Be careful of overspending this World Cup

By Staff Writer
The FIFA World Cup is upon us but the amount of tourists who will visit the country for the tournament is less than expected.

The original projection for visitors from June 11 to July 11 was 450 000 but it's now expected that only about 300 000 visitors will come to the country.

Herculaas van Heerden, spokesperson for Justmoney.co.za - South Africa's financial services comparison portal, believes that this is a good thing for the local residents of the country.

"For those who could not quite make the budget stretch far enough to take up the initial SWC offers the reduced number of international visitors are very good news indeed.

"With D-day looming and the lower than expected demand, South Africans are sure to see the cost of many World Cup offers dropping sharply. Initial disappointment as many South Africans were unable to afford especially the big ticket items like hospitality packages and luxury accommodation are turning into elation as some lucky South Africans are picking off these offers at reduced rates.

This lack of tourists coming to the country will also be a financial burden on those who viewed the World Cup as an opportunity to make money from hospitality services.

Van Heerden continued: "For some South Africans the World Cup was less of a financial windfall than expected and this would put additional pressure on these households, especially if they invested additional capital in upgrading their houses into guesthouses, for example. Many of these households not only need to go without the additional income that they bargained on but also need to service excessive debt levels.

"We are still seeing a large number of individuals who are struggling to come to grips with the current trading conditions and high level of debt.

Other factors that are being blamed for the lack of tourism are the high travel costs, despite the many specials being run by local airlines, high airfares by international airlines has been a huge contributing factor - prices from international airlines were particularly high during the time of the final draw. Van Heerden also warned that getting into debt in order to fund your World Cup needs is not the way to go.

"Local travel should also remain pretty flat and unlikely to boost the tourist industry significantly, as the higher vacation costs during the SWC will discourage many locals to make the most of the long school holidays.

"The Soccer World Cup in your own backyard is a once in a lifetime opportunity and we should make the most of it. Funding the SWC party with debt however could leave you with bigger problems than the traditional hangover," he concluded.

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