SAT kicks off ‘InCountry Famil’ 2009

Special Correspondent

Sports tourism contributed eight per cent of South Africa’s GDP: SAT country head

FIFA agent in India to be appointed soon

HYDERABAD: South African Tourism (SAT) kicked off its fifth ‘InCountry Famil’ 2009, a B2B event by bringing here 42 tour operators from South Africa and 90 others from across India together to showcase travel packages in general, with a focus on 2010 FIFA World Cup.

The FIFA theme was re-created outside the Novotel Hotel and Hyderabad International Convention Centre here for the three-day event. Zukumi, the official mascot for FIFA, was around welcoming the delegates, even as they watched in admiration the goal-post and the massive World Cup banner which was splashed outside the hotel.

Interacting with presspersons, Country Head of SAT Medha Sampat said while 52,000 tourists flew to South Africa in 2008, the figure till end of May this year was 26,000.

The increased attention to the country was significantly due to its emphasis on hosting sports events.

She said sports tourism contributed eight per cent of South Africa’s GDP. SAT was pulling out all the stops to leverage the advantage.

Asked about offers and packages, she said very soon an official FIFA agent in India would be announced, following which there would be more promotion so that bookings could be taken up. “We are trying to enrich the experience and sports apart, we are showcasing cuisine, wildlife safari and other packages.”

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