Cape Town – The 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup was given the thumbs up by FIFA and now, the findings of a survey commissioned by Cape Town Tourism during the Confederations Cup reveal that The FIFA Confederation’s Cup visitors were happy with proceedings too. An overwhelming majority of the respondents (63%) stated that they are returning for the 2010 FIFA World Cup, making the results of this research an accurate pilot study for the tournament next year.
Cape Town Tourism’s study was conducted in partnership with the University of Cape Town (UCT) and consisted of a survey of 323 respondents, most of who were aged between 19 and 45 years (slightly more respondents fell in the range 19 to 29 years).
Respondents were foreign tourists who were in South Africa to attend the games. Questionnaires were administered at the stadiums in various South African cities (Johannesburg, Pretoria, Rustenburg and Bloemfontein), as well as at major hotels in Johannesburg where foreign tourists were staying at the time.
One-third of the foreign tourists surveyed were found to be travelling in groups larger than six people. These groups comprised not only of tour groups but also families and groups of friends. Interestingly, 16.6% of the foreign tourists surveyed were travelling alone. T
he largest portion of respondents (47%) noted that they had travelled overseas to attend a sporting event only once before in the last five years. On average, respondents were found to have travelled overseas to attend a sporting event 2.26 times in the last five years.
48.46% of respondents were found to have made use of rented cars while in South Africa. 10.42% of foreign tourists stated that they made use of minibus taxis in South Africa.
However, far too few respondents felt safe using public transport in Johannesburg. 19.6% strongly disagreed that they felt safe, whilst 16.56% disagreed that they felt safe. This is a primary concern for the country to address before the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Nevertheless, the introduction of the Rapid Bus Transport System as well as other public transport developments like the GauTrain, should improve safety perceptions of public transport in South Africa.
Over 75% of the respondents agreed or strongly agreed that sport plays a significant role in their lives. 73.61% of the foreign tourists surveyed consider themselves to be adventurous individuals, whilst 53.94% of the respondents consider themselves to be risk-taking individuals. When asked what aspect, outside of the Confederations Cup had attracted them to South Africa, 71.2% of respondents were found to be most attracted by South Africa’s culture, history and natural beauty. For a question where respondents were once again allowed to tick more than one response, it was surprising to find that only 15.3% of respondents believed “Value for Money” to be an attractive aspect of South Africa.
As expected, most respondents (53.3%) made use of the internet to gather information to plan their trip to South Africa. Cape Town Tourism has found this to be true with unprecedented hits since the launch of their 2010 mini-site www.capetown.travel/2010
Most of the respondents stayed in South Africa for fourteen days. Of the 323 respondents surveyed, only one said that he would not recommend South Africa as a holiday destination. 3.68% of the respondents said “Maybe”, as they had not yet been in South Africa long enough to give a definite “Yes” or “No” answer and had not been able to see enough of the rest of the country.
77.85% of the respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe at the stadia during the soccer matches. More respondents felt safe walking the streets of Johannesburg during the day than at night.
The number of tourists who felt safe in public places was a lot more pleasing. 68.4% agreed or strongly agreed that they felt safe in places such as restaurants and nightclubs, compared to only 8.58% who did not feel safe.The researchers themselves commented on the large number of policemen and women present at the soccer games during the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup. 62% of respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that there was enough of a police presence at the games.
52.3% of the foreign tourists surveyed planned to visit Cape Town during their stay in South Africa. The average duration of their stay in the Mother City was expected to be 5.66 days. The majority of respondents were found to be staying in the City Centre of Cape Town, or City Bowl.
Significant percentages were also found to be staying in one or more areas including the Cape Winelands, the Atlantic Seaboard, and the Southern Suburbs. Hotels were found to be the most popular type of accommodation to stay in while in Cape Town.
By far, the most appealing aspects of Cape Town were its culture, history and natural beauty, with 81% of respondents choosing this category when asked what other than sport attracted them to South Africa.
The most prevalent nationality of foreign tourists attending the Confederations Cup was found to be American (33.12% of respondents). Brazilians also made up a fair share (20.25%) of the respondents. Respondents of other nationalities included Japanese, Italian, Saudi, Zimbabwean, Portuguese, Dutch and Argentine.
Commenting on the findings of the survey, Cape Town Tourism, CEO, Mariette du Toit-Helmbold, said that the results revealed some interesting demographics; “Much of what we foresaw is true but we are pleased to hear that most respondents had an overwhelmingly positive experience of South Africa and plan to return in 2010. This survey is a task list – a benchmark to help us perfect our game.” “The FIFA Confederations Cup was a very good trial run for South Africa and many lessons were learned. Perhaps one of the most important things is that our team, Bafana Bafana did so well and raised the national pride to unprecedented levels, thus kick-starting the excitement ahead of next year’s big welcome.”