Boom for Bloemfontein hospitality industry

2012-12-15 22:46

kalahari.com

Bloemfontein - Guest house and B&B owners in Bloemfontein have experienced a boost in business this year.

A day before the ANC's elective conference in Mangaung got underway, almost every street pole on Nelson Mandela Drive was plastered with an advertisement of a "home away from home".

Outside the Central University of Technology, where thousands of delegates received their accreditation, a man stood with big posters calling on those who were in need of a place to stay.

“I’m not even sure if I’ll get paid,” he said to a SAPA reporter. A significant portion of the over 6 000 people who had arrived at the Free State University would be based outside the campus. Guest houses and B&B's were enjoying a great piece of the business pie as major hotels were booked to the brim.

However, things did not start with the African National Congress conference.

The hospitality industry in the province came to the party when Bloemfontein was announced as one of the host cities for the 2010 Fifa World Cup.

“A lot of people renovated their homes and turned them into guest houses. At that time I was worried that we would not compete. But things went well,” said Nadine Reynolds, owner of Aloe Ridge B&B in Mangaung. Also, earlier this year, the African National Congress brought smiles to the province's tourism sector with the party's centenary celebrations. Reynolds' establishment is based in the suburb of Dan Pienaar, a 10-minute drive from the university and two kilometres from the Bloemfontein Stadium where the ANC centenary celebrations were held.

“It’s a boom or bust here in Mangaung. It’s either we are all booked or we are all not booked,” she said. In the meantime, Reynolds, a retired teacher, said she was grateful for the latest events to come to the city. “The conference has given us a boom ahead of Christmas here as most tourists go to coastal cities in the festive season”.



- SAPA
Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  tourism  |  mangaung 2012
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