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Learn South Africa from TAAI

July 15, 2017 Headline News No Comments Email Email

Learn South Africa travel trade training across 17 Indian cities is being conducted by the NTO in co-ordination with Travel Agents Association of India (TAAI). South African Tourism is partnering with TAAI for the second year on the 24 day long training that began in Mumbai on 6th July. 11 suppliers from South Africa are part of the training team.

Hanneli Slabber, Country Manager India, South African Tourism, said: “The day-long training constitutes both the generic and one-on-one sessions and addresses any specific requirement of a trade partner to portray the destination better to his clients. It’s very useful because there are 6000 products online, from which it’s difficult to make the right choice. This training is a combination between classroom and online training.”

150 travel agents attended the session in Mumbai.

Jay Bhatia, Honorary Treasurer and Chairman Tourism Council of TAAI, said: “1800 TAAI members will gain latest knowledge on South Africa in big as well as potential medium and small cities of India.  Same number of them was trained last year. Educating travel agents is the biggest asset for the industry as it equips them to effectively sell a destination.”

Hanneli Slabber with TAAI team

Indian travellers’ preference for holidaying in South Africa is on the rise. There was a 21.7 percent growth in 2016 with 95,377 visitors making India the eighth biggest market for the premier African country. They spent a total of 1. 2 bn ZAR (US $ 88.67 mn).

Mahatma Gandhi, India’s Father of the Nation, spent 21 years fighting for the rights of Indians during the colonial rule in South Africa. Ms Slabber said that the Mandela Map, connecting places of importance tread by Nelson Mandela, the Father of South Africa, had many places overlapping with that of Gandhi’s and makes for an interesting tour.

Ms Slabber said: ‘Indian traveller is different. He is happy to pay but wants value for money. Segmentation is not the same as that of a European traveller. They come to an agent and ask the agent to fit-in the maximum in the 8 days they have. It may be a combination of history, adventure, safari and more. Indian traveller also needs much deeper involvement and experiences at the destination. Hence we bring-in diverse suppliers that offer lot of experiences.”

Suppliers at the Learn South Africa training in Mumbai included DMCs Africa Incoming, Trav Care, Tourvest Destination Management, African Link, Centurion Travel and Tours and South Africa 360, Tsongo Sun and Sun International hotels and Rwand air. Some of the new destinations highlighted this year are Oudtshoorn, Knysna, Plettenberg Bay, Port Elizabeth and Drakensberg region. The training sessions are complimentary for TAAI members.

South Africa, the value for money destination with its favourable Rand (ZAR) to Rupee (INR) exchange rate, expects to attract 100,000 Indian visitors this year.

Written by Anand & Madhura Katti

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