World Cup 2010

Tony Park is in the City of Gold

It’s what’s in the air, rather than under the ground that really stakes Johannesburg’s claim to be the city of gold.

 It’s dust, smoke, and pollution that turns the late afternoon sky the colour of molten precious metal as the sun slides into this hazy band, but there’s something else that’s giving this country a warm glow these days.

Less tangible, but potentially more impressive than the new sports stadiums and other infrastructure dotted around South Africa is another legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup – hope.

When I was last here, in March, three months before the World Cup, hopes weren’t high.  International ticket bookings looked like they were falling short; traffic was at a standstill because the entire city was a construction zone; construction schedules looked iffy; and the word on the streets was that the cup organisers just couldn’t pull it off.

It’s fair to say that plenty of the locals I talked to back then had nothing but bad things to say about the debacle, as they saw it, that was due to bring South Africa nothing but international shame and ridicule.

I wasn’t here for the World Cup, and, to tell you the truth, didn’t pay much attention to it on the TV as I’m not a football fan.  However, my lingering impression of the coverage was that the doomsayers were wrong and it all went pretty well – very well, in fact.

I was interested to find out what locals really thought of the world cup now that it was over – particularly those people who predicted it would be a flop.

“It was fantastic,” said one of my friends, who’d been less than enthusiastic during the chaos of construction.  “The roads worked, the trains worked, everyone was really positive and there was a great vibe.”

In a pub at Fourways, over lunch today, I heard a young white woman talking to her father, who was from Durban, about the Gautrain – the new railway link between OR Tambo Airport and Sandton City.  “I love that train!” she gushed.  “I’m telling you, ten minutes it took me to get to Sandton.”

Ja,” said her father, folding his arms, “and I bet you needed to take your AK 47 with you.”

She shook her head.  “No!  It was safe, and it was clean and when it starts running to Pretoria I’m going to catch it from there to the airport to work every day.”

OK, so the train wasn’t quite finished on time – the Pretoria link should have been ready in time for the World Cup and wasn’t – but, like the Cup, it wasn’t a flop.  People liked it – even the people who thought they weren’t going to like it.

Another friend of mine was telling me about community programs exhorting South Africans to keep feeling the World Cup love.  Citizens are encouraged to fly the flag on Fridays, and to take time at least once a week to say or do something nice to a stranger.  I thought she was going to follow that explanation with a cynical rebuttal of this social engineering, but she didn’t.

The news yesterday was that crime was down – and the drop’s the biggest in fifteen years.  A politician on TV last night said there was still a way to go, but “there’s light at the end of the tunnel”.

I’d be lying if I told you Johannesburg was my favourite city in the world, but I’ve got a lot of friends here and for the first time in a long time they’re talking about what’s good in their city and not what’s bad. 

That’s gold.

Visit http://www.tonypark.net/

Create your own South African adventure at http://www.southafrica.net

Gautrain http://www.gautrain.co.za/

 

TONY PARK

Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and England, a government press secretary, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer.

He is also a major in the Australian Army Reserve and served six months in Afghanistan in 2002 as the public affairs officer for the Australian ground forces.

 

He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time between their home in Sydney, and southern Africa, where they own a tent and a Series III Land Rover.

He is the author of Far Horizon, Zambezi, AFrican Sky, Safari, Silent Predator, Ivory and The Delta.

Web Site: http://www.tonypark.net/

Tony Park is in the City of Gold

It’s what’s in the air, rather than under the ground that really stakes Johannesburg’s claim to be the city of gold.

 It’s dust, smoke, and pollution that turns the late afternoon sky the colour of molten precious metal as the sun slides into this hazy band, but there’s something else that’s giving this country a warm glow these days.

Less tangible, but potentially more impressive than the new sports stadiums and other infrastructure dotted around South Africa is another legacy of the 2010 FIFA World Cup – hope.

When I was last here, in March, three months before the World Cup, hopes weren’t high.  International ticket bookings looked like they were falling short; traffic was at a standstill because the entire city was a construction zone; construction schedules looked iffy; and the word on the streets was that the cup organisers just couldn’t pull it off.

