‘Treating 2010 as cash cow will backfire’
CREATE sustainable tourism from 2010 rather than opt for shorts i g h t e d p r o f i t - g r a b b i n g , s ay s Zorgvliet chief executive Mac van der Merwe, owner of Zorgvliet Wine Estate, the Riviera on Vaal Hotel and Country Club, King George Hotel and Ka’Ingo Private Game Reserve.
The 2010 Fifa World Cup should not be treated as a 30-day cash cow – which happened in Athens over the 2004 Olympics, with exorbitant prices that effectively killed the goose that laid the golden egg.
Van der Merwe calls for the cutting of non-value-adding costs and middlemen, to offer greater value and experiences that will build Brand SA for years to come.
“Football fans and media from over the world will flock to South Africa less than a year from now and the greatest challenge for all South Africans is creating a lasting, positive legacy from the event. The bala n c e b e t we e n e x p e r i e n c e s a n d prices will be of paramount importance in creating lasting perceptions of value. Accommodation prices are bound to increase to (in some cases) outrageously high levels. Pressure is mounting for the suppliers of accommodation to keep prices down, but one of the biggest problems in the pricing chain is the middlemen who milk the situation without adding comparative value.
“Converting soccer fans to Brand SA ambassadors will be a function of realistic accommodation prices and exposure to South African holiday experiences. Fewer parties adding commission (which increases the price to the consumer), broadening the experience of visitors and offering attractive inducements to revisit South Africa regularly are all elements of a sustainable tourism legacy.”
He says Zorgvliet Private Residence Club (ZPRC) is promoting an integrated approach to the 2010 World Cup. Through an aggressive media campaign in the UK and Ireland, it is creating awareness of the special experiences, value propositions and opportunities for lasting vacation options offered, ranging f ro m g a m e re s e r ve s t o i n l a n d resorts and wine farms. Using the Zorgvliet Group’s in-house travel agencies in the UK shortens the chain and number of entities that could add to final costs.
“The ZPRC campaign in the UK and Ireland is aimed at optimising the 2010 window of opportunity by selling shared ownership vacations for an extended period at aggressive prices, supported by a wide range of authentic South African experiences. Members can book for the owned-usage periods at the different destinations during the World Cup, thus benefiting from the unique vacation investment during this period and beyond.
“We believe reasonable pricing must be maintained by cutting nonva l ue - a d d i ng c o s t s, b r o a d e ni ng experiences offered to the visitors, and creating relationships that will e n s u r e v i s i t o r s p e r c e ive S o u t h Africa as a top-of-mind destination.”
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