Lodges told to register or lose out

Xolile Bhengu

Xolile Bhengu

Owners of guest houses and lodges that are still not registered to host visitors during the 2010 Soccer World Cup might be left in the cold.

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa said six months after it started its national campaign that it still needed 4669 more rooms in the non-hotel establishment industry to sign up with Match, which is Fifa's accommodation, ticket sales, and hospitality arm - so that they would be included in the Fifa brochure due for release next year.

The council said the bulk of positive responses for registration with Match had come from the Western Cape, Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal establishments.

The 2010 soccer showpiece is expected to draw between 350000 and 500000 tourists to South Africa and is expected to create about 80000 jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors.

Tourism Grading Council head of marketing and communication Lunice Johnston said they would be using the Tourism Indaba, which will be held at Durban's Chief Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from May 10-14, to persuade accommodation owners to register.

Johnston said the latest figures of registrations for grading showed it was halfway to meeting its target of having 10000 rooms in the non-hotel sector.

She said the body would grade registered establishments from one to five star, which was a guide for tourists on what they would expect to pay for their stay.