It’s fair to say that plenty of the locals I talked to back then had nothing but bad things to say about the debacle, as they saw it, that was due to bring South Africa nothing but international shame and ridicule.

I wasn’t here for the World Cup, and, to tell you the truth, didn’t pay much attention to it on the TV as I’m not a football fan.  However, my lingering impression of the coverage was that the doomsayers were wrong and it all went pretty well – very well, in fact.

I was interested to find out what locals really thought of the world cup now that it was over – particularly those people who predicted it would be a flop.

“It was fantastic,” said one of my friends, who’d been less than enthusiastic during the chaos of construction.  “The roads worked, the trains worked, everyone was really positive and there was a great vibe.”

In a pub at Fourways, over lunch today, I heard a young white woman talking to her father, who was from Durban, about the Gautrain – the new railway link between OR Tambo Airport and Sandton City.  “I love that train!” she gushed.  “I’m telling you, ten minutes it took me to get to Sandton.”

Ja,” said her father, folding his arms, “and I bet you needed to take your AK 47 with you.”

She shook her head.  “No!  It was safe, and it was clean and when it starts running to Pretoria I’m going to catch it from there to the airport to work every day.”

OK, so the train wasn’t quite finished on time – the Pretoria link should have been ready in time for the World Cup and wasn’t – but, like the Cup, it wasn’t a flop.  People liked it – even the people who thought they weren’t going to like it.

Another friend of mine was telling me about community programs exhorting South Africans to keep feeling the World Cup love.  Citizens are encouraged to fly the flag on Fridays, and to take time at least once a week to say or do something nice to a stranger.  I thought she was going to follow that explanation with a cynical rebuttal of this social engineering, but she didn’t.

The news yesterday was that crime was down – and the drop’s the biggest in fifteen years.  A politician on TV last night said there was still a way to go, but “there’s light at the end of the tunnel”.

I’d be lying if I told you Johannesburg was my favourite city in the world, but I’ve got a lot of friends here and for the first time in a long time they’re talking about what’s good in their city and not what’s bad. 

That’s gold.

Visit http://www.tonypark.net/

Create your own South African adventure at http://www.southafrica.net

Gautrain http://www.gautrain.co.za/

 

TONY PARK

Tony Park was born in 1964 and grew up in the western suburbs of Sydney. He has worked as a newspaper reporter in Australia and England, a government press secretary, a public relations consultant, and a freelance writer.

He is also a major in the Australian Army Reserve and served six months in Afghanistan in 2002 as the public affairs officer for the Australian ground forces.

 

He and his wife, Nicola, divide their time between their home in Sydney, and southern Africa, where they own a tent and a Series III Land Rover.

He is the author of Far Horizon, Zambezi, AFrican Sky, Safari, Silent Predator, Ivory and The Delta.

Web Site: http://www.tonypark.net/

John-Paul Marin’s South African Experience – Soccer and Safari Winner

“South Africa – what an amazing place. Little did we know that finding out we had won a trip to the World Cup was only going to be the tip of the iceberg.

From the moment we arrived until that very last goodbye we were truly overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the people and places we came across.”

“To be honest even for a football fanatic like myself, the actual matches seemed to take a back-seat compared to all the wonderful experiences we shared. Going to a match was only the icing on the cake because you knew you had so much more to look forward to – excellent food and wines to try, stunning scenery to take in and warm and hospitable people at every corner to meet.

To top it all off we got to experience our first ever safari. I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the utter wonder we felt seeing the Big 5 and the beauty of the surrounding Mpumalanga region. We were so fortunate to be given the opportunity to visit South Africa and we are definitely going back to explore more. South Africa swept us off our feet and took a little piece of our hearts.”

John-Paul was the lucky winner of the Soccer and Safari competition which was run by South African Tourism in December 2009.

To plan your own South African adventure visit www.southafrica.ne

 

John-Paul Marin’s South African Experience – Soccer and Safari Winner

“South Africa – what an amazing place. Little did we know that finding out we had won a trip to the World Cup was only going to be the tip of the iceberg.

From the moment we arrived until that very last goodbye we were truly overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of the people and places we came across.”

