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SOURCE South African Tourism
Former World Cup Host Reveals BIG Five Takeaways
Tourism Enjoys Continued Growth and Solidifies Positive Impact on Culture and Travel Industry, Years Later
NEW YORK, June 9, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Four years after hosting the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa endures sustained success as a leading sporting and travel motherland. The country's reputation as a world-class destination has been further enriched since hosting one of the most prosperous World Cup events in history.
Since accommodating this global occurrence, South Africa continues to celebrate its lasting legacy on the country's tourism industry with a tremendous 21 percent increase in U.S. tourist arrivals as of 2014, observing consistent growth to their economy and profile worldwide.
"With the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil upon us, we reflect on the profound, yet positive effect this event has brought to our country," said Ms. Sthu Zungu, President of South African Tourism North America. "The World Cup opened a new door of opportunity for South Africa and we wish our Brazilian counterparts the best of luck this month."
How to Score BIG at the World Cup:
Don't Judge a Book by its Cover
Perhaps the most successful element of South Africa's hosting of the World Cup has been debunking common misconceptions about the country – be it that the nation was not capable of hosting an event of such great magnitude or that it lacked compelling travel offerings beyond its iconic safari. Rather, South Africa demonstrated that it did in fact have the capability to support the world's greatest sporting event in world-class stadiums and sports facilities, all while emulating rich cultural diversity, breathtaking scenery, unmatched travel experiences, reliable comfort and the unforgettable warmth and kindliness from locals.
Preparation is Key
South Africa's hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2010 gave the country a deadline to complete infrastructure projects that would serve their people and the tourism industry for decades to come, but it couldn't have been done without careful planning and evaluation.
Within six years, South Africa built two new stadiums and upgraded eight existing venues in each of its major cities. The country invested $1.8 billion in road work, airport upgrades and highway expansions, and another $40 million in telecommunications improvements.
There is No "I" in Team
South Africans unified in national pride and attained the seemingly impossible in an effort to showcase South Africa in the best light. The result of such teamwork provided a $5 billion lift to the economy. Additionally, South Africa's surge of visitors outperformed every region in the world by eight percent, most remarkably during the world's most severe financial crisis.
Be True to You
Leading up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, South Africa received a decent amount of negative press, but South Africans never let this affect their spirit. Rather, they exuded positivity and welcomed the world with open hearts.
In fact, as the tournament kicked off, many set protest against the notorious South African vuvuzela. Despite the public outcries and noise complaints, South Africans refused to lose sight of their roots. No matter how controversial the horns, they banded together and celebrated the ritual asset. Four years later, visitors continue to cherish the vuvuzela as a unique representation of South African culture.
The More the Merrier
More than 309,000 tourists visited South Africa to attend the 2010 FIFA World Cup, giving the local economy an incredible boost – as well as raising the profile of South Africa as a welcoming and worthwhile tourist destination. As a result, South Africa continues to see double-digit increases in tourist arrivals year after year since 2010. The U.S., specifically, has contributed immensely to this sustained growth as South Africa's second largest source market for overseas tourist arrivals. Of recent, the U.S. accounted for nearly 350,000 tourist arrivals in 2013, reflecting a 6.7% growth on the Americans that visited South Africa in 2012.
Proven by this rapid, consistent growth, South Africa is quickly becoming the global standard for tourism success to other emerging destinations.
"It is important for organizers of this year's Cup to see it as an opportunity to reassess what is working for their country and what isn't," continued Ms. Zungu. "South Africa had the unusual privilege of representing the continent of Africa and delivering the most legendary sporting event to ever take place here."
By establishing heartfelt connections with those who have traveled to the "Rainbow Nation," South Africa has evolved into a leading holiday destination that resonates with millions of travel enthusiasts around the globe.
For more information on South Africa's rich and diverse offerings visit www.southafrica.net, follow @SouthAfrica on Twitter and Visit South Africa on Facebook.
South African Tourism is the national tourism agency responsible for the marketing of South Africa as a preferred tourist destination. It is headed by Chief Executive Officer Thulani Nzimaand Chief Operating Officer Timothy Scholtz.
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