Wednesday, May 19, 2010

SWC: Concerns over Security Behind Low Demand

from Ozzie Saffa:

Fans pass on World Cup tours / Safety fears, expense, middling team behind reluctance to visit S. Africa

Japanese don’t care to be raped or murdered in the Rainbow Nation.

Demand for tour packages from Japan to the World Cup finals in South Africa is far lower than anticipated, with travel agencies blaming high prices, concerns about safety in the host country and tempered expectations about the national team's prospects.

Although the event is less than a month away, unsold packages are abundant.

Among the travel agencies certified by FIFA, the organizing body of the World Cup, JTB Corp., Nippon Travel Agency Co. and Kinki Nippon Tourist Co. had achieved only 50 percent of their sales quotas for tour packages as of Thursday.

Nishitetsu Travel Co. lowered its sales quota from 1,500 for the 2006 World Cup to 600 for this year's event, but still has sold only 70 percent of the latter.

Concern over security in South Africa has been identified as one contributor to the slow sales. According to local police, armed robberies are 28 times more frequent in South Africa than in Japan.

Packages for this year's event are more expensive than similar tours to the 2006 finals in Germany. Some packages for that event were sold for less than 300,000 yen, but the typical price for a South Africa tour is 400,000 yen to 500,000 yen, partly because of the longer and hence more expensive flight.

Poor performances of late by the national team have also dampened interest in the tours. Manager Takeshi Okada has said the team aims to reach the semifinals, but it suffered a disappointing 3-0 loss to Serbia last month.

Travel agencies are hoping sales will get a boost if Japan prevails in its May 24 home match against South Korea, the team's last domestic outing before the World Cup.

"I hope the team will win and make people feel like going to see them play in South Africa," a Kinki Nippon Tourist employee said.

'Most dangerous city in world'

Johannesburg, the primary host city and site of the tournament's final match, has been dubbed the most dangerous city in the world. Public security is also poor in other cities scheduled to host matches.

The Foreign Ministry has warned visitors to Johannesburg, Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban during the event to be especially cautious.

According to an official Web site of the South African police, nearly 2.1 million crimes were recorded in the nation in fiscal 2008.

About 30 percent were cases of murder, assault causing injury, or robbery.

There were about 18,000 murders, and about 121,000 armed robberies. Sixty percent of armed robberies occurred on public streets.

Although South Africa's population is one-third of Japan's, it is plagued by 14 times more murders and 28 times more armed robberies.

Many areas are regarded as too dangerous to walk through alone at night.

According to the ministry's Japanese Nationals Overseas Safety Division, many robberies are "smash and grab" attacks, in which thieves approach a stationary car at an intersection, shatter the front passenger window and snatch valuables from inside the vehicle.

Travel agencies have warned customers traveling to South Africa to avoid displaying their wallets when out at night.

"Our customers are not yet sufficiently aware of the security problems [in South Africa]. I'm anxious because not many customers have asked us about the situation," a Nishitetsu Travel Co. employee said.


7 Opinion(s):

Anonymous said...

Spoke to a Japanese cop in Tokyo 2 years ago and he remarked that for the greater Tokyo area the police force had only dicharged their weapons on 3-4 occassions for that entire year. I thought it funny as Tokyo has a few million people living in it, then again Japan has never had a gun culture.

He said the mindset was different compared to the West as most Japanese know they cant beat the legal system so they plead guilty and hope for a 'discount'. Much the same goes in Thailand with their legal system. If you plead guilty then you get a 'discount' on your sentence for not wasting the courts time.

The prison systems in Asia however will make you soil your underware. I recall a few years back a South African who wanted a transfer to a South African prison it was so bad. When you go to see how the prison systems work you will really be amazed - ITS HARSH!

Anonymous said...

Oh my word is that 18,000 murders in one year?

Anonymous said...

Sorry to hijack the thread, but you have to read this article. ... tocks.html

I thought it was BS to begin with, but after I read the name of the doctor responsible for the cock up, I realized it must be true. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Jim Beam said: "then again Japan has never had a gun culture."

Actually Jim, Japan has always had only one culture, whereas South Africa was a number of Cultures in a number of countries, thrown together for the monetary gain of a few already excedingly wealthy families in the UK and US! ?Just doesn't make sense for so much suffering purely for a few greedy people to obtain more power through wealth, does it?

Common Sense

Anonymous said...

Little off topic but just read this on IOL:

"Nanny Franscina Sekhu is suing her ex-employer for unfair dismissal after she blamed her for letting in a builder who assaulted her and baby Marzanne Kruger, and fired her on Friday.

The Krugers were expected to be served with Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration papers on Wednesday.

Sekhu is taking Madeleine Kruger to the CCMA and wants maximum compensation.

The former nanny was axed when she went back to her place of employment after being discharged from hospital.

But baby Marzanne is still in intensive care weeks after her head was bludgeoned by the man Sekhu allowed to sit in the lounge of the Krugers' Robindale, Randburg, home with her and the child she was looking after."


Common Sense

Anonymous said...

It's not only the safety fears, but also the cost factor, as the headline of this post states. Sepp Blatter really screwed SA taxpayers over like he does everywhere.

Anonymous said...

-fifa has suppressed the real news of crime and hate.
-The ANCYL supporters are threatening to rape, murder and burn the white tourists.
-the police think that crime is not serious in SA.
-It costs R100 to ride a train from Sandton to the airport. That is E10. I pay no more than E6 for a 2 way trip of that length.