TOURISM: Business Travel Set To Soar
Recent Western Cape Business News
Many business travellers are choosing to delay their travel plans until immediately after the 2010 World Cup due to the higher than normal travel costs. However, these price conscious travellers may be disappointed when it comes to arranging their delayed travel plans, as flights and hotels are being rapidly booked up for the post-event period.
According to David Solomon Chairman at Solomon Brothers Property Holdings, developer of Pepper Club, the newly opened R400-million luxury hotel and spa in Cape Town, the hotel has already taken a number of bookings from business and corporate travellers for the weeks immediately after the tournament period. “Based on current bookings we expect a higher than normal part of our business to come from the corporate travel market in the weeks after the World Cup.”
“Pepper Club is already more than 90% booked out for the World Cup and while we do have some bookings during this period from our regular corporate guests, many of them have told us that they are postponing their travel arrangements until after the event.”
A report published last month by advisory services firm Grant Thornton suggested that this year’s World Cup is likely to dampen South Africans’ travel plans, with travelling inter-city for business purposes also expected to drop-off significantly due to congestion and inflated prices.
Solomon says that with most businesses having the same idea to delay their travel plans, he expects a huge rush on business travel in the weeks following the end of the tournament. “Companies know they need to delay their travel plans, so many have already begun booking well in advance. Any companies that are choosing to delay travel plans until the end of July or August, should start thinking about making arrangements now.”
He says that with more and more conferences being planned in Cape Town, business travellers are set to benefit from the hotel’s location in the heart of the business district, which is currently the second largest financial centre in the country. “Business travellers are a key target market for the Pepper Club as we believe that many of these people wish to stay in the centre of town near where their meetings and offices are located are being underserved currently.”
According to Western Cape MEC for Finance, Economic Development and Tourism, Garth Strachan, recent statistics have shown that business tourism is becoming a solid, supporting pillar that could sustain tourism in Cape Town and the Western Cape in 2010 and beyond.
In addition to the hundreds of local conferences already on the calendar, Cape Town has secured 21 international conferences and congresses for 2010 and 2011, with an expected 31 900 delegates and an estimated economic impact of hundreds of millions of rands.
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