World Cup numbers fail to match expectations

2010-12-07 13:15

The 2010 Fifa World Cup failed to live up to expectations by drawing a smaller number of tourists than expected.

The tourism department announced yesterday that between June and July 309 000 people had visited the country for the tournament.

However, an earlier study conducted by Grant Thornton had projected that the Cup would attract 483 000 soccer fans.

Due to the recession, the accounting firm in April released revised figures estimating that 373 000 tourists would visit the country.

The actual figures, presented this week by Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, were lower by 64 000.

The study further projected that each tourist would be in the country for 18 days and spend R30 200 – or R11.3 billion in total.

However, the World Cup only managed to generate R3.64 billion.

Each tourist on average spent 10 nights in the country and spent only R11 800.

One third of the R11 800 was spent on shopping, while the rest of the money was spent on drinks, food and accommodation.

Van Schalwyk was, however, pleased with the figures. “By any language, these figures are impressive,” he said.

He said the World Cup had been worth every cent, minute and all the energy invested in hosting the tournament.

“The Cup was never about the hosting of a tournament, but about building a legacy for our country and continent,” he said.

“The tournament has left a legacy of infrastructure development, economic growth, skills development, job creation, nation building and brand awareness,” said Van Schalkwyk.

The tourism industry would stands to benefit from word-of-mouth marketing, as 89% of the people who attended the tournament promised to refer this country to their friends and families.

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