Empty hotel rooms await next travel season in South Africa

The post FIFA Soccer world cup 2010 Trauma continues as more hotel rooms remain empty in South Africa. Whether to blame the ever raised expectations of hoteliers or the lack of any new cheap flights to South Africa; but the number of travelers to the country has dropped drastically since the world cup 2010 final.
There might be more than one contributing factor to that as there are various African countries emerging on the world map as ‘new safari destinations’.  Various affordable and cheap travel destinations are being promoted day and night for their exquisite safari or outstanding beach holidays promised at affordable rates. The game reserves and golfing grounds are also no more the specialty of South Africa, but also getting more developed all over the continent. However, the new stadiums, city train and a list of other developments in the country that were carried out to host the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010 have, for sure, left South Africa more beautiful and more attractive than ever. Then why is it not sufficient to bring back the high scores of travelers to the country.
When the hoteliers and Tourism industry members where asked, they stated that they cannot be sure when people will start travelling again. Even though the major holiday season in the west, ‘Christmas Holidays’ are almost round the corner, the rate of flights ticket reservation for South Africa is not as good as it should have been. A local travel agent stated:
The trend of flying to South Africa is now replaced and divided among groups of other countries providing same type of holiday excursions. People are going to Gaborone, Zambia and Ethiopia; Some have assumed South Africa as be more expensive destination (after the world cup). Cheap flights to Johannesburg in 2008; were selling like hot cakes, but not any more, not even this year.
In the Soccer World Cup fever, there hardly passed by a week without a new five-star hotel opening in Cape Town or Johannesburg. There were uncountable hotels, agencies and airlines launching new routes and revising fares every now and then during the early 2010. They all wanted to capture their share of the fans that would flood into the country in June and July; however this has somehow created more hotels and fewer travelers to South Africa. When the economy was still moving ahead, investments in the hospitality sector surged to record highs with groups such as City Lodge, Protea and Southern Sun spending billions on expanding their portfolios. New operators such as the Taj Hotels also entered in the South African hotel world.
One possible solution for this tough market full of competitors can be, introducing new and cheap rates to attract the tourists back, this Christmas & New Year season is a golden opportunity for hoteliers and airlines to cooperate and put in combine efforts. We hope that the coming seasons prove more fortunate for hotel industry in South Africa.
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