On the back foot: Not the City of Choice for World Cup accommodation

2010-04-20 00:00

DREAMS of making a killing on accommodation in Pietermaritzburg during the Fifa 2010 World Cup have been dealt a fatal blow after Match, Fifa’s accommodation agency, recently released a large number of rooms back to the establishments.

The reason is that Durban accommodation is apparently not fully booked.

Pietermaritzburg Tourism director Melanie Veness said members of the hospitality industry were encouraged to sign over their accommodation to the agency, which would then sell it on to Fifa supporters for the World Cup period.

“My understanding is that Durban is not yet fully booked, and consequently, our rooms have been released back to us. Because we are within an hour of Durban’s World Cup stadium, we were expecting to receive the accommodation overflow from Durban.”

She said the sector is worried because normal business and leisure travel will not take place over the World Cup period, and if the accommodation is not taken up between now and then, the sector will experience a low.

“We remain hopeful that the situation will improve, but now that the accommodation has been returned, establishments will need to pick up the ball and market themselves.”

On the positive side, the Comrades Marathon takes place on May 30, at the same time as the Royal Show.

“We would like to appeal to members of the public, who are willing to offer home stays, to contact Pietermaritzburg Tourism’s accommodation consultant, Ntlaka Mdunge, at 033 345 1348,” said Veness.

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