Fortune smiles on our county with the news that SA beat the UK to host the 2009 Indian Premier League cricket tournament, due to start on 18 April 2009, and lasting until 24May. The opening game will be held at Newlands in Cape Town, and the final will be contested at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. There will be a total of 59 matches in the 2009 IPL to be held in eight cities: Cape Town, Johannesburg, Durban, Pretoria, East London, Kimberly, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth.
It is unfortunate for India that security issues have made it difficult to put this prestige event on in their own country- what with elections looming and problems with neighbouring Pakistan. South Africa stands to gain so much as this event will be seen by the world as a precursor to the 2010 Soccer World cup, and we can show them just how good we can be at hosting this sort of event. South Africa will get a massive amount of International exposure, and local fans will be treated to the glamour that accompanies this prestige tournament. Lalit Modi, Chairman and Commissioner of the IPL stated when he announced the news that the entourage would require 30,000 bed nights. This is great news for the hospitality industry in these depressed economic times. Imagine, too, the knock on effect of spending by the teams and the fans that will follow them. When the UK was front runner it was reported that it would have boosted the British economy by up to $100-million – wow, a billion Rands ! We may benefit less, because we are a more affordable destination, but it will still be a Godsend at this time.
Our country has won the privilege over the UK thanks to a number of factors; much better weather, and a time difference several hours less than would have been the case if the UK had been chosen. This will allow the cricket mad Indian fans to watch their teams and matches at a reasonable time. Undoubtedly it must also be considerably cheaper for the IPL to move to SA than to the UK. South Africans, we are winners, and all the fans who follow this event will score too. Book your accommodation now to take advantage of the cheap rates that you can expect out of peak season. Satour acting chief executive Didi Moyle said in a statement.
"The Indian Premier League comes with multi-billion dollar television broadcast rights and will be screened into millions of homes, giving destination South Africa outstanding exposure not only in India, but in many of our other key target markets as well," she said.
We in the affordable accommodation industry look forward eagerly to this event and also the 2010 World Cup, but most realise that the event in itself will not bring a bonanza- what we look forward to is the visibility of our Country and particularly the fairest Cape, creating the desire for overseas tourists to visit us in the future, and boost our tourism industry.
For details of the match schedules, click on this link: