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Pie in the sky

2010-05-24 15:25
Dear Editor,

The promise of a “golden cloud” during the World Cup now seems no more than a pie in the sky. Guesthouse and private home owners spent thousands of rands renovating their establishments and homes, hoping to attract visitors from abroad.

Today it was reported that many hotels and guesthouses in KZN are only 20% booked if not less. This is far less than the norm of 80% during the same period in previous years - partly due to local holidaymakers choosing to stay at home in fear of unavailability of rooms, flights and inflated prices.

It appears as if many establishments will be in a far worse situation during the World Cup than they’d have in a normal season. I made a few enquiries online and I was able to find rooms in many hotels and guesthouses with very little or no difficulty at all.

The new and renovated stadia around the country should’ve been integrated with shopping centres, hotels, and other facilities to ensure that they remain relevant and economically active long after the world cup. I’m quite sure engineers could have designed them in such a way that they could be subdivided into small arenas for smaller events whenever there is a need.

I now doubt if we’ll really see the promised economic boost, or return on investment. The upgrading of roads, public transport and other infrastructure are all welcome though.


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