Plan now and enjoy life during World Cup

2009-12-05 13:32


AFREAK combination of extended school

holidays, a series of big local sporting events and the usual glut of public

holidays in March and April were always going to make 2010 a congested year.

Add to this the planets’ largest soccer event, and you have the

makings of a hugely frustrating year, ­unless you start planning now.

Julie Fredericks, chief operating officer of Alexander Forbes Risk

Services, plotted all the events ­happening next year on a graph to help South

Africans plan their movements.

Although the actual Fifa Soccer World Cup is from June 11 to July

11 next year, the period between March and July will be an exceptionally busy

time with pre- and post-arrangements having a huge effect on business travel.

The grid below indicates the magnitude of the disruption to travel

over this period.

“Anyone can see that there are going to be very real business

travel restrictions before, during and after the World Cup,” says Fredericks,

who offers the following advice to South Africans:

  •  Restrict travel during this period

    unless it is critical

  •  Plan your trip well in advance as

    changing a ticket over this period will be extremely difficult and very


  •  If possible try to make appointments

    at locations in the opposite ­direction of a stadium or fan park

  •  Book flights at times when games are

    being played. Games will be played at 13h30, 16h00 and 20h30.

  •  Allow for a minimum of two hours to

    get to the airport in Cape Town and possibly three hours for Johannesburg. The

    congestion on the roads both to and from the airports is likely to be chaotic,

    so plan for delays

  •  Parking at the airport may be

    congested and it is advisable to get someone to drop you off and pick you up

    from the airports. Transfer companies will be busy with tourists and will also

    be very expensive.

“Advising various clients on risks and sensible precautions during

their business continuity planning sessions has forced us to find, or at least

extrapolate, some of the critical numbers,” says Fredericks.

According to audit company PricewaterhouseCoopers, the 2010 Soccer

World Cup is about 15 times bigger than the 1995 Rugby World Cup.

Just the media contingent is estimated at 30 000. They also expect

about 220 000 long-haul visitors and 180 000 visitors from Africa and an average

of 150 000 local supporters.

Fredericks cautions that “booking and paying for flights that you

can afford could become a problem in 2010”.

Currently no airline has released any prices or strategies for the

World Cup period. Pre- and post-match-day flights into and out of the venue

cities are likely to be overbooked.

People should expect delays because of the

sheer volume of travellers expected.

World Cup teams will be using charter flights and plan to use

second tier airports.

Finding accommodation will be a difficult mission as well if you

don’t plan in advance. All the major hotel brands within South Africa have

contracted with MATCH (the Fifa company that takes care of logistics) at a

pre-defined room rate.

According to Fifa there is a shortage of about 18 000 rooms for the

World Cup. This is good news if you own a B&B or guesthouse because you can

charge premium rates.

Furthermore, it is likely that all car-rental companies will go on

“stop-sale” for the period of the World Cup and rental cars will be scarce.

Friday was the final draw, so now all teams know where they will be

based and where their supporters will be spending most of their time.

“This weekend is likely to be the time when the booking frenzy will

start,” predicts Fredericks.

So if you want to be part of the action next year, start planning

right now – before the rest of the world beats you to it!

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