Projected increase in World Cup spending

2010-04-21 12:50

Visitors to South Africa during the 2010 Fifa World Cup will stay

longer and spend more, according to global audit and advisory firm Grant

Thornton.

Principal of Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions Gillian Saunders

said: “We have revised the figures post the world-wide recession and major

ticket sales phases, and some of the numbers are encouraging.”

Although Grant Thornton’s projected number of World Cup visitors

was 373 000, down from 483 000, it was expected that many of the visitors would

stay longer and spend more.

“Indications are that overseas tourists will stay an average of 18

days compared to the 14 days used in the original projections,” Saunders

said.

Average overseas tourist spend per trip was also forecast to be up,

at R30 200 compared to the R22 000 predicted before.

The average spend forecast was based on an analysis of current

tourist spends in South Africa as well as dipstick surveys of potential visitors

and expenditure by visitors to South Africa for other sporting events such as

the Lions’ Tour.

Foreign World Cup visitors were expected to attend an average of

five soccer matches per person, up from the 3.4 matches previously

expected.

Extended stays

“This compares to an average of 2.6 matches attended by foreigners

at the World Cup in Germany in 2006. Going to more matches means visitors are

likely to stay in the country for a longer period and therefore, while daily

spends remain similar, total trip spend increases.”

She said it had to be understood that about 105 000 of the 373 000

visitors to South Africa over the period were expected to be non-ticket

holders.

“This 105 000 is down 16% on the 125 000 non-ticket holders

projected previously,” said Saunders.

Saunders said a total of 228 500 overseas ticket holders were

projected, accounting for 38% of ticket sales: “Ticket sales to Africans account

for only 2%, with 11 300 Africans holding tickets.”

Originally, African ticket holders were expected to total 48?145, a

difference of -77%.

“Given evidence of huge interest from the continent, this indicates

that there has been a failure in distribution channels and unaffordable

pricing,” Saunders said.

The gross economic impact would be R93 billion, with 62% expected

to be generated pre-2010 and 38% during the course of this year.



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