Cup trade outlook rosier

President Jacob Zuma with Zakumi at the 50 days countdown to FIFA world cup celebrations hosted by South Africa in June and July 2010.
President Jacob Zuma with Zakumi at the 50 days countdown to FIFA world cup celebrations hosted by South Africa in June and July 2010.

VISITORS to South Africa during the Fifa World Cup will stay longer and spend more, according to a global audit and advisory firm yesterday.

VISITORS to South Africa during the Fifa World Cup will stay longer and spend more, according to a global audit and advisory firm yesterday.

"We have revised the figures post the world-wide recession and major ticket sales phases, and some of the numbers are encouraging," said Gillian Saunders of Grant Thornton Strategic Solutions.

Although Grant Thornton's projected number of World Cup visitors was 373000, down from 483000, it was expected that many of the visitors would stay longer and spend more.

"Indications are that tourists will stay an average of 18 days compared to the 14 days used in the original projections," Saunders said.

Average overseas tourist spend per trip was also forecast at R30200, up from R22 000 predicted before.

Visitors were expected to attend an average of five soccer matches per person, up from the 3,4 matches.

"This compares to an average of 2,6 matches at Germany 2006," Saunders said.

She said to understand that some 105000 of the 373000 visitors over the period were expected to be non-ticket holders. "This 105000 is down 16percent on the 125000 non-ticket holders projected previously."

Saunders said 228500 overseas ticket holders were projected, accounting for 38percent of ticket sales.

"Ticket sales to Africans account for only two percent, with 11 300 holding tickets."

Originally, African ticket holders were expected to be 48145.

The gross economic impact would be R93billion, with 62percent expected to be generated pre-2010 and 38percent during the course of this year. "The majority of economic spend comes from national government's spend on infrastructure and some operational expenditure."

This had increased compared to original budgets, from R17,4billion (2007) to R30,3billion, with a further R9billion or more spend from cities and provinces.

The number of annual jobs sustained in total was 695000. Of these, 280000 would be sustained in 2010 and 174000 by the net additional economic activity.

Saunders said the profiling of South Africa and future spin-offs had always been the real benefit of hosting an event of this magnitude. - Sapa

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