‘Plenty of rooms for 2010 visitors’

2008-11-04 00:00

Cape Town — South Africa has more than enough accommodation to host visitors to the 2010 World Cup — with 100 000 graded rooms available on its database, Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk said yesterday.

Van Schalkwyk said he is to facilitate talks between South African Tourism (SAT) and Match, the Fifa-appointed booking agency for 2010, to resolve problems relating to the uptake of accommodation by Match for the tournament. Match arrange ticketing, transport and accommodation for the 2010 World Cup.

The minister reiterated that SA’s 100 000 graded rooms are more than enough to fulfil the Match requirement of 55 000. “Our tourism industry is ready for 2010 and all role-players are committed to ensuring that visitors enjoy an unrivalled experience in SA,” he said.

Moeketsi Mosola, the CEO of SAT, speaking at the seventh Annual Tourism Conference in Johannesburg on Monday, said there have been numerous complaints from the hospitality industry about Match placing pressure on the industry to commit rooms under unfavourable conditions.

In response, Van Schalkwyk said he has had discussions with all the parties involved. “… I am confident that with good communication between the parties we will be able to resolve the matter,” he said.

Meanwhile, Democratic Alliance Tourism spokesman Gareth Morgan said yesterday that nearly a third of SA’s tour guides have not been registered according to the specifications of the Tourism Second Amendment Act. “There are currently 8 689 registered tour guides in SA while 4 000 are not registered,’’ he said.

With 2010 around the corner, “we need to ensure that our visitors are welcomed by accredited guides who are knowledgeable about our country and its opportunities, and who operate with professional integrity,” he said.

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