Monday, June 21, 2010

World Cup Tourism bonanza for South Africa

Times Live South Africa has reported the Department of Home Affairs as stating that in the first seven days of the tournament 456,000 people entered South Africa for the World Cup. This is really great news for Tourism in South Africa and even better news for the South African economy; particularly after forecast numbers were revised down to about 370,000. It is now estimated that more than 500,000 foreign tourists are expected before the end of the World Cup. What is even more encouraging is that 130,000 visitors are from the USA. Because of our being a long haul destination, a holiday in South Africa does not appear to be as popular with the USA, as with European countries. We hope that the experiences shared by these visitors with friends and family will result in greater interest from this massive and affluent market.

Chief Executive Officer of the 2010 FIFA World Cup South Africa , Danny Jordaan is in no doubt about the impact of the World Cup on tourism , and said that “People are seeing that we have world-class facilities, and we have delivered." His organising committee expects a "second wave" of visitors for the knockout rounds, depending upon the outcome of the current rounds. Jordaan said the international marketing boost South Africa was receiving, with more than 500 million viewers worldwide watching the World Cup matches daily could not be quantified. It is certain that South African tourism, which has remained robust during the recession, will enjoy further growth. By now the world knows that South Africa can deliver, and that it is a safe and friendly holiday destination.

There are major benefits for the economy from the World Cup tournament - South African Tourism conservatively estimates that each visitor will spend R12,000 during his stay which could mean that they would have injected just under R 2.5 billion to the country's economy in the first week of the tournament alone. Grant Thornton research has estimated that World Cup tournament will contribute an estimated ZAR 4 billion into the South African economy. This will be spent mostly on tourism, airlines, hotels and other accommodation, bars, restaurants and shops; good news for all involved in the hospitality industry. With the school holidays and patriotic fervour, local consumer spending has also been stimulated.

Gauteng is said to be the biggest economic beneficiary as a majority of the fans, sponsors and media are basing themselves in Gauteng due to the number of games taking place in Johannesburg, Pretoria and surrounding towns .

Danny Jordaan went on to add "What we are thrilled about is we have tourists from countries like Chile, Uruguay and Mexico, which we haven't had before. "From only having 300 Mexican tourists a year we now have 15000 of them in the country. And, if they go through to the next round, we anticipate this to go up to 25000."

Hotels which were faced with massive cancellations by MATCH are also benefiting from the increased numbers of visitors. Legacy Hotels & Resorts marketing director Mr. Brian Davidson said more than 50% of rooms released by Match Event Services in Sandton had been booked by international guests. His group expected an increase in bookings once teams secured places in the last 16. “Our revenues have been better than the average June and July period," he said.

Cape Town appears to have fewer visitors and may not benefit to the same extent, but considering that it is our winter season , the World Cup will certainly brighten the tourism industry. The City of Cape Town's executive director for tourism, Mansoor Mohamed estimates the visitor spend for Cape Town could be between R8 -11 billion.

The tournament is only half way through, but the excitement and passion remains high throughout our country. The social networks and the Internet are filled with the good things that our international visitors have to say about South Africa. Lets’ all of us in the hospitality industry hope that when tourists are planning where to stay in Cape Town they will be sure to know that the extensive range of non hotel accommodation will be able to meet all of their needs, and ensure them of an enjoyable Cape Town holiday.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tourism Growth in South Africa in spite of recession

Those of us who make a living from tourism in Cape Town have known instinctively for some time that better days are ahead and that there is an evident growth in the number of visitors to our city. After a dismal 2008, we were gratified to be almost fully booked for the December holiday period, but this is attributable mainly to internal tourism. This is an important part of our market but no real barometer of the prospects for growth in international tourism.

After a relatively slow January we were amazed to find that we were inundated with enquiries for the months February to April, and our occupancy rates soared to better than we had experienced in our 8 years of doing business in Noordhoek. Quite a high percentage of our guests during these three months were from Europe and the UK. Winter is usually a slow period for accommodation in Cape Town, but the enquiries for the World Cup came flooding in, brightening prospects for the winter. Unlike many other establishments in the Cape Town South Peninsula, who are reporting very few bookings because of the distance from the city and the stadium; our bookings for June and July, thanks to the World Cup, will brighten these winter months.