“To be honest even for a football fanatic like myself, the actual matches seemed to take a back-seat compared to all the wonderful experiences we shared. Going to a match was only the icing on the cake because you knew you had so much more to look forward to – excellent food and wines to try, stunning scenery to take in and warm and hospitable people at every corner to meet.

To top it all off we got to experience our first ever safari. I don’t think anything could have prepared us for the utter wonder we felt seeing the Big 5 and the beauty of the surrounding Mpumalanga region. We were so fortunate to be given the opportunity to visit South Africa and we are definitely going back to explore more. South Africa swept us off our feet and took a little piece of our hearts.”

John-Paul was the lucky winner of the Soccer and Safari competition which was run by South African Tourism in December 2009.

To plan your own South African adventure visit www.southafrica.ne

 

The Economics of the World Cup horn (Vuvuzela)

Don’t worry your trip to South Africa won’t be drowned out by the drone of the Vuvuzelas. They are very much restricted to soccer events where South Africans want to show their support, passion and love for the world game.

Here are some other creative interpretations of Vuvuzela use that we like.

 

The Economics of the World Cup horn (Vuvuzela)

Don’t worry your trip to South Africa won’t be drowned out by the drone of the Vuvuzelas. They are very much restricted to soccer events where South Africans want to show their support, passion and love for the world game.

Here are some other creative interpretations of Vuvuzela use that we like.

 

World Cup a significant milestone in tourism growth

Media statement by the office of the Minister of Tourism

 “The tourism sector in South Africa is ready to capitalise on the success of the World Cup and the invaluable branding exposure our destination has enjoyed over the past few weeks,” Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism, said today.

“The World Cup was never an end in itself, but a milestone in the growth trajectory of our tourism sector. And what a significant milestone it has been! It concludes years of hard work and lays a solid basis for a new decade of growth and development.

“The tournament exposed the rich diversity of our tourism assets to a worldwide television audience with a cumulative estimated 32 billion viewers. In addition, it has introduced our country to non-traditional markets, including those in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

“Our tourism industry is geared to make the most of the opportunities created by the World Cup. The championship will be recorded in the history books as one of the best showcases ever for South Africa and Africa and I am convinced it has opened up the door to our destination to scores of new visitors,” Minister van Schalkwyk said. Tourism growth in 2010

The latest tourist arrival figures for 2010 show that more than 1.9 million (1 916 544) tourists arrived in South Africa from January to March 2010, compared to just under 1.6 million (1 585 642) during the same period last year. This represents growth of 20.9% for the comparable period and outpaces many of our competitors.

During this period, tourists arrivals were up from all our major source markets, with growth of 7.6% from Europe, 7.8% from North America, 28.5% from Central and South America, 6.2% from Australasia, 21.9% from Asia, 16.5% from the Middle East and 25.6% from within the continent.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) international tourist arrivals increased by 7% in the first four months of 2010, which signifies a good recovery from the depressed conditions experienced in 2009.

The UNWTO foresees a positive outlook for the rest of the year, with forecasted year-on-year global growth of up to 4% as events such as the World Cup boost tourism.

“South Africa’s tourism arrivals for the first quarter of the year exceeded our expectations, and we are confident the World Cup will help us achieve our ambitious growth targets for 2010,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

It is important to note that the figures are based on improved methodologies which now allow us to distinguish between total foreign arrivals to South Africa and tourist arrivals. The figures released as of January 2010 do not include day visitors, thereby contributing to a better understanding of our tourism industry and its contribution to the economy.

Tourism and the World Cup

Over the last few years, South African Tourism (SAT) made significant investments in marketing and advertising our destination, amongst others through various global media deals. The purpose was to entrench South Africa’s excellent growth as a tourism destination and to differentiate the country from competitor destinations.

The total investment in these campaigns was approximately US$ 100 million over the four years running up to the World Cup and it is estimated to have reached 1.9 billion people every month in our key target markets.

