The new public protector says she will leave the dispute over the state capture report prepared by h.
SOUTH Africa is set to reap lasting tourism rewards from the 2010 Fifa World Cup as visitors pour into the country. Tourists from new as well as traditional markets are responding to the country's offerings, and the energy and warmth of its people, with surprise and delight.
According to the Department of Home Affairs, 682317 foreigners entered the country between June 1 and June 21 compared with 541065 during the same period last year. The department said the influx is set to increase as the tournament enters the knockout stage.
Over and above visitors from neighbouring countries, the largest number of foreign arrivals have come from the UK, the US, Germany, Australia, Mexico, Brazil, France, the Netherlands and Argentina.
"From a tourism perspective, the World Cup has been fantastic exposure for South Africa,", Thandiwe January-Mclean, chief executive officer of South African Tourism, said this week.
"The World Cup has afforded South Africa the opportunity to do away with stereotypes. Overall, the response from visitors has been one of surprise.
"Surprise at our infrastructure development and at the excitement of match audiences. All our feedback has been positive. People are extremely excited."
South Africa Tourism is confident the World Cup will open up the country to a whole new spectrum of visitors.
"The 2010 Fifa World Cup has seen an increase in visitors from new countries, especially the Latin-American nations such as Mexico and Brazil," Roshene Singh, chief marketing officer of South African Tourism, said.
"This has been coupled with the implementation of the international Fifa Fan Fests, at which more than 900000 people have been in attendance since the start of the tournament.
"The highest television audience and international fan fest attendance has been in Mexico. We are promoting South Africa in those Fan Fests," Singh said.
"There will be new market opportunities after this tournament. With our track record of hosting major events, sports tourism is important to South Africa. We are not relaxing, we are continuing with our campaigns to convert awareness into visitors."
One of the biggest talking points around large sporting events is the revenue generated from visiting fans, and South African Tourism is confident that the tournament will be a success from a tourism revenue perspective.
"We only have estimates at this point, but we are looking at about R27billion, almost a thousand percent of what we spent on marketing," Singh said.
Last year,the economy benefited from R100billion in tourism spend. While global tourism numbers took a dive in 2009 - internationally there was a 4percent decrease in tourism - South Africa managed a 3,7 percent increase.
"Though we have no official figures yet, we are confident we have met the numbers we projected for the World Cup," January-Mclean said.
Accommodation figures are also looking promising, with 65 to 70 percent occupancy rates in Johannesburg. Cape Town and Durban are looking closer to 85percent.
"We will see an increase in movement as we reach the knockout stages," January-Mclean predicted. - www.southafrica.info