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HOSPITALITY: Ladooma For Cape Town


Recent Western Cape Business News

THE current lack of accommodation in 2010 World Cup host cities such as Durban and Bloemfontein will add to the growing trend of overseas sports fans basing themselves in Cape Town and ‘commuting’ to games in other regions during the tournament.

Recent reports in the British media highlighting these regional shortages during the British & Irish Lions rugby tour have increased Cape Town’s standing as the global soccer tournaments premier tourist destination.

So says David Solomon, chairman of Solomon Brothers Property.

Fifa has estimated that approximately 55 000 hotel rooms will be required for the duration of the tournament - 15 000 more than is currently available.

According to many airline charter companies, though they have been significantly affected by the global downturn, bookings for return flights out of Cape Town significantly increased during the staging of the recent Indian Premier League and British and Irish Lions tour and are expected to spike again during the soccer tournament.

Deloitte meanwhile confirms that revenue per available room (revPAR), the hotel industry’s key performance indicator, was up 5.8% during the month of June across South Africa as hoteliers benefited from an increase in tourism due to the Fifa Confederations Cup and the British and Irish Lions rugby tour.

There is no doubt that the South African tourism industry continues to be challenged by the global economic downturn and some tourists are being deterred by the strong Rand against source market currencies. Data compiled by STR Global shows that revPAR is down 7.2% year-to-June 2009 and if this trend continues, 2009 could be the first year in 10 years that revPAR has experienced negative growth,” says Moray Wilson, Tourism, Hospitality & Leisure leader for Deloitte Southern Africa.

The sporting events in June gave the hotel industry a welcome break from the declines and also provided South Africa with a practice run before the 2010 World Cup. The country is no stranger to hosting sporting events but the World Cup will certainly be the biggest we have held in recent years. During the event, the country is aiming to welcome approximately 450 000 visitors and will certainly set up the framework for a very prosperous 2010 for the tourism industry.”

Major cities such as Cape Town and Johannesburg benefited the most from the recent football and rugby events. RevPAR in Cape Town jumped 14.2%, breaking five consecutive months of revPAR decline despite only hosting two rugby matches. The jump was mostly due to a 10.6% increase in average room rates to ZAR 880 but occupancy also went up by 3.3% to 51.1% ending a 12-month cycle of occupancy decline.

Johannesburg also benefited from hosting one rugby and five football matches in June with revPAR up 9.9% to ZAR 832 – the strongest revPAR this year and ended a six month run of declines. A 20.6% jump in average room rates was solely responsible for this increase while occupancy continued to decline 8.9%.

On the flip side, despite hosting matches, Durban, Port Elizabeth and Pretoria did not fare as well and all experienced revPAR declines (using customised samples), according to Wilson.

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