There seems to be a growing unhappiness (even anger) amongst South Africa’s travel and hospitality sector towards FIFA and the upcoming World Cup.
Part of this comes across as sour grapes. Do some people believe that they were promised 100% bookings at whatever price they chose to charge? Another part of this is anger at the wild over estimation of the number, and the wealth, of soccer fans expected to arrive.
Fuelling this are a number of recent events:
• SAA releases of 45,000 flights tickets previously reserved for MATCH.
• 500,000 stadium tickets go on sale in a desperate bid to ensure that the people watching some matches
• accommodation providers (many of which have contacted to MATCH) standing empty, or lower occupancy.
There has been a valiant attempt to spin these events as positive. But there is no way to change the fact that they prove the case that wild over estimation wasn’t the norm.
My view is that forecasting is the responsibility of each and every business, and anyone who was swept away by the enthusiasm of the moment has no one but themselves to blame.
Now we wait to see: will they be a last-minute rush for bookings?
Acknowledgement - we at Abbey Manor are presently at an occupancy of 76%, and expects to close at 85 to 90%.