Unlike tourists from Goa or Hyderabad that prefer to set their adrenaline racing by indulging in extreme adventures like bungee jumping and shark-edge diving, Kolkatans like a sedate vacation that are cerebral stimulating like visits to museums, art galleries and theaters. Interestingly, holidaymakers from Lucknow want a certificate at the end and will do anything that offers them one: be it paragliding or scuba diving.
“Kolkata is the only market in India where tourists ask whether the National Museum is in the itinerary and want experiences like theater and music thrown in with possible opportunities to interact with artists and craftsmen. This has led to the refinement in the ‘made for India in South Africa’ campaign to ‘made for Kolkata in South Africa’ offerings,” said South African Tourism country head Hanneli Slabber.
She and other senior officials from South African Tourism (SAT) with an entourage of 50 partners from the travel trade community in the country held a roadshow in Kolkata on Monday to tap potential tourists and showcase three tours designed with them in mind. The first product is the Garden Route Tour from Cape Town. The second is urban life circuit that begins from Johannesburg and concludes in Cape Town. The third is a drive from Durban to Johannesburg. Tourists from Kolkata comprised 7-8% of the 86,000 Indian tourist into South Africa in 2014.
Heritage culture is also becoming big with a museum in Johannesburg that retraces Gandhi’s experiences in South Africa very popular. Also climbing up the popularity chart is Madiba’s Journey. Designed along the lines of the Gandhi Map, it has 27 places of tourist attraction based on Nelson Mandela’s life.
The appreciation of the Rupee against local currency Rand by 40% over the past five years has led to the average tourist increasing the length of tour from eight days earlier to 10 days. At Rs 4 to 1 Rand, the average 10 night trip to South Africa costs Rs 1 lakh per head inclusive of travel, accommodation, breakfast and activity.