Buoyed by an 18.5 per cent increase in arrivals from India between January and September, 2012, compared to the corresponding period in 2011, South African Tourism has stepped up its familiarisation campaign among the stakeholders of the tourism industry here.
“While we have done more road shows and put together two training programmes for tour operators here in India, we find that tourists in Hyderabad are interested in adventure that we have in store for them, apart from affordable luxury, the nightlife, spa and cuisine,” said Hanneli Slabber, Country Head, South African Tourism.
Here in the city for a road show recently, Ms. Slabber leads a 100-strong contingent of hotel and tour operators and ‘adventure tourism providers’. “Whether it is horse-riding on the beach, ‘Quat’ biking, playing with the sharks and feeding dolphins, we have them all,” she said, adding that there were more enquiries from Hyderabad on these adventurous aspects of a holiday than from anywhere else in India.
More tourists to South Africa from India were now interested in doing volunteer work in taking care of penguins, the African version, that was much smaller than their cousins preferring the colder parts of the planet.
Tourists could also work on the thousands of conservation projects specially to protect whales, apart from lending a hand on the ‘Save the Rhino’ project.
Visits to the 21 national parks across the nine provinces in South Africa were also becoming increasingly popular. Also, tourists were keen on nature tourism - spending time in game lodges of the ‘bush’ with a relaxing massage thrown in. “There are 1,700 game lodges - small and big- and when it comes to food, we have 300 Indian restaurants, with vegetarian as the mainstream cuisine,” Ms. Slabber added.