South Africa is set to benefit immensely from hosting the 2013 African Cup of Nations (Afcon) with its economy poised to gain from the influx of the sport lovers from Africa and other parts of the world.
Mvuzo Mbebe, the CEO of the Local Organising Committee (LOC), speaking at the TNA/SABC Business Breakfast meeting which Ventures Africa attends every Friday morning, said one of these benefits included the 40 000 visitors who are expected to come from outside the country.
This means South African tourism, which the government has identified as having the potential to boost the sluggish economy, will experience an influx of visitors from all over the country.
Experts believe that soccer lovers who will be coming into South Africa are going to visit some of the country’s well-known tourist destinations in between the soccer matches they prefer to watch.
These include the more than 1000 km of beautiful sandy coastline, untouched game parks with abundant wildlife and exquisite hotels all over the major centres that will be hosting the soccer games.
The tournament will be played in five cities, including Johannesburg, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Nelspruit and Rustenburg.
Johannesburg is Africa’s shopping mecca as many Africans visit the city to do shopping. It has all the attributes of a world class city like Milan, London and New York.
Durban has an amazing weather, beaches and great hotels. Cultural tourists are often attracted to the cities as the majority of its inhabitants are Zulus, a tribe with rich music, traditions and clothing.
Port Elizabeth has amazing hotels and great beaches. World’s surfers flock to its beaches to surf and often boost incomes for hotels and restaurants.
Nelspruit is a gateway to the country’s world-renowned game parks like the Kruger National Park, Mala Mala and Sabie Sabie. It has amazing landmarks like God’s Window and many more.
Rustenburg is closer to some nice game parks and is well-known for its powerful hospitality industry. The world-famous Sun City and Lost City hotels are a few kilometres from Rustenburg.
“More than 10 000 temporary jobs will also be created for the duration of the tournament,” Mbebe said. “More than R920 million has been invested in South Africa and 2.3 billion viewers are expected to watch the tournament on television.”
Fikile Mbalula, South Africa’s minister of sports and recreation, said the fact that the country’s infrastructure will be showcased to so many people throughout the world can only be good for the country.
South Africa was asked to host the Afcon 2013 after Libya pulled out because of the political turmoil in that country. The country hosted the FIFA World Cup in 2010 and its infrastructure is still in top shape.