Delights of Garden Route highlighted on tourism roadshow in India

The George and Wilderness Tourism team attended the South African Tourism Roadshow in India earlier this month in an effort to strengthen tourism ties between the two countries.

The tourism officials saw about 1 200 tour operators and travel agents during the roadshow, including about 500 from Mumbai, 300 from Delhi, and 200 from both Chennai and Calcutta.

George and Wilderness showed off products, activities, accommodation and restaurants.

The Garden Route areas were represented with marketers from George and Wilderness Tourism, Fancourt, Protea Hotels by Marriot, Oudtshoorn Tourism, Cango Caves, Mossel Bay Tourism, along with Freaking Fast Waverider, The Diaz Hotel & Resort in Mossel Bay, Gondwana Game Lodge, Bloukrans Bungi in Tsitsikamma as well as SA Forest Adventures, opening shortly in Knysna - making up just over 10% of the total exhibitors.

The roadshow covered four cities across the east, west, south and north of India, and the delegation from George took 10 flights in eight days, moving from one city to the next.

Shanam Jain, of Maurya Travels, is set to visit George in April and said it was a pleasure to meet George Tourism manager Joan Shaw at the roadshow. 

“Your enthusiasm while representing your region was something I really was fascinated by. You gave me such a good update about George and Wilderness that I felt they should be on my next trip,” Jain said.

The tourism office will continue to build on the extensive network of contact details with follow-up emails providing information and arranging site visits for interested delegates. 

This is also a chance to stay in contact with these agents and send them news of special deals and events throughout the year so that next time they make a booking, they think of George first.

President Cyril Ramaphosa announced recently he would work on SAA reinstating direct flights between Joburg and Mumbai, and South African Tourism has set a target of bringing 100 000 India visitors to South Africa each year in the next few years.

If this happens, the Garden Route and George could easily capture 50% of this market, Shaw said.