'Recession won't affect 2010'

2009-11-10 15:08
Cape Town - Organisers of the 2010 Soccer World Cup do not expect the world's economic recession to affect the number of visitors to the tournament.

Organising committee chief executive Danny Jordaan told a press briefing on Tuesday that 450 000 foreign tourists are still expected to visit South Africa for the World Cup.

"I expect that the number 450 000 fans for the World Cup should not be adjusted," Jordaan said. "We will remain with that figure for now."

The tournament's organisers have sold more than 600 000 tickets out of the 3.1 million available.

Jordaan said he expected interest in the tournament to pick up after the team draw on December 5.

"We will have to look beyond December 5 (to see) how interest is translated into real commitment of travel.

"We will be able to see impact of crisis on extra cash in the hands of fans to travel."

It was a good sign that fans had been filling up soccer stadiums during competitions in Europe.

"The World Cup qualifying matches are all sold out. So fans are travelling.

"We will see after December 5 what the level of interest throughout the world is.

"England should bring a significant number. So will Brazil, Germany, Mexico, Argentina, Italy and we will then see whether we will realise the 450 000 target."

Jordaan said he had hosted a packed press conference at the World Travel Market in London last Thursday.

"The indications are huge level of interest."

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