Mumbai, July 26: South Africa Tourism, which is expecting to make India the number one source market by 2020, is working towards bringing down the visa-processing time to three working days from the current five days.
"In India, the holiday decisions are made impulsively and five days for visa processing is becoming a major deterrent for interested tourists. We are working towards reducing the processing time to three days. If the visa processing issue is resolved we expect India will become the number one source market for South Africa by 2020," South African Tourism Country Head Hanneli Slabber told PTI here.
Currently, the UK is the number one source market for South Africa followed by the US and Germany, she said. In 2013, 1.27 lakh Indian tourists visited South Africa.
"This number was badly hit in 2014, mainly due to the outbreak of Ebola virus in West Africa...This year we are expecting to consolidate the number of footfalls from India to the 2013 level," Slabber added.
In 2016, South Africa is targeting to double the 2013 number to 2.54 lakh tourists from the sub-continent, she said.
For this, South African Tourism Department has initiated 'Learn South Africa' programme in India in 15 cities till August 4 to further enhance knowledge about South Africa as a destination among the front-line staff of travel agencies.
"We have 60,000 products for tourists from India. So there is a need to train our travel partners so that it becomes easier for them to design packages. We are targeting to train 1,600 Indian trade partners through Learn South Africa training programme," she said.
This year the programme will cover cities such as Goa, Ahmedabad, Jaipur, Delhi, Jalandhar, Lucknow, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, Trichy, Bangalore, Cochin and Nagpur.