RESULTS of a survey by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and South African Tourism (SAT) on the impact of the World Cup show without a doubt that the event will have a lasting legacy in terms of the South African tourism industry according to Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk.
He said in addition to more than 309,000 tourists arriving in South Africa for the primary purpose of attending the World Cup and a ZAR3.6-billion ($506.8-million) boost to the economy in terms of spend, the survey shows that tourists were extremely satisfied with their experience in the country and would highly recommend the destination to friends and family.
“When South Africa bid to host the 2010 FIFA World Cup, our bid represented the hopes of a nation. We hoped that hosting the largest sporting event in the world would showcase to the world our wonderful country, its people, our capabilities and our vision for the future.
“We worked tirelessly for many years across all sectors, from government departments to the private sector and as citizens, to make sure we hosted the best World Cup ever. We planned, invested and implemented our vision in the face of many challenges, of fierce scepticism and sometimes even of outright disbelief that we could deliver on our commitments.
“The world watched in awe as the spectacular opening ceremony was broadcast globally from Soweto. For the next four weeks our cities and provinces, our tourism industry and our citizens did us proud. And based on the results of our survey of the tourism impact of the World Cup, I can say without a doubt that the success of the event will reverberate for many years to come,” said Schalkwyk.
He added that it was never just about hosting the tournament but, more importantly, about showcasing the destination and as Qatar prepares for its turn at the centre of the footballing universe in 2022, the figures make interesting reading.
The comprehensive survey showed 309,554 tourists arrived in South Africa to attend the World Cup, 38 per cent of them coming from within Africa, followed by 24 per cent from Europe, 13 per cent from Central and South America and 11 per cent from North America.
The minister added: “The overall average spend per tourist was ZAR11,800 ($1,662), which is notably higher than the annual average spend in South Africa in 2008 (R8,400 – $1,183) and 2009 (R9,500 – $1,339).
“More than 30 per cent of the spend was on shopping, followed by 20 per cent on accommodation, 19 per cent on food and drink, 16 per cent on leisure and 11 per cent on transport.
“Very importantly, almost 90 per cent of tourists said they would consider visiting South Africa again in the future, while 96 per cent said they would recommend the country to their friends and relatives. This is an extremely positive vote of confidence in our destination, our capabilities, our facilities and our people.”
The survey showed that total awareness of South Africa as a leisure destination increased by nine per cent following the event and the intention to visit South Africa in the short term increased by a significant 35 per cent.
Tourist arrivals from January to September 2010 increased by 16.8 per cent compared to the same nine months in 2009. From January to September 2010 there were more than 5.9 million tourist arrivals, compared to about 5 million in 2009.
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