The Executive Chairman of the organisation MATCH gave a presentation on the scope of work of MATCH, how it operated and how it would assist FIFA in bringing stability in the delivery of services and their control to the World Cup. The overall objective of FIFA was to maintain the spectacle and ensure a high attendance. The various categories of ticketing were explained, and it was stressed that some tickets, at affordable prices, would be reserved only for locals. There had been a fixed exchange rate for tickets. Accommodation arrangements focused on assisting Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises, and ensuring a good spread, and 12 000 rooms had been secured, in excess of original targets. The presentation also outlined the transport arrangements and those for hospitality, protocol and use of tour operators.
The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany then briefed the Committee on the experiences, lessons learnt, insights and the impact of the FIFA World Cup Soccer event held in Germany in 2006. He focused on three main areas, being how Germany benefited regarding tourism, the architecture of the tourism sector and the lessons learnt. He stressed that the positive benefits included the promotion of Germany as a tourist destination, that there was a spill-over effect into neighbouring countries, and that the positive trends had been maintained over the next couple of years, showing that the visitors had themselves promoted the country on their return. There had been good spending, and several thousand shops opened in anticipation of the event were still permanently running. Nation branding had been important, with some negative former stereotypes being overturned. The National Tourist Board, local government and football associations had worked in tandem, and he described the initiatives. Members enquired what role government had played, to ensure sustainability, wondered if there would be as large an influx of visitors, especially from America, and asked about the language skills, and how Germany had dealt with criticism after the event.
MATCH presentation on operations and plans for 2010
Mr Jaime Byron, Executive Chairman, MATCH, introduced the scope of work of MATCH, and gave an overview of MATCH's various operations. MATCH operated as a subsidiary to FIFA and was a turnkey solution to assist FIFA to bring stability in the delivery of services and their control. The overall objective of FIFA was to maintain the spectacle and ensure a high attendance.
With regard to ticketing, Mr Byron outlined and explained the exclusivity arrangements for the various ticketing categories. Some tickets would not be made available to foreigners or persons who were not South African citizens. This would ensure that tickets were affordable to locals, to enable locals to attend matches.
First National Bank was chosen as a partner and sales channel and the fixed exchange rate for the costs of the tickets was pegged at seven US dollars to the South African rand.
With regard to accommodation, he outlined that there had been a focus on assisting Small, Medium and Micro Enterprises (SMMEs), and ensuring a good spread of accommodation. To date, 12 000 rooms had been secured, which was 20% more than the original target.
The issues on transportation and the supplementing of 420 coaches and 20 mini aircrafts, and the contracting of iKapa were discussed (see attached presentation). He also outlined and explained the arrangements in respect of hospitality, protocol and the use of tour operator across the globe.
Briefing by German Ambassador: Experiences of the 2006 FIFA World Cup, in Germany
Mr Dieter Haller, Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany Excellency, presented the experiences, lessons learnt, insights and the impact of the FIFA World Cup Soccer event that was held in Germany in 2006. He focused on three main areas, being how Germany benefited regarding tourism, the architecture of the tourism sector and lastly the lessons learnt.
The issue of how Germany capitalised from this event was clear. Firstly, the event improved the image of the country as a destination. The influx of 12.5 million additional overnight stay guests during the four to five weeks of the event provided Germany with a 19.3% increase in tourism. In addition, neighboring countries would also have benefited from these visitors. The majority of the visitors were from the United States of America (USA) and the United Kingdom (UK). Three quarters of the visitors were coming to Germany for the first time. 16% combined their visit with a holiday, and 10% combined the trip with time spent visiting relatives and friends.
In general, the event attracted two million visitors and one million guests from neighboring countries. There was a very positive trend in the growth of tourists during the following years of 2007 to 2008, with an increase of 34.4% This meant added value for the economy. Three million Euros were spent, as these tourists were generous spenders, in general spending about 2.5% to 3% more than the regular tourists. Several thousand additional shops opened, and of these about 20 000 became permanent.
90% of the visitors, on leaving Germany, would then promote Germany as a good destination in their home countries, to their friends and colleagues, so this had a long term sustainable effect.
The issue of nation branding was important. German people had traditionally been perceived or stereotyped as stern and disciplined, and this stereotype altered dramatically. Instead the strengths of the economy and industry, and the generosity and warm heartedness of the nation was exposed. The repercussions were that the previously-divided nation and the remnants of the Berlin Wall divide had now found inner balance, self esteem and the event helped them to reconcile and have an enlightened patriotism.
The basic marketing concept of “a time to make friends” was initiated. Germany's National Tourist Board, the local government and the Football Association worked in collaboration. They had started, three years prior to the event, to promote the country and the event with special internet portals, the roll out of a nationwide service and hospitality campaign, the setting up of web-shops with e-learning tools, set for training, for the 50 000 tourist chains, to help them in turn to prepare. Seminars and conferences for the media and journalists were held. There were also competitions in order to create awareness and prepare for the event. Cultural and art projects were initiated to showcase Germany's heritage and its diversity. About R350 million equivalent of funding was made available. 48 projects were initiated, ranging from dance, drama, performances, art exhibitions, film and music festivals (in ten different languages) as a tool to attract visitors. The government made extensive use of its foreign missions to promote the event as well.
The Ambassador emphasised the issue of providing good and fair services that would create strong partnerships with other countries on a long term basis.
Mr G Krumbock (DA) posed a question with regard to the 19.3% increase of visitors, asking what role the government had played with the goodwill authorities, during and after the event, to facilitate the sustainability.
The Ambassador explained that the infrastructure and the workforce that were set in place to coordinate the stakeholders was basic. He noted that South Africa had a Ministry for Sport and Recreation, and also had a Tourist Board similar to that in Germany. These could be used in South Africa. Germany had not used any other hierarchical structures apart from their equivalents. There were partnerships created, in which government had an equal say with the tourism partners.
Ms M Njobe (COPE) noted that South Africa was far from Europe and the USA, and that the influx from neighboring countries to South Africa may not be as great.
The Ambassador reminded the Committee that the USA was still recovering from the economic meltdown and their influx to the event must not be underestimated. The fact was that this event would impact on the whole of Southern Africa as it would extend across the borders.
Ms M Shinn (DA) questioned the multilingual aspects, and how this would affect the logistics.
The Ambassador explained that language skills were part of the hospitality campaign in Germany.
A Member raised a question on how Germany had dealt with criticism after the event.
The Ambassador explained that Germany was highly criticised before the event, as much as South Africa was currently experiencing and was torn apart by the local media.
The Chairperson thanked the Ambassador for his input.
The meeting was adjourned.
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