South Africa eyes 1 lakh Indian tourists by 2014

Mumbai: South Africa is eyeing 42.85 per cent growth in tourists from India to about 1,00,000 by 2014, especially with growing interest for it as an adventure and holiday destination.

"In 2011, we saw 70,000 tourists from India which is expected to be much better this year. With this growing interest in South Africa as an adventure and holiday destination we expect about 1,00,000 visitors from India by 2014," Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk told PTI.

The Minister, here for a promotional roadshow, said India provides a huge opportunity for South African Tourism which spent USD 2 million in 2011 on promotion and marketing. "We are focused on India in a big way and are planning to increase our promotional budget in the country by more than 10 per cent year-on-year."

Earlier, South Africa was focusing only on the metro cities. However, since last year it has started penetrating into the tier II cities, Schalkwyk said. "We see a huge potential in the tier II and III cities where the spending power is increasing and people are looking out to travel overseas for holidays. We are planning to move deeper to the tier II and then III cities to tap this huge opportunity," he added.

Besides adventure and wildlife, South Africa is also promoting its cities for their fine restaurants and rich culture, the Minister added.