Recession, airfares blamed for fewer World Cup visitors

10:19, June 01, 2010      

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South African tourism organizations on Monday blamed the global recession and high airfares for the lower than expected turnout of tourists for the FIFA World Cup.

South Africa originally expected 450,000 visitors for the June 11 to July 11 tournament.

On Monday, two South African organizations said that high prices and problems in the world economy have led to lower than expected numbers at South African tourism venues.

"We believe that under a different economic climate, demand would have extended to areas outside the host cities and to the wide variety of non-hotel accommodation options available in South Africa," the Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa ( FEDHASA) HASA and the Southern Africa Tourism Services Association (SATSA) said in a joint statement.

"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."

According to Business Day newspaper in Johannesburg, the two tourism bodies also said there were other contributing factors.

These included "the high airfares that temporarily prevailed at the time of the final draw and the inflexibility from service providers looking to secure contracts for 33 days".

The latest figures indicate fewer than 300,000 soccer visitors will arrive.

Source:Xinhua

(Editor:intern1)

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