“This investment in marketing and advertising by SAT is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the positive reporting on South Africa as a country and a tourism destination that has flooded global media channels since the kick off of the Word Cup on 11 June,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

“We were always confident that our country and our people would show the world what a superb destination we offer, and yet the overwhelming positive international coverage has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations. The goodwill that has been unlocked cannot be measured in monetary terms.”

In addition to growing our status as a world-class leisure tourism destination, we are also positioning South Africa as one of the best sport, mega event and conferencing destinations in the world. The National Event and Convention Bureau, proposed by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and currently being discussed with the industry, can become an important spoke in this wheel.

“We are not resting on our laurels and we will continue to work hard to ensure that the positivity around South Africa as a destination translates into more visitors, more spend, more economic growth and more jobs in the tourism sector,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

A responsible approach to measuring the impacts of the World Cup

 

Minister van Schalkwyk also noted that in terms of the measurement of the impact of the World Cup on tourism and the economy, the NDT would be following a responsible approach based on sound statistical analysis.

“One could easily be tempted to release data in a random and ad hoc way, but in the tourism sector we understand that trends and impacts need to be properly analysed in order to have a sound basis for future planning. Responding to anecdotal evidence will not take us forward.

“Government will be taking the lead in observing due process in this regard and will rely on the data collected, analysed and released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and SAT. We would caution against premature impact analysis based on ad hoc and anecdotal sources. Some of the figures recently released did not, for example, distinguish between actual tourists and day visitors from neighbouring countries visiting South Africa for reasons other than tourism,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

The trend and impact analysis of the World Cup on tourism, of which the results are expected in the fourth quarter of 2010, will be critical in building a proper understanding of the impacts of major events on the tourism industry and the wider economy. The results will enable tourism role players to make informed decisions when preparing for future mega events.

The information to be used for analysis at national level will be collected through the Tourism Departure Survey conducted by SAT and weighted against the total number of tourist arrivals to be released by Stats SA for the same period.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is the main primary source of the total number of arrivals and departure of foreign and South African travellers. The consolidated data is then sent to Stats SA for further processing.

Other tourism related information not collected by the DHA is collected through the Departure Survey conducted by SAT on a monthly basis. The methodology of this survey has been certified by Stats SA and it is also used to calculate the official contribution of tourism to the economy of the country.

The NDT and SAT will be collecting tourism information for the impact analysis through the departure survey conducted during June and July 2010. Relevant World Cup questions were included in the departure survey questionnaire for this purpose.

The results will only be released once Stats SA has released the total arrival statistics for June and July 2010. As in all other countries it is normal practice to allow two to three months before the release of statistics in order to ensure data cleaning and analysis.

World Cup a significant milestone in tourism growth

Media statement by the office of the Minister of Tourism

 “The tourism sector in South Africa is ready to capitalise on the success of the World Cup and the invaluable branding exposure our destination has enjoyed over the past few weeks,” Minister Marthinus van Schalkwyk, the Minister of Tourism, said today.

“The World Cup was never an end in itself, but a milestone in the growth trajectory of our tourism sector. And what a significant milestone it has been! It concludes years of hard work and lays a solid basis for a new decade of growth and development.

“The tournament exposed the rich diversity of our tourism assets to a worldwide television audience with a cumulative estimated 32 billion viewers. In addition, it has introduced our country to non-traditional markets, including those in Latin America, Eastern Europe and Asia.

“Our tourism industry is geared to make the most of the opportunities created by the World Cup. The championship will be recorded in the history books as one of the best showcases ever for South Africa and Africa and I am convinced it has opened up the door to our destination to scores of new visitors,” Minister van Schalkwyk said. Tourism growth in 2010

The latest tourist arrival figures for 2010 show that more than 1.9 million (1 916 544) tourists arrived in South Africa from January to March 2010, compared to just under 1.6 million (1 585 642) during the same period last year. This represents growth of 20.9% for the comparable period and outpaces many of our competitors.

During this period, tourists arrivals were up from all our major source markets, with growth of 7.6% from Europe, 7.8% from North America, 28.5% from Central and South America, 6.2% from Australasia, 21.9% from Asia, 16.5% from the Middle East and 25.6% from within the continent.

