Justin N. Froyd - Apr 26, 2010

Many South African hotel and hostel owners have stepped up their preparations for this summer’s World Cup. However, they may end up being disappointed as it has recently been predicted that around half of the originally expected arrivals will take place.


South African hotel owners, restaurateurs and tourist officials must have been licking their lips and stroking their wallets when their country was chosen to host the 2010 football World Cup. It must have come as a huge bonus to the country, which has endured an array of problems with poverty, crime and political tension in the past. Investment plans were made to prepare for the June event and hotels underwent refurbishment. Nevertheless, it now appears that the invested rands are unlikely to come back with interest.

It has now been predicted that 220,000 non-South African tourists will come to the World Cup: just over half the original figure. A further problem is imposed by the fact that it appears that many of the tourists will come from outside of Europe and North America. In other words, they will be budget tourists from African or South American countries. It appears that less money will be spent and the profits will be much lower than expected.

The economic climate in Europe is still fragile and football fans may be tempted to save their Pounds and Euros by watching the event at home. After all, South Africa is hardly just around the corner. They may simply invest in a bigger TV and appease the family with a shorter break somewhere else. South Africa should, however, concentrate on enhancing its reputation despite the bad news about visitors. The real benefit of the World Cup is a long-term one, not just a short-term quick win for caterers and hotel managers.




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  1. Apartheid should be stated as one of the problems which plagued South Africa in the past.

  2. While a great deal of the lack of tourists can be laid at the door of the world economic downturn It is also true to say that from the outset FIFA/MATCH created unrealistic expectations and also tried to tie up too much of the business to the point that the cost of everything was having too many add ons. To add to this the airlines did not help by bumping up their fares so much.

    Individuals and organisations that we have contacted directly have been surprised at how much lower the cost of tours would have been had they booked directly. But the damage has been done now.

    My advice to other countries hosting the cup would be restrict FIFA to the football and let normal markets take care of the rest.

    (South Africa)
  3. 2 years ago Fifa/Match addressed us to quote for services in 2010. We were contractually bound by the quote and Match could cancell up to 30 days before the World Cup. From this quoted price Match would take 30% commission with little risk to themselves. It was advertised in the world Press that South Africa did not have the facility to house the thousands of supporters and that Luxury Liners were contracted to anker in the harbours to accommodate the masses.accommodation on Luxuty liners do not come cheap. Some of the product suppliers had to increase their capacity hence the escalated prices. The majority quoted a reasonable price based on their rack rates. Since then Match has cancelled 60% of the contracts.

    Foy Vermaak (South Africa)

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