World Cup 2010 – weak demand prompts hotel sales

Nearly 8,000 hotel rooms for this summer’s World Cup have been put back on the market by the organisers, due to low demand.

Match, the FIFA agency tasked with securing accommodation for the World Cup, has released 441,695 nights in hotel rooms, that’s nearly a third of the total held by the organisation.

A spokesman for Match said that the 7,843 rooms are generally outside of the host cities and on either side of match days and claimed that their release is “in line with expectations.”

“The move is good news for British football fans keen to see the action first hand and to take advantage of additional accommodation options at sensible prices,” said Lebo Mokhesi, country manager for South African Tourism.

However some visitors are being put off by the high prices of hotel rooms in the host cities. Telegraph Travel reported in December that British visitors to South Africa during the World Cup in June could have to pay up to five times the usual rate for a hotel room, as hoteliers, accommodation agents and tour operators take advantage of the limited availability during the five-week tournament.

According to Hotels.com, the accommodation website, the four-star, centrally located Cape Town Lodge Hotel, was charging £68 per room per night from May 28 to June 5, but raised its rate on June 11, when the tournament gets under way, to £395 per night.

British-based South Africa travel specialists have expressed concern at the long-term damage that could be done to the country’s image as a good-value destination. Two thirds of the available match tickets have already been sold, including over 41,000 to British football supporters. The next ticketing phase will start on February 9 and April 7, when an additional 400,000 tickets will be made available.

Source – The Telegraph Feb 2010

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