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SA Tourism: IPL a major boost

2009-04-14 12:00

Cape Town - The arrival of eight star-studded Indian Premier League (IPL) teams will provide a major boost to South Africa in these gloomy economic times, according to Sugen Pillay of South African Tourism.

With the country staring a recession in the face, the IPL has brought yet another major international sporting event to these shores and lifted spirits. And it has fitted in perfectly with the strategies of South African Tourism, who have gone on a major marketing drive in India in recent years.

"From a leverage point of view, the IPL coming here is fantastic, especially since it's the Indian market we're dealing with, which is very important to us," Pillay told SuperCricket. "We will be able to showcase our country during the event and India is a very strong growth market for us. For the last five or six years we have concentrated on aggressively marketing ourselves in India. We focus a lot on that country - we have an office in Mumbai which is fully staffed and we have very good relationships with tour operators in India."

While Pillay said estimates on the nett value of the IPL were not yet available, there is little doubt it will be a timely shot in the arm for our wheezing economy.

"We think the tournament will be really good for the country in terms of direct investment. You have all the sponsors and staff and 50 to 60 people per team coming over, so that's more than a thousand people directly involved with the cricket. With spectators coming over too, we're looking at probably around 5000 people coming over for six weeks and obviously that sort of spending power will add value. You can see already in Durban alone all the hotels are totally booked out and we believe it will be similar in Cape Town and Johannesburg.

"It's an added bonus for the hotels at a time when they're not that busy, it helps with their seasonality. And you can be sure the hospitality industry will benefit too," Pillay said.

IPL organisers have had to put additional tickets on sale for the opening weekend of matches in Cape Town on April 18 and 19 as South Africans show similar delight for the twenty20 format as when the country made a marvellous success out of the ICC World Twenty20 in 2007.

"There will be fewer people coming out for the IPL than for the British Lions rugby tour, but it will still be a telling figure. In 2007, when we staged the T20 world cup, 5000 people came for two weeks," Pillay said.

And, having once again proven itself a top-class venue for international tournaments on that occasion, South Africa can expect another feather in their cap and a windfall for the economy after the IPL.

SuperSport

Comments
  • Fazil - 2009-04-14 13:20

    Pillay and SA Tourism must be delusional! The entire world is suffering a recession. The business of the IPL looks at generating most of it's revenue through advertising and television rights. Sure, foreign fans will attend. In the bigger scheme of things how much can 5000 fans generate in revenue? They are not here to invest in infrastructure or any capital formation. The local fans may be put off by the vast amount of cricket on offer and due to weather may choose to remain at home, especially with school exams etc. This type of league is suited for the sub-continent where there are literally masses of people that can while their time away at the cricket on a 24/7/365 basis. As South Africans we need to stop looking for quick fixes to sort out what is a long term developmental problem. When analysing the value chain, who benefits from the Tourist revenue...Let's see, hotels, stadia,transport,hospitality, and the crumbs go to labour?

  • Mark - 2009-04-14 13:32

    The IPL coming here is a bonus for SA. I am looking forward to it. However, we must not forget why it is being held here. The issue is security on the Sub- Continent. There is a very dark cloud about to envelope World Cricket. The 2011 World cup is due to be played In Sri Lanka, Pakistan & India. At this time this will not happen. One can say, well let's go play somewhere else, but that will not solve the problem. The reason that Indian Cricket is so strong is money. Money pumped in by Indian Business. I don't think the same money will be made available if Cricket cannot be played in India. This might be only doom & gloom to some but it's reality. Security has to be much improved on the Sub-continent or World Cricket as we know it will die.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-14 13:44

    @ Fazil. This is a windfall for SA and SA cricket whatever way you look at it. Every cent that comes into the country helps, so why be so negative? In these times having a job at all is a bonus, so if business gains, it makes the labour behind that (hospitality business that little bit more secure.

  • Mark - 2009-04-14 13:49

    The IPL coming here is a bonus for SA. I am looking forward to it. However, we must not forget why it is being held here. The issue is security on the Sub- Continent. There is a very dark cloud about to envelope World Cricket. The 2011 World cup is due to be played In Sri Lanka, Pakistan & India. At this time this will not happen. One can say, well let's go play somewhere else, but that will not solve the problem. The reason that Indian Cricket is so strong is money. Money pumped in by Indian Business. I don't think the same money will be made available if Cricket cannot be played in India. This might be only doom & gloom to some but it's reality. Security has to be much improved on the Sub-continent or World Cricket as we know it will die.

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-14 14:15

    This man is dreaming...It is well into autumn here already...Even the die-hard cricket fans will start saying 'Enough is enough"...8 months of cricket in the southern hemisphere...Another damp squib..the Confed Cup ahead...and bang before we know it..September and we are already into another cricket season (The ICC Trophy)...How much can we take ?... At the end of the day, the benefits don't trickle into the average man in the street's pocket from tourism revenue...It goes into the coffers of big business, corporates and stakeholders (read as Dr Ivan Khoza and his like)... The IPL is no windfall...it's a further burden on the man in the street's already stretched budget and appeals to a limited market...There are more important things to budget for right now than the plethora of sporting events in our country which only benefit a few already wealthy, greedy individuals..

  • Rob - 2009-04-14 19:34

    Fazil why so negative. Tihs kind of exposure is good exposure. Its money that will be flowing into the economy that wasn't there before, whats bad about that? So if 5000 people spend, say 1000 bucks each (not that hard to do) that's 5mil extra into the economy.Again, whats so bad about that. It may not create long-term jobs but surely there will be temporary jobs created on the back of the tournament (catering, marshalls). And if some fans decide they like Cape Town and wish to purchase a property investment thats also bad - how do you know that wouldn't happen. Quit the dire outlook!

  • Will - 2009-04-15 11:23

    I agree with Rob. Sure the economy is suffering and there are other problems not being properly addressed but evry little bit helps. A successful tournament will also have long term benefits. This tournament is followed world wide and with the soccer world cup around the corner it is more good publicilty. It's not all doom and gloom Fazil don't always harp on the negative. Cheereeoooo!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 11:44

    the "entire world" is not suffering a recession and indian "masses" dont "while away their time at the cricket on a 24/7/365 basis". why so negative? 5 000 fans coming over is better than nothing! and im sure "crumbs" for labour is better than nothing at all...im definately going to watch a match or two

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-15 11:51

    @ anonymous 2.15pm.. hahaha. you probably spent all your money on Lions tickets at R1500 a pop didnt you! im not wealthy or greedy but im sure as hell gonna watch an IPL game or two at the Wanderers.

  • AMITAVA - 2009-04-16 12:39

    hi

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