Kruger camps for 2010 tourists
Durban - The Kruger National Park (KNP) will reserve three of its camps exclusively for foreign tourists attending the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
South African National Parks (SANParks) unveiled its plan for the tournament during the Tourism Indaba in Durban.
"For us this event is more than just about sport. The message we want to send to the world is that SANParks is on track to deliver next year," said managing executive of tourism and marketing at SANParks, Glenn Phillips.
Phillips hoped that this move would send a positive signal to critics who didn't believe South Africa would be ready to host the World Cup.
He said SANParks wanted to see optimal occupancy in all national parks during the event.
"Key to this is the retention of our regular client base, as the event falls during the extended school holidays," said Phillips.
Phillips said 30% of available accommodation in the national parks would therefore be reserved for 2010 tourists, and 70% for the general public.
"The exciting part of this decision is that approximately 15 000 people will get to see the national parks for the first time. We want to use this event to optimise marketing opportunities while we continue to build our brand," he said.
SANParks has also signed a contract with MATCH, a professional services company selected by FIFA to provide ticketing, accommodation and event information technology during the 2010 World Cup event in South Africa.
"If all goes according to plan, the value of (available accommodation) sold to MATCH per day is in the region of R1.4m," he said.
He said this should bring in R52.5m, based on two people per unit, inclusive of dinner, bed and breakfast and activities by the time the World Cup is over.
SANParks spokesperson Reynold Thakhuli said new mobile tents would also be erected in the Kruger camps.
"This will provide an additional 420 beds and will form part of the legacy beyond 2010. These tents will be used after the tournament in all our national parks as and when they are needed," Thakhuli added.
Skukuza, Berg-en-Dal and Pretoriuskop are the three camps in the Kruger that will be reserved for foreign tourists.
Other parks close to the World Cup matches that have been contracted are Addo Elephant National Park, Garden Route National Park, Tsitsikamma and the Knysna lake area, Marakele and Golden Gate Highlands National Park.