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As South Africa enters its final year of preparation before the kick-off of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, hotel bookings in Cape Town are fast gaining momentum with tourists from South and Central America currently leading the way - despite early predictions of a slump due to the effect of the global economic crisis.
The latest example of this increasing positive sentiment is the recording of pre-bookings of almost 80% by predominately Brazilian and Mexican tourists at yet-to-be-opened R400 million five star luxury hotel and spa, Pepper Club - located in the heart of Cape Town.
“The current economic crisis has taken its toll on pockets around the globe and travel and tourism is often an expense which takes a backseat during touch times, but strong enquiries have been streaming in at Cape hotels for World Cup accommodation,” says David Solomon, Chairman of Solomon Brothers Property Holdings and developer of Pepper Club.
“The fact that both Brazil and Mexico’s teams have yet to officially qualify for the tournament, but that their fans are already planning to be based in Cape Town is testament to both their support and the appeal of the city.”
According to adjusted statistics by the Department of Home Affairs, South Africa can still expect between 450 000 and 500 000 visitors for the duration of the event. “Cape Town International Airport alone is expected to handle about 2 400 travellers per hour, an unprecedented influx of tourists.”
The R400 million 20-storey Pepper Club is set to open its doors a few months before the tournament in February 2010, addressing the growing need for a luxury hotel in the heart of the city. Catering for the business and leisure traveller, the hotel will feature a fine-dining restaurant, an intimate private cinema, a swimming pool with panoramic views, a fully-equipped gymnasium, a luxurious spa, 24-hour concierge service and security. In addition, a serene palm tree-lined courtyard will connect directly to the Cape Town’s vibrant Long Street with its boutique shops and cosmopolitan night life.
Solomon says that the coming year is Cape Town’s chance to demonstrate its service excellence in the hospitality industry, by surpassing international standards and creating a scenario for repeat visits beyond 2010. “An event of this global scale is the perfect showcase for what our country can offer international visitors from both a tourism and investment perspective. We only have one chance to get it right,” concludes Solomon.
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