FIFA has given the green light to all South Africa’s ten World Cup host stadiums following a 10-day final inspection. Six new stadia have been built and four given total renovations in preparation for the tournament, which kicks off on 11 June.
Organising Committee chief executive officer Danny Jordaan told Reuters: “We can say with confidence we have delivered on our promise of 10 world-class stadiums and delivered them months before the tournament even starts.”
In other World Cup news, South African Tourism Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk defended the nation against accusations of profiteering by its tourism industry. He said accommodation prices during the World Cup have increased by a reasonable amount, but conceded that 65 per cent of establishments in Gauteng province have increased their prices more than 50 per cent.
“The majority of accommodation establishments in South Africa are very responsible, we know that 74 percent will be charging prices during the World Cup that are very reasonable,” he told a news conference.
Meanwhile, South Africa Tourism is ramping up its campaign to keep price inflation in check during the tournament, with news that hoteliers in the Eastern Cape are backing its “Good Guys” campaign.
The campaign was launched about two months ago by South African Tourism Update to reward service providers who refuse to put up their rates over the 2010 FIFA World Cup period with good coverage. Service providers fall into four categories: accommodation providers, tours, attractions, and transfers/flights.
“This makes me really proud. For Eastern Cape businesses to be singled out in this way is indeed a credit to the people of this province. May many more follow their example as we approach World Cup and after the event,” said Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet.
He also warned against general inflation of prices. “This could well discourage tourists from revisiting our shores post-2010.”
SA Tourism Update Online has compiled a database of tourism suppliers that are not price gouging, which can be accessed by their inbound tour operators. The rates they consider fair will be loaded into the frequently updated database.