It came as no surprise then to note that the prestigious Visa credit card organisation has confirmed this real growth in information just published on their website : I am sure that all tour operators and owners of accommodation establishments will be heartened and encouraged by their findings. According to the website:

South Africa saw a 34 percent increase in inbound tourism spending during the first quarter of 2010, and anticipates additional growth opportunities around the 2010 FIFA World Cup™, according to Tourism Outlook: South Africa, an annual report released today by Visa Inc. (NYSE: V) that analyzes Visa cardholder spending for the past two years.

VisaVue® Travel data indicates that South Africa weathered the economic headwinds which impacted international tourism during 2009 better than most countries around the world. While many countries saw double-digit drops in inbound tourism spending, Visa cardholder spending by international visitors to South Africa decreased only 2.7 percent from $1.84 billion in 2008 to $1.79 billion in 2009. Despite a challenging climate in 2009, 2010 has already shown reasons for the country’s continued optimism. During the first quarter of 2010, Visa cardholder spending increased to nearly $566 million, up from $423 million during the first quarter of 2009.

The top contributors to South Africa’s inbound tourism spending in 2009 include: The United Kingdom (26 percent), United States (15 percent), Mozambique (5 percent), Germany (4 percent) and France (4 percent). While travellers from Western Europe and the U.S. continue to be the strongest contributors to South African tourism, significant increases in spending by cardholders from emerging markets is indicative of South Africa’s growing stature as a tourism destination. Visa data revealed double- and triple-digit growth in spending by cardholders originating from: Malawi (168 percent), Mozambique (118 percent), Angola (115 percent), China (28 percent) and Botswana (18 percent).

Since 2007 we have espoused the view that the World Cup should not be seen as the culmination of an enormous amount of hard work and publicity by all concerned but as the beginning of opportunity to showcase our beautiful country to the millions of all fans who will watch the matches on TV which will bring an increase in the number of international tourists. The Visa website shares this view and has said that

As host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup,TM South Africa is uniquely positioned to further enhance its visibility globally. The tournament will provide South Africa with a significant opportunity to showcase its unique assets and culture to the world and attract visitors and tourism revenues for months and years to come. This year alone, South Africa expects to welcome more than 370,0001 international visitors for this global competition. The month-long 2010 FIFA World Cup™ is expected to add 93 billion rand to the South Africa economy, translating to a 0.54 percent boost to gross domestic product, a significant contribution given that the total South Africa GDP growth in 2010 is estimated at 2.0 to 2.5 percent2.

We certainly hold the view that our people’s unbridled enthusiasm, warm African welcome and undisputed evidence that we have the ability to receive and entertain large numbers of international tourists, host events and have our visitors depart as ambassadors whose South African holiday experience will be shared with friends and family, to create a lasting favourable image of South Africa as an exciting, safe and affordable international destination for a future holiday.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Low Cost Airfares aim to attract World Cup visitors to Cape Town

Cape Town Tourism and Cape Town Routes Unlimited, have joined forces in a bid to win Cape Town more visits from 2010 World Cup fans who may be based in other centres . The website of Cape Town travel says “Cape Town is one of the places of a lifetime and that you haven’t seen South Africa if you haven’t been to Cape Town. “This is a city of experiences, a city designed to delight your senses, stimulate your mind and satisfy your thirst for fun and adventure”. There is still plenty of affordable accommodation available in Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism has partnered with low-cost internal airlines Kulula, Mango and 1Time to offer affordable flights to Cape Town. This campaign breaks new ground, in an arrangement with low-cost internal airlines Mango, Kulula and 1Time. Usually keen competitors, they have agreed to share in a series of ads to promote awareness of affordable Cape Town accommodation packages coupled with low airfares.

Visitors to South Africa who may not have been planning to include a Cape Town holiday should not miss this opportunity. Cape Town Tourism and their extensive list of accommodation establishment members, in partnership with these airlines, will offer incredible deals on Cape Town escapes during the World Cup period, and will launch the “Come to Cape Town Campaign” on 13 June , 2010 making it really affordable to fly and stay in Cape Town for a few days between matches. Cape Town travel is promoting one-way flights from R700 between Johannesburg and Cape Town and accommodation from less than R500 per person per night; the offer is valid from until July 31; subject to availability. Tourists may book online through Cape Town Tourism’s website:

Attractive flight specials will be promoted through in-flight and Web based promotions by all three airlines. A series of print ads will also run in local newspapers over the next three weekends, and a local and international PR campaign will continue to drive the message that Cape Town cannot be missed.

