Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Western Cape is found to have the most resposible pricing for the World Cup 2010

South Africa is justifiably proud of being entrusted with hosting the 2000 and World Cup which will be the first such event held in Africa. The Department of Tourism, Cape Town Tourism and other authorities have been concerned about criticism that prices that are being charged for accommodation are unreasonably high. The Minister of Tourism, concerned that prices for any major world event are usually hiked, commissioned independent auditors Grant Thornton to conduct a national survey into pricing practices in the accommodation industry. In Johannesburg Minister of Tourism Marthinus van Schalkwyk said :
“Research shows that 74 percent of all establishments in the country are charging reasonable prices for accommodation during the World Cup".

The results of the survey polled 2479 accommodation establishments from all 9 provinces with 38 % of responses coming from the Western Cape. Establishments included hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments, lodges, and even backpacker lodges. In the Western Cape, 96 % of respondents providing accommodation in the Western Cape were charging seasonal rates or less. Only 3.8 percent of prices were charging more than 100% of seasonal published rates. In Johannesburg and Gauteng 32 percent are charging 100 % or more above their high season rates , 29.7 percent in North West Province and 50 % in Durban. The proportion of Cape Town accommodation establishments charging less than the seasonal rate is 13.4 percent - second only to the Eastern Cape, at 14.5 percent.
In the Western Cape it is primarily hotels which are charging inflated rates for the World Cup; with 18.4 percent offering prices 76 percent or higher above the Rack Rate, compared to only 9.6 percent and 5.6 percent in B&Bs and guesthouses respectively. This proves that the campaign by the region’s tourism authorities for responsible tourism has resulted in a fair, realistic pricing of accommodation in Cape Town.

The Grant Thornton Survey attributed the fair pricing in Cape Town to two occurrences : the excess supply of accommodation with the recent opening of many new hotels, as well as the slowdown in tourist demand due to the recession. The second factor is the effort of Cape Town Tourism to promote ethical pricing during the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ and the signing of a 2010 FIFA World Cup™ “pricing code-of-conduct” for accommodation establishments.
Cape Town Tourism launched a series of awareness sessions around the World Cup as far back as 2006 and provided the industry with pricing guidelines for the event in line with peak season rates. Their CEO stated : “I strongly believe that our consistent messaging around responsible pricing and the industry’s commitment have paid off – setting an excellent standard for Cape Town in long term pricing legacy and sustainability.”
Cape Town Tourism had been quick to warn the industry of pitfalls experienced by other international destinations who have previously hosted major events. “Countries that inflated tourism costs during the event damaged their brand and it has taken some of them years to rebuild perception. Only a few weeks ago major Cape Town tourism industry role players signed the Code of Responsible Pricing for Cape Town thus committing to, and encouraging establishment owners to, price sensibly and offer value for money. It also serves as a reminder to be mindful of tourism’s role in social responsibility and the sustainable legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Minister van Schalkwyk, advises prospective tourists : "Given the fact that South Africa is a robust free market economy, fans are encouraged to shop around and avoid establishments with exorbitant pricing in line with our desire that South Africa continues to remain a value-for-money destination."

We have long been saying in this blog that there will be no shortage of accommodation in Cape Town during the World Cup 2010 in Cape Town and that those who are successful will be those who charge responsible prices to suit the budgets of many of our overseas visitors, as the World Cup should not be seen as a culmination of an opportunity but rather the creation of an ongoing opportunity to promote tourism to our beautiful country. If you are still planning to visit Cape Town for the World Cup 2010 you will find plenty of affordable self catering accommodation in beautiful Noordhoek; a coastal valley suburb of Cape Town known for its village atmosphere, but convenient to the city.

A copy of the Dept of Tourism survey is available at this URl :

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