With South Africa having spent a reported $4.6 billion to prepare for the 2010 soccer World Cup, many South Africans, including those in the wine industry, are hoping for lots of fans to arrive.
But as the June 11 kickoff date rapidly approaches the number of expected international spectators has been scaled down from 450,000 to 350,000 and even that number is appearing optimistic, the respected business magazine BusinessWeek reported.
“The numbers so far don’t look good. MATCH Services, a Swiss company that FIFA contracted to supply ticketing and accommodation services, has relinquished booking rights for more than 450,000 room nights. Sales of corporate hospitality packages are 50% below target, with sponsors and partners returning thousands of tickets for premium seats, according to FIFA.”
The tournament’s projected contribution to the gross domestic product has also been halved to 0.5 percent.
One of the main reasons given is the cost of the long-haul flights and peak-price accommodations, the magazine reported echoing concerns raised in South Africa.
Even with the reduced number of people traveling to South Africa we must still view this as an invaluable opportunity to showcase our country and not a short-sighted opportunity to make a quick profit.