Western Cape still taking RSVPs for 2010 Base Camps
As international football teams are signing on the dotted line all around South Africa for their 2010 FIFA World Cup(tm) base camps, the Western Cape's tourism regions are reaffirming that they are all set and excited to extend a particularly warm welcome to teams, their media and supporters.
So far three football teams have been confirmed for the Cape Garden Route and Klein Karoo region:
- France for the Pezula Resort Hotel and Spa at Knysna
- Denmark for the Simola Golf & Country Estate at Knysna
- Japan for Fancourt at George.
The team from Paraguay has been expressing a strong interest in the Point Hotel at Mossel Bay, but has not confirmed yet.
The Western Cape, especially the Cape Garden Route and Klein Karoo, Cape Town, the Cape Winelands and the Cape West Coast, have over recent months gone out of their way to make sure that their venues and facilities are in tip top shape to not only host the world's football greats, but leave them with an impression that will draw them back for many years.
Shaun van Eck, CEO of Knysna Tourism, says: "As a top tourism destination, we are an excellent option to teams - the town boasts luxurious accommodation coupled with the wonderful lifestyle that is Knysna. The hosting of a team will be a huge boost for Knysna and the Garden Route, and the town has made the hosting of base camps a priority focus. The Knysna Council also decided to upgrade our current public sports facility, Loerie Park, should a team base themselves in Knysna."
André Smith, Senior Manager: Environmental Affairs, George Municipality, adds that George has established a 2010 committee to deal with teams' and other arrangements, including the beautification of the city to create a soccer atmosphere. "We are expecting between 15 000 and 20 000 Japanese supporters in George. Extensive work will be carried out to prepare the field surface of their practice venue, the Outeniqua Stadium, for soccer purposes.
Indications are that a second team might also choose George as a base camp with Oubaai as their preferred hotel," says Smith.
Despite many teams opting for base camps at a higher altitude, Western Cape towns are still bidding to host teams.
Dr Laurine Platzky, 2010 FIFA World Cup(tm) Coordinator: Department of Premier, Provincial Government of the Western Cape, says: "Cape Town and the Western Cape gives coaches and teams the opportunity to select from a variety of base camp propositions that include high end accommodation in both urban and rural settings. Our training sites are supplemented by internationally recognised training centres offering coaches access to the latest developments in sport science and providing indoor options for team preparation. The attractive accommodation and leisure activities offered by the region makes Cape Town and the Western Cape the ideal home for media, fans and the corporate sector accompanying their teams during 2010."
In the meanwhile Cape Town and the Western Cape continues to strongly position itself as a travel destination in which 2010 visitors and locals can go beyond the 90 minutes of the football game and explore a beautiful and diverse travel mix.
Says Calvyn Gilfellan, CEO of Cape Town Routes Unlimited: "The decision of international football teams to base themselves in the Western Cape is undoubtedly an endorsement of the province's infrastructure excellence and irresistible tourism charm. However, Cape Town and the Western Cape is as keyed up to welcome 2010 football spectators to our shores. We're rolling out our 2010 marketing campaign, 'Beyond the 90 Minutes', through innovative tools such as documentary-style road trip videos in ten languages. While the idea is to sweep 2010 visitors off their feet, we also want to use this time to showcase the destination to new markets such as Brazil and Argentina and grow repeat tourism."
Dianna Martin, CEO of Bitou Tourism, agrees: "Our destination marketing efforts have been aimed at positioning Plettenberg Bay as a world-class, desirable destination not only prior to and during the World Cup, but also after the event. Plettenberg Bay offers easy accessibility to host cities Cape Town and Port Elizabeth as well as the rest of the country. It is an ideal base from which to attend games and explore South Africa."
For more information go to:
www.tourismcapetown.co.za and 'kick' on Beyond the 90 Minutes.
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