THE lack of accommodation in 2010 Soccer World Cup host cities such as Durban and Bloemfontein is expected to add to the growing trend of overseas fans basing themselves in Cape Town and commuting to games in other regions.
Recent reports in the British media highlighting these regional shortages during the British and Irish Lions rugby tour have increased Cape Town’s standing as the global soccer tournament’s premier tourist destination.
“The construction of new five star hotels around the city is an indication that Cape Town is positioning itself to take advantage of the predicted exponential growth in the local tourism industry,” Solomon Brothers Property Holdings chairman David Solomon says.
The company, which developed the Pepper Club — a R400m five-star luxury hotel and spa — says that the increased booking inquiries have indicated that the hotel is already benefiting from the shortages in smaller host cities.
The company says Cape Town is in pole position to attract most of the expected 450000 visitors.
Fifa, world football’s governing body, has estimated that 55000 hotel rooms will be required for the duration of the tournament — 15000 more than currently available.
According to many airline charter companies, though they have been significantly affected by the global downturn, bookings for return flights out of Cape Town rose sharply during the staging of the recent Indian Premier League and British and Irish Lions rugby tour and are expected to spike again during next year’s World Cup.
Solomon cites a combination of factors such as world-class beaches, ample tourist attractions such as Table Mountain, and cosmopolitan night life, for enhancing the global appeal of Cape Town over SA’s other 2010 host cities.
Source: Business Day