The dynamic Chief Executive of Cape Town Tourism, Mariette Du Toit-Helmbold points out that it would be a great pity to miss out on Cape Town when visiting South Africa. “With countless accolades to back this statement up, I can only say that Cape Town is one of the places of a lifetime. You’ve come so far; don’t miss out on this extraordinary opportunity to soak up the electric atmosphere while exploring one of the most beautiful cities in the world!”

“Cape Town is going to be all about the atmosphere. We have great entertainment lined up, our restaurants and bars are primed, and the activity hubs in the inner city, V&A Waterfront, FIFA Fan Fest and Green Point areas are going to generate an incredible soccer experience – all within easy walking distance of each other. The packages we have put together mean that it is actually really affordable to hop on a plane and stay with us for a few days between games.” “It’s a bit of a secret, but Cape Town is as good in winter as it is in summer – it’s just different – more about a brisk walk on the beach than lying under the umbrella,” commented Mariette.

Most accommodation establishments in the non-hotel sector have realised that they need to be really competitive during the “Secret Season”, which is our winter, because of the lower than expected number of visitors for the 2010 World cup. Make good use of the choice available in the Internet to shop around for affordable Cape Town accommodation.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Cape Point Nature Reserves new Funicular unveiled in time for the 2010 World Cup

We have previously reported that the Flying Dutchman funicular at spectacular Cape Point had been decommissioned to be replaced with a new upgraded facility. It seems that those involved must have done everything possible to ensure that the new funicular would be available to visitors to South Africa for the World Cup, and have succeeded. The Cape Point Partnership, which is a partnership between the Thebe Tourism Group and Tolcon Group unveiled the new and improved Flying Dutchman funicular to the Tourism authorities, the trade and media at Cape Point on 8 June 2010.

The funicular, which transports visitors up the steep slope to popular lookout points just below the lighthouse, has been upgraded at a cost of R6-million, complete with a new body, safer braking technology and large picture windows that afford a 360 degree view throughout the spectacular trip. The funicular comfortably carries 30 passengers every three minutes in each direction. The new system has been designed to minimise the funicular’s carbon footprint, and the new Flying Dutchman will be more environmentally friendly than before thanks to low solar powered batteries charged by photovoltaic panels while in transit. The new funicular is one of many improvements to this area of the Table Mountain National Park, in addition to a bigger parking area and upgrades of the information area, curio shops and restaurant. While the funicular will continue to transport visitors from the car park up a steep slope to just below the lighthouse, the more energetic can still enjoy the walk up the steps, and make friends along the way.

Speaking at the launch, SA National Parks Head of Communications Wanda Mkutshulwa praised the work that the Cape Point Partnership has done in maintaining and marketing the facilities within the park.

“We appreciate the good work that is done here, especially the reputation-building, so thank you very much,” she said. “Cape Point is one of our ‘big five’ parks, which receive optimum visitor numbers. It is these ‘big five’ amid our portfolio of 19 parks that effectively fund the sustainability of South Africa’s biodiversity.”

Head of the Department for Economic Development and Tourism in the Western Cape, Mr Solly Fourie, emphasised the role of corporate partnerships in contributing to the economic value of tourism in the province, and in growing the popularity of Cape Town as an international destination of choice.

Visitors to South Africa will find even more to enjoy on their Cape Town holiday; Noordhoek where one can find affordable family beach cottages is just a short drive from all of these attractions, and your ideal base to explore the many attractions of the Southern Cape Town peninsula.

Friday, June 4, 2010

South American football fans are headed for World Cup 2010.

It is well known that the people of South America are crazy about football and have delivered many world-class players. One of the reasons that has recently been given by South Africa Tourism organizations for the disappointingly low number of visitors that have booked to travel to South Africa for the World Cup 2010, apart from the economic recession, is the high cost of airfare. Now football fans from Brazil who have been wishing to travel to South Africa will be pleased of an announcement of affordable airfares coupled with affordable South Africa accommodation.

The reputable international travel portal Global Pillow in association with Football Nights Association (FNA) have confirmed that they have secured a Worldwide Charters Boeing 747-300 aircraft, to charter Brazilian football fans to and from South Africa for the final stage of the 2010 World Cup football tournament departing from around 21st June. Prices will be well below the standard airfare, and FNA has eased any last minute travel arrangements by putting this together with an accommodation Service If accommodation is booked through FNA you can most probably expect a discount on your flight.

