Tourism entrepreneurs warned about World Cup

TOURISM authorities in Limpopo have cautioned local tourism entrepreneurs not to pin all their hopes on the World Cup and ignore planning for opportunities that will arise after the cup competition.

TOURISM authorities in Limpopo have cautioned local tourism entrepreneurs not to pin all their hopes on the World Cup and ignore planning for opportunities that will arise after the cup competition.

This message was reiterated during yesterday's tourism expo held at the Peter Mokaba Stadium outside Polokwane.

With dozens of football tourists expected to visit the province for the biggest soccer showpiece, many tourism entrepreneurs are set to cash in during the month-long tournament.

Limpopo Tourism and Parks senior manager Xolani Mthethwa said while the football tournament would certainly generate more revenues for people owning accommodation facilities, there was a need to invest beyond 2010.

In his 2010 Fifa World Cup Tourism Progress Report, Mthethwa said the imminent event should only be used as a marketing strategy for tourism entrepreneurs to advance their business aspirations even beyond the 2010 tournament.

"Tourism is a major industry, characterised by a large number of small and medium businesses and is fast becoming one of the world's largest economic activities."

Mthethwa announced that in Limpopo 953 accommodation facilities with 30376 beds have been verified for the purpose of this mega event.

He said Fifa needed 19 000 beds around match venues.

Meanwhile, the University of Limpopo's students residence, which has 6 969 beds, has been earmarked as an accommodation alternative.

While it is not clear about the booming prospect of tourism entrepreneurship in Limpopo, founder and publisher of African Entrepreneur magazine, Morare Manaka, said: "Behind every successful business, there is often a story of spectacular perseverance or taking a risk.

"Why don't you take a risk and see how tourism entrepreneurship goes beyond the World Cup?" Manaka asked rhetorically.

Owner of Njabulo Destinations Bruce Nobela maintained that tourism opportunities in the province will not diminish shortly after this eagerly-awaited event.

"It will be foolhardy for any business person to think that opportunities will fade away with the World Cup.

"It should be borne in mind that Limpopo is a tourism destination with scenic beauty, warm weather and cultural diversity," Nobela said.

X