According to the United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) international tourist arrivals increased by 7% in the first four months of 2010, which signifies a good recovery from the depressed conditions experienced in 2009.

The UNWTO foresees a positive outlook for the rest of the year, with forecasted year-on-year global growth of up to 4% as events such as the World Cup boost tourism.

“South Africa’s tourism arrivals for the first quarter of the year exceeded our expectations, and we are confident the World Cup will help us achieve our ambitious growth targets for 2010,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

It is important to note that the figures are based on improved methodologies which now allow us to distinguish between total foreign arrivals to South Africa and tourist arrivals. The figures released as of January 2010 do not include day visitors, thereby contributing to a better understanding of our tourism industry and its contribution to the economy.

Tourism and the World Cup

Over the last few years, South African Tourism (SAT) made significant investments in marketing and advertising our destination, amongst others through various global media deals. The purpose was to entrench South Africa’s excellent growth as a tourism destination and to differentiate the country from competitor destinations.

The total investment in these campaigns was approximately US$ 100 million over the four years running up to the World Cup and it is estimated to have reached 1.9 billion people every month in our key target markets.

“This investment in marketing and advertising by SAT is a mere drop in the ocean compared to the positive reporting on South Africa as a country and a tourism destination that has flooded global media channels since the kick off of the Word Cup on 11 June,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

“We were always confident that our country and our people would show the world what a superb destination we offer, and yet the overwhelming positive international coverage has surpassed even our most optimistic expectations. The goodwill that has been unlocked cannot be measured in monetary terms.”

In addition to growing our status as a world-class leisure tourism destination, we are also positioning South Africa as one of the best sport, mega event and conferencing destinations in the world. The National Event and Convention Bureau, proposed by the National Department of Tourism (NDT) and currently being discussed with the industry, can become an important spoke in this wheel.

“We are not resting on our laurels and we will continue to work hard to ensure that the positivity around South Africa as a destination translates into more visitors, more spend, more economic growth and more jobs in the tourism sector,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

A responsible approach to measuring the impacts of the World Cup

 

Minister van Schalkwyk also noted that in terms of the measurement of the impact of the World Cup on tourism and the economy, the NDT would be following a responsible approach based on sound statistical analysis.

“One could easily be tempted to release data in a random and ad hoc way, but in the tourism sector we understand that trends and impacts need to be properly analysed in order to have a sound basis for future planning. Responding to anecdotal evidence will not take us forward.

“Government will be taking the lead in observing due process in this regard and will rely on the data collected, analysed and released by Statistics South Africa (Stats SA), the Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and SAT. We would caution against premature impact analysis based on ad hoc and anecdotal sources. Some of the figures recently released did not, for example, distinguish between actual tourists and day visitors from neighbouring countries visiting South Africa for reasons other than tourism,” Minister van Schalkwyk said.

The trend and impact analysis of the World Cup on tourism, of which the results are expected in the fourth quarter of 2010, will be critical in building a proper understanding of the impacts of major events on the tourism industry and the wider economy. The results will enable tourism role players to make informed decisions when preparing for future mega events.

The information to be used for analysis at national level will be collected through the Tourism Departure Survey conducted by SAT and weighted against the total number of tourist arrivals to be released by Stats SA for the same period.

The Department of Home Affairs (DHA) is the main primary source of the total number of arrivals and departure of foreign and South African travellers. The consolidated data is then sent to Stats SA for further processing.

Other tourism related information not collected by the DHA is collected through the Departure Survey conducted by SAT on a monthly basis. The methodology of this survey has been certified by Stats SA and it is also used to calculate the official contribution of tourism to the economy of the country.

The NDT and SAT will be collecting tourism information for the impact analysis through the departure survey conducted during June and July 2010. Relevant World Cup questions were included in the departure survey questionnaire for this purpose.

The results will only be released once Stats SA has released the total arrival statistics for June and July 2010. As in all other countries it is normal practice to allow two to three months before the release of statistics in order to ensure data cleaning and analysis.

We are ready

The FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup is around the corner and we are ready to welcome the world.

How to do the Diski Dance

Diski Dance demonstration

The full workout:

More →