Inflation of prices, especially on accommodation and transportation, are part of the Olympics and World Cup, but the South Africa 2010 World Cup may be different, as South Africa Tourism’s campaign to keep a price freeze during the South Africa 2010 FIFA World Cup is yielding results.
According to a press release by the body, hoteliers in the Eastern Cape part of the country have promised to freeze prices.
The good guys
Nicknamed the “good guys”, this group of service providers, are refusing to price gouge for the event.
The 2010 “Good Guys” campaign was launched about two months ago by South African Tourism Update, to reward service providers who refuse to put up their rates over the 2010 FIFA World Cup period with good coverage.
“This makes me really proud. For Eastern Cape businesses to be singled out in this way is indeed a credit to the people of this province. May many more follow their example as we approach World Cup and after the event,” Eastern Cape Premier Noxolo Kiviet said in the release. The premier warned against general inflation of prices. “This could well discourage tourists from revisiting our shores post-2010.
According to Natalia Thomson, SA Tourism Update’s online editor, “(We) launched the initiative when we were inundated with complaints from tour operators who claimed accommodation establishments were engaged in price gouging. Rather than ‘reward’ the bad behaviour (with coverage), we decided instead to focus our efforts on the establishments who were playing fairly, that is, the Good Guys.”
SA Tourism Update Online has compiled a database of tourism suppliers that are not price gouging, which can be accessed by their inbound tour operators. The rates they consider fair will be loaded into the frequently updated database.
The “Good Guys” fall into four categories: providing accommodation, tours, attractions, transfers and flights.
There are currently six Eastern Cape tourism providers that have kept their rates normal over the 2010 period and are listed on the website. They include Calabash Tours, Kariega Game Reserve, Addo Elephant Back Safaris and Lodge, Samara Private Nature and Game Reserve, and the Storms River-based At the Woods guest-house and Serenity Retreat.
According to Eastern Cape Tourism Board (ECTB) communications manager Veliswa Mhlapo, “ECTB believes that product owners would be doing themselves and the tourism industry in general a great disservice by inflating prices for the World Cup, especially because one of our key marketing focuses is that the Eastern Cape is a destination where tourists can come and experience the ‘Adventure Province’ at affordable prices. We must remember we want to encourage our visitors to come back … and also tell their friends and families about us.”
Titus Chuene, Nelson Mandela Bay Tourism’s marketing manager, said they need more people like the “Good Guys” in South Africa. “We really need to commend them because they have a long term vision for tourism in South Africa – something we should all strive for,” he said. “Given the (economic) crunch, we are competing with other countries positioning themselves as offering value for money – so we need to not be short-sighted. The ‘Good Guys’ are leading the way with their long-term vision and by not sending the negative message that we are expensive – which we aren’t.”