jonty Rhodes would be launched on January 1.
The South African cricket icon, who has been made a brand ambassador of South African Tourism, will be part of the global campaign that will be launched in August to increase tourist arrivals.
Ms. Slabber said 50 per cent of the tourists reaching South Africa were from the South. The better packaging of holidays had increased tourist arrivals and the duration of their stay from 11.9 to 13 days now.
“The market has responded very well, and we are hopeful that the travel agents from Thiruvananthapuram and Kochi will come up with tailor-made packages for the tourists,” she said.
The fourth module of “Learn South Africa” for frontline staff of travel agencies was organised here on Monday. The next will be in Kochi on Tuesday. The two are among the tier-II cities among the 15 selected in the country.
The interactive programme aims to intensify destination awareness and understanding among the travel trade. Ms. Slabber said it was very differently structured in comparison with the past modules and key South African stakeholders were taking part in the training programme.
“The key objective of ‘Learn South Africa’ is to equip the travel trade with destination knowledge that makes them competitive in their market, enhances their expertise and allows them to sell memorable holidays of choice to Indian travellers,” she said. South Africa’s sunny shores saw an increase in number of visitors from India in 2012 and are hoping to build on this foundation through tourism campaigns, she said.