Friday, January 08, 2010

What are these people thinking?

Lack of World Cup bookings worries Bay home-owners


NELSON Mandela Bay home-owners who rushed to make their houses available for rent during the Fifa World Cup are growing more and more concerned as not one has been snapped up in the city.

Despite the World Cup draw taking place over a month ago, not one of the homes that property company Seeff has approved has been booked yet by foreign visitors.

Guesthouse and bed and breakfast owners are also growing worried because there has been no demand for accommodation.

The draw awarded the city quality fixtures, with England taking on Slovenia at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on June 23. Other fixtures lined up for the city are the Korean Republic vs Greece on June 12, Germany vs Serbia on June 18, Ivory Coast vs Portugal on June 15 and Chile vs Switzerland on June 21.

Recently, The Herald reported that hundreds of Nelson Mandela Bay home-owners had rushed to put their homes up for rent, charging anything from R4000 to R14000 a day.

However, Seeff Port Elizabeth manager Avril O’Leary said she had received about 300 requests from local residents but had still not made a single booking for an overseas visitor hoping to stay in Port Elizabeth during the World Cup. She said former footballer and soccer commentator Gary Bailey had entered into a joint venture with Seeff to ensure foreign visitors received quality accommodation at the best possible prices.

O’Leary said she was growing increasingly concerned as she had expected homes in the city to be snapped up quite easily after the World Cup draw on December 4.

Of the 300 requests she had received, she had already approved between 50 and 60 homes for rental.

“I am not busy at all. I do not think it was the draw, as Port Elizabeth got a fabulous draw with great matches.

“I do not know what the problem is, actually,” she said.

O’Leary said she had received an inquiry from a travel agent for 900 Slovenians who were interested in coming to Port Elizabeth for two days to watch the England versus Slovenia match on June 23. However, the request was for all of them to stay together and “unfortunately” the biggest place she had was Woodridge College with 300 beds.

“I sent them the details, but I still have not heard anything.

“I do not know if everyone is trying to stay in Johannesburg and Cape Town, with the rest coming this way when everything is filled up, but I would have thought that someone would have committed by now,” O’Leary said.

She did not want to speculate on the reasons for no homes in Port Elizabeth being booked as yet.

She said she had started turning away owners who were still coming forward to make their homes available.

“I think there was a misunderstanding. People probably thought their homes would be booked immediately and that there were people desperate for accommodation, but that does not seem to be the case. Head office is confident that things will change, though.”

Port Elizabeth bed and breakfast owner Dean Watson said he was also growing increasingly concerned after recently renovating his Parsons Hill home into a bed and breakfast with six bedrooms and five bathrooms.

“We also have not received any bookings despite having our website up and running for more than a month. I am a bit concerned, but we did not start our bed and breakfast just for the World Cup. We plan to run it long after it is over. However, the World Cup played a big part in us making the decision to open one.”

Watson has received one inquiry from Johannesburg but nothing from abroad, he says, even though his venue is within walking distance of the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.

14 Opinion(s):

h said...

A sphincter says what?

Viking said...

I don't know what to make of this! Most foreigners probably want to watch games in somewhere they've heard of, so they can do other tourist stuff, and who would want to go to Nelson Mandela Bay?

sounds like a seaside squatter camp ..

Vanilla Ice said...

...or they've been reading ILSA. Why bother coming at all?

Martijn said...

Everybody knows South Africa is one of the most violent nations on earth.

People who want to watch the games will travel in big groups. Safety in numbers.

Dmitri said...

If you look at maps of SA in Europe, the city is called Port Elizabeth. I suppose only those looking for their "African Roots" might go to terrorist bay...I mean mandela bay.

As Martijn said - safety in numbers.

Anonymous said...

Its a case of the "get rich quick" locals completely misjudging the football supporter market.Your normal football supporter is a working class guy who can just about afford the season ticket for the team he supports.They are not able to afford the inflated Airfares and Hotel accommodation currently on offer for the World Cup. Throw in the violence and you have little chance of big numbers of football fans going to the World Cup. What you are more likely to see is the "prawn sandwich" brigade fly in for a few days to see the more important games but you are not going to see 20,000 supporters arrive from England or Germany or France or Italy for the Tournament.
Tough shit for the locals but they must be daft if they think European football supporters are not highly aware of the price inflation and time to make money attitude.

Sakkie de Kok said...

What are they thinking about indeed.

Dachshund said...

They probably think it's some beastly African township.

Boxton said...

A few comments

1) A bit anecdotal as a story, is this also happening in cape Town, Joburg and Pretoria?

2) World Cup Tourists will travel in groups and stay in "designated areas".

3) Police (and maybe army) will be massively deployed in and around those designated areas. I'm not sure the average soccer fan will see much violence (although I think he should see a bit more so as to learn what is really going on in the country).

Martijn said...

From what I have read the dutch will travel in large caravans from place to place.

They'll shy away from building lagers, though. Butt only just...

Anonymous said...

As former anonymous has said, the locals are being way to greedy and, as a result, I hope they do zero business. I don't live in SA anymore but when I return on occasional hols I am fed-up with the greed of the locals nowadays (compared to how it was pre 90's). Of course, trying to rip of tourists is not unique to SA, but does come across as more brazen (and greedy).

Pensioner said...

I saw on Sky this morning that The Togo soccer team on route to Angola was shot at in the DRC. Some of the players were injured. The team is, however going on to Angola and the Africa Cup will go ahead. Only in Africa, still wonder why I am not a soccer fan? Just watch this place when the 2010 World Cup gets going in June.

Exzanian said...

Blatter is shitting in his pants. The incident in Angola is going to focus a lens on the crime situation in ZA. People must start realising that gangs of thugs 25 strong are roaming free in ZA.

Anonymous said...

Or maybe they're just thinking like first-worlders and assuming that there'll be easy and quick transport between Jhb/CT/Dbn and PE. You know. Like they have in Europe. They probably think that they can just hop on a bus or a train or something...

South Africa is also the only place that calls PE "Nelson Mandela Bay", as far as international flights and travel agents are concerned, it's still PE. They won't even change the 3-letter destination code - especially in Africa. As one travel agent explained to me, "in most 3rd world countries, the names of the cities change so often, usually to celebrate some politician somewhere, we just can't keep up".

Jan Smuts/Oliver Tambo/whatever has always had "JNB" as the 3-letter code, and it won't change, no matter what the ANC would like.