Namaste – a warm welcome goes a long way

  • 28 June 2016

Aside from it being one of the fastest growing economies in the world, India also happens to be South Africa’s fast-growing travel market. If we don’t welcome our Indian tourists in the most tailor-made and culturally-relevant way we can, we won’t have as many return visits as is desirable in our business.  

What you need to know about Indian travellers

The majority of Indian guests speak Hindi, in which the greeting is 'Namaste' (naa-maas-tay). Namaḥ means 'bow', 'reverential salutation' or 'adoration' and te means 'to you', so Namaste literally means "bowing to you" – a very humble greeting. But don’t worry about being lost in translation because a large percentage of Indian travellers also speak English.

Fortunately, according to the City of Cape Town’s official website, many Indian travellers visit South Africa during our low season (as this is when their school holidays are). This helps to tide the tourism industry over in the quieter months.

Rather than use the internet, many Indian travellers rely on travel agents to book their flights, accommodation and activities for them. Usually the activities they are looking for are wildlife experiences or simply exploring a new country.

Welcome SA is here to help

Since you’re in the business of tourism, and we are its custodians, it’s only right that we help you out wherever we can. Have you seen Welcome South Africa? It is a South African Tourism initiative that aims to create and sustain engagement with industry stakeholders, and encourage information sharing. In short, it’s a free-to-use tourism tool that we offer to help you make your guests’ day, no matter where they are from.

Through Welcome, we empower you to improve your level of service, and make sure that your guests have the best possible experience in South Africa, and your establishment. By giving them a special and meaningful experience, your guests will then want to return, and just as importantly, recommend you (and South Africa) to their friends and family.

We have a Tourist Toolkit that includes 20 countries, and here you can find in-depth analysis of travellers from these lands and practical tips on how best to welcome them to our beautiful country. We even provide you with numerous downloadable aids, like these welcome letters in over 20 languages.

Whether your guest is Indian, Nigerian, American, German or Chinese, don’t forget to tap into Welcome South Africa. Not only will it make your day, it will help you make your guests’ day, every day.