South Africa Rejects World Cup Price Gouging Claims

Tiffany Phillips

According to reports, South Africa has rejected claims that inflated room rates are deterring visitors from attending the 2010 World Cup. The South African government went on to say that visitors are not being overcharged to book hotel rooms. The denial was based on the results of a month long study that looked into the rates at some 2,500 properties during the tournament.

This survey, which was carried out by Grant Thornton, a leading auditing firm, found that half of all properties in the nine host regions will not be charging a premium during the World Cup. The minister of tourism in South Africa, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, said that he was satisfied that hoteliers in South Africa were acting responsibly in their pricing. He added that, at the cities that hosted the 2006 competition in Germany, the average room rates were 37 percent higher than in the previous year.

He went on to say that most establishments are sensitive to their warnings about price hiking and its effects. For many lower graded properties, bed and breakfast establishments and guest houses, a 100 percent premium on a low rate may only mean moving from £27 to £54 per person, per night.

However, a close look at the report did show that 65 percent of properties in and around Johannesburg are charging more than 50 percent more than usual peak season rates. More than half the properties in the Durban area have increased charges by at least 50 percent over high season rates. In Cape Town, this was true of only about a fifth of those that were surveyed.

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Filed under Business & Finance, Hotel Chains, Travel News, World News

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