elephant hills hotel.jpgWith less than three weeks before the 2010 FIFA World Cup springs into life the country has been forced to review downwards the anticipated 30% share of the revenue arising from the tournament as well as the spill over business amid calls for proper planning in the future in order to reap significant benefits from such  global events.

 

The news that South Africa had won the bid to host the prestigious 2010 FIFA World Cup the biggest sporting event outside the Olympics was greeted with much enthusiasm with hopes raised that the event was to generate substantial business for the host country and its neighbours alike in terms of investment and tourist arrivals.

 

With a few days left before the global soccer showcase comes to life the flames of the hype that characterised the event are dying as governments, the corporate world and individuals are being forced to revise downward the projected spill over business. Room occupancies at local hotels are still below targets. 

 

The situation has compelled stakeholders in the tourism industry to reflect on what went wrong in the preparations for the event.

Advertising and Marketing professional Mrs. Kudzai Simango believes the anticipated low business has to do with the perceived negative perception and overestimation of the projected business from the continent.

 

While African communities are known for their togetherness, spirit observers feel there was lack of coordination and regional marketing approach in trying to increase gains from the soccer showcase.

 

To make the situation worse for Zimbabwe, South Africa did not endorse the country as a safe tourist destination.

 

Marketing Executive with a local hotel Mr. Davison Munhenga is of the view that marketing strategies were tilted on western countries at the expense of domestic and regional markets.

 

Travel and Tourism Executive Mr. Abisha Ishewekunze says locals failed to borrow a leaf from previous tournaments which attracted many tourists for host countries and their neighbours.

 

The 2010 FIFA World Cup rolls into life on the 11th of June with no indications and hopes of increased spill over business in the remaining days.

 

Hopes are that when the soccer fiesta comes back onto the African soil the continent will be better placed to host a successful event and that there will be substantial business for the tourism industry.