This is what is being offered to Brazilian football fans on their website:
Flights depart from either Sao Paulo or Rio De Janeiro to South Africa
Excludes all airport taxes and VAT
Includes one internal flight in South Africa
All Flights return to Rio De Janeiro and not to Sao Paulo.
Dates are set and cannot be changed.
No refunds for cancellations.
Trips depart from 21,22,23 June and return on 12,13,14 July respectively.
Accommodation is not included but FNA can arrange transfers and accommodation for you.
FNA is now considering arranging similar packages for Argentinean soccer fans.

South Africans will also enjoy cheap Flights to South America
South Africans can pick up cheap flights to Rio De Janeiro during this time because the aircraft has to return and cannot be allowed to go back empty. South Africans can expect to pay as little as R3,499.00 from Johannesburg and R3,749 from Durban to Rio De Janeiro.; excluding airport tax return Dates for these flight packages are set and cannot be changed, and no refunds will be available for cancellations. Departures from around 21 June and return on about 12 July.

I am sure that all in the business of tourism in South Africa will welcome this initiative which we hope will increase the numbers of visitors seeking accommodation for the 2010 World Cup.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Confirmation of dramatic reduction in Accommodation prices for 2010 FIFA World Cup

Commenting in a press release on the prices of hotel and other accommodation in Cape Town and other South African cities for the 2010 World Cup, Michael Doubinski, General Manager, of prestigious international booking portal has stated that :

“for the first time, the highly anticipated 2010 FIFA World Cup tournament is failing to boost inbound tourism and failing to meet its 16% quota of South Africa’s US$11B revenue target.” “We’ve never expected the hotel industry to drop prices during a peak sporting event. It’s most unusual that prices have dropped this significantly."

We are sure that visitors to South Africa for the 2010 World Cup will welcome the news of reduced accommodation prices , because with only a week to go before the start of the tournament, we are still receiving enquiries for affordable self catering accommodation which is within easy access of the city and the stadium. We have previously written on the independent survey conducted by a reputable audit firm commissioned by the Department of tourism which showed that the non-hotel accommodation sector of Cape Town was responsible in its pricing from the outset and did not seek to exploit this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. If you are still looking for accommodation in South Africa during the period of the tournament you should take the opportunity to make good use of the Internet where you will undoubtedly find bargain rates at this time.
Mr. Doubinski may be correct about the slashing of prices; but his statement that the World Cup tournament is failing to boost inbound tourism is sure to be strongly rejected by the Department of Tourism and by the many other bodies involved in the industry. Whilst the recession, air fares and other factors may have contributed to the number of visitors being significantly less than anticipated there will be an undoubted increase in tourism during what is the low season in South Africa, and the economic benefits to our country in these recessionary times will be significant.

We believe that the benefits to inbound tourism in Cape Town will be experienced over the next few years because of the positive perception that will be created to more than 1 billion people watching the matches on their TV screens.
Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa (Fedhasa) and the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (Satsa) have issued a joint statement, explaining the circumstances surrounding the release of so much accommodation contracted by MATCH for the FIFA 2010 World cup. Match was officially mandated by soccer's governing body FIFA to provide accommodation during the tournament and initially contracted accommodation for 450 000 visitors. The release claimed that original impression that there were not enough accommodation rooms available stemmed from the fact that South Africa did not have a national accommodation database and that projections of visitors have declined from 450,000 to around 300,00. They stated “the impression that there were insufficient rooms to meet the needs of the event was not created by MATCH nor FIFA but by all stakeholders in the industry as well as by the media”. The press release went on to blame the global recession and high airfares for the lower than expected turnout of Soccer World Cup tourists. Their press release states that "Had it not been for the global recession we have faced during the critical reservation periods of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa would have secured a significantly higher level of visitors, which in turn would have necessitated the full use of all room inventory."

I am sure that those of us who did not choose to do so , but chose to rely upon our own Internet marketing efforts will feel vindicated.
New surveys have shown that visitors prefer to stay in close proximity to the stadium during the World Cup tournament and their bookings in suburbs further out tend to be disappointing. For this reason if you have still not booked accommodation you should look for bargains such as that offered by Horizon Holiday Cottages into beautiful coastal Valley suburb of Noordhoek where 50% discount is being offered on the published rates for stays of four or more days during the World Cup. Whilst this rural country village suburb may be a little further out, guests who stay there will have the pleasure of driving in just 40 minutes to the stadium over Chapman’s Peak drive, said by many to be the most spectacular and beautiful coastal scenic drive in the world.
Enquire now on the website :