If anything demonstrates that South Africa’s tourism organisations do not have the first clue about the challenges for 2010 World Cup, the following email from Brazil says it all. SA Tourism’s policy is not to comment on 2010 accommodation and Johannesburg Tourism Co won’t get involved in any debate (but then they are close to bankrupt). The Department of Tourism mouths platitudes it does not live up to. And, it seems, the Tourism Business Council and Fedhasa are devoting more attention to feathering their own nests than addressing South Africa’s long term tourism interests. At the rate we’re going, the nett impact of 2010 World Cup will be negative, and South Africa will suffer the consequences for many years to come.
Your Excellency President Zuma,
My name is Berto Nogueira and I am a member of a group of Brazilian soccer fans in the social network “Orkut”. Our community’s name is “ Copa do Mundo 2010, Eu Vou” which translates roughly to ‘World Cup 2010, I am going or I go”. At the time of this writing we were 644 (six hundred and forty four) active members.
Several members of our community have indicated that prices being quoted for accommodation and for domestic air travel in South Africa are way too high. Several members were quoted prices for accommodation double, triple, and in some cases close to five times the going rates.
I take this opportunity to inform Your Excellency that most of us have attended previous world cups and that nowhere have we experienced price increases like the ones being asked in South Africa for accommodations and for domestic air travel.
As a soccer fan and a member of this community of soccer fans, I respectfully ask your excellency and all other South African authorities involved in the World Cup 2010 to reconsider and to regulate this practice of price gouging. It is in everyone’s best interest to have a World Cup where fans would feel they were treated well and paid fair prices for goods and service.
Some of us may return to visit South Africa with our families if we have a positive experience during the World Cup. The World Cup gives a country the opportunity to showcase its beauty and to showcase how visitors are treated within the country.
The current prices being quoted for accommodation and for domestic flights in South Africa do not paint a positive picture of 2010 World Cup in South Africa.
South Africa is a great nation and we hope the 2010 World Cup is going to be a huge success. However, Fifa and the South African government need to make sure that soccer fans from every country of the world are charged fair prices for accommodation and for transportation in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup.
Mr. President, In the name of our community, “Copa do Mundo 2010, Eu Vou”, I take this opportunity to thank you for your time and I look forward to an improvement and a positive resolution of this two critical matters, accommodation and domestic air transportation.
Berto Nogueira, Moderator of the Orkut community “Copa do Mundo 2010, Eu Vou”