‘Treat­ing 2010 as cash cow will back­fire’

Weekend Argus (Saturday Edition) - - PROPERTY -

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.”

Call 082 268 4559, e-mail sum­mer court@mweb.co.za.

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