South Africa saw big tourist jump during World Cup

/ Source: The Associated Press

South Africa's hotel industry saw a World Cup boost of more than 50 percent, the government said Monday.

South Africa's government statistics department said that there was a 55.3 percent increase in income earned by the accommodation industry in June 2010 compared to June 2009.

Hotels contributed most to the increase, but guest houses and game parks also profited.

"The high income for the accommodation industry for June 2010 was the result of the World Cup," the statistics department said in a statement.

Hotels charged high season prices during the World Cup throughout June, which is winter and a low tourism season in South Africa.

Sue Klerck, spokeswoman for Sun International, a major South African hotel chain, told The Associated Press that it is common for profit figures to drop following a big event. However, she said the industry may be able to maintain the boost because World Cup visitors would spread a good impression of South Africa.

"There will always be a back roll after events as big as the World cup but we are certain that it will go up shortly after that," Klerck said.

The Cape office of the Federated Hospitality Association of Southern Africa said about 16 percent of the people who stayed in the western South African province during the World Cup already have made bookings for new visits.

South Africa was the first on the continent to host the World Cup which ran from June 11 to July 11.