South Africa may have only won one football match during the 2010 World Cup, yet the biggest victory came off the field, mostly in the reputation of the country as a whole and in the pockets of those aiming to benefit from one of the world’s greatest sporting spectacles.
In 8 years time, Russia will host the 2018 World Cup, followed by Qatar 4 years later. It has become more apparent that the aim of granting such countries the right to host the tournament is less about playing football and more about supporting the economies of the countries needing it the most and helping them to improve their infrastructure. South Africa passed the test it was presented with and managed to host the football feast successfully.
Spain was not the biggest winner in South Africa as the South African investment market came out on top. The trouble-free hosting of the World Cup proved that South Africa could be a safe place not only to stay, but also to invest in. In June and July of this year, more than 309,000 football enthusiasts visited South Africa, almost all of which left satisfied regardless of the success of their national team.
The average stay was 10.3 nights and 59% of the visitors came for the first time. Between January and September this year, foreign visits to South Africa went up by 16.8% and although the World Cup was a massive factor, it was not the only one. The colorful and spectacular representation of other African nations in the tournament made a great advertisement for the continent as a whole. In football terms, South Africa 2010 was not the best tournament, yet in terms of advertising Africa, it certainly was.