South Africa stated recently that the country would soon introduce e-visas for Indians looking to head to the region for leisure, business, or education. It might also work with airlines to bring down the cost of airfares. This will boost connectivity and ease travel between the two nations. By Eshita Srinivas
A typical South African travel itinerary features a medley of activities including whale-watching tours, hikes amidst breathtaking landscapes, and food walks featuring traditional fare like biltong and malva pudding. The country recently stated that it would make it easier for Indians, many of whom have The Land of Rainbows on their bucket lists, to head to the region. On the cards are e-visas which will take very little time to be processed as well as subsidised fares for Indian travellers.
Besides announcing e-visa facilities, South Africa declares India to be a top focus market
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In a media conference in Bengaluru, Neliswa Nkani, Hub Head, MEISEA, South African Tourism stated that the country was looking to ease travel and boost connectivity from India, adding that plans were underway to unveil e-visa facilities for those looking to head to the country for business, sports, education, wildlife, or leisure travel.
“We are glad to announce that South Africa is on track to roll out e-visas for Indian applicants in the coming months,’‘ she was quoted as saying by The Economic Times. “We are also conscious of the need for value-driven itineraries and are undertaking bullish measures to ensure that every rupee spent ensures maximum returns,’‘ she added.
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In line with this, South African Tourism has reportedly been engaging with airlines to work out subsidised fares for Indian travellers and make travel easier. “We are looking to bring the cost of travel remarkably down for Indian travellers,’‘ Nkani stated. At the moment, several stop-over flights by Emirates, Etihad, Qatar Airways, Air Arabia, and Ethiopian Airlines fly from India to South Africa.
Nkani further stated that India was among South Africa’s top three focus markets. Metro cities Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru, Chennai, and Pune are considered key source players, as per a news report by The Hindu. “We look at capitalising on strong consumer demand so as to accelerate travel recovery momentum in India. We are already seeing an uptick in forward travel bookings and hope to further build Indian aspiration and intent to travel,’‘ she stated.
The South African tourism board is believed to be aiming for a 64 percent increase in Indian visitors in 2022. To enter the country, travellers from India will have to produce a negative RT-PCR test report not older than 72 hours from the time of departure.