Football tourists spend R1.27bn


Football tourists spend R1.27bn

Football tourists spend R1.27bn

Pretoria – Cape Town has gained R1.27 billion from spending from more than 108 384 football tourists who visited the city during the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

Presenting his 2010/2011 annual report to the Western Cape Legislature’s Standing Committee on Finance and Economic Development on Friday, Cape Town Routes Unlimited (CTRU) CEO Calvyn Gilfellan announced that Gauteng had won the title for drawing the most football tourists, while the Western Cape ended second on the league table representing the South African cities that had hosted the tournament.

“Western Cape’s achievement was truly significant, considering that 60% of matches were played up north,” Gilfellan said, adding that tourism had arguably become the Western Cape’s number one growth industry.

However, he cautioned that the spike in the numbers of foreign visitors was “blighted” by a decline in domestic tourism.

Looking at global trends, he said the world economic strain was affecting South Africa.

Gilfellan called for an honest and open conversation between the tourism industry, national government, business, labour and different communities involved in tourism.

He advised that they should discuss perceptions of overpricing, rising operational costs, weak demand from the traditional European markets, oversupply of accommodation and the cost of air tickets.

He said CTRU, which is the Western Cape’s official destination marketing authority, has been losing staff since the announcement in July 2010 of plans to form one Economic Development Partnership and staff members were also uncertain about their future.

“Despite this, my team has maintained their focus on delivering high quality marketing services on behalf of the destination and its people. With a relatively non-competitive marketing budget of R18 million, CTRU, in close collaboration with industry partners, has managed to unlock a return of R3 billion on behalf of the Western Cape and its people… If one adds to this the value of 42 pending conference bids, the figure jumps to R4.1 billion.”

This year, CTRU also received its sixth successive unqualified audit report from the Auditor-General.

Gilfellan also announced that CTRU was to launch its Welcome Summer Marketing Campaign, which last year saw more than 259 545 visitors travelling through the province. – BuaNews