One day after the preliminary draw in Durban, South Africa's Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk, today (26 November) officially presented the 2010 FIFA World Cup™ tour operator programme to more than 200 interested travel experts from across the globe at Soccerex 2007 in Johannesburg. The tour operator programme, the first to be implemented by FIFA since 1998, will allow qualified and experienced travel companies to offer customised travel packages of their own creation in combination with 2010 FIFA World Cup™ tickets.
"Today marks a further step towards ensuring that the benefits of the FIFA World Cup are felt by all sectors from multinational to family businesses. It is an excellent example of government working hand in hand with the tourism industry and broader stakeholders towards a common goal - an African World Cup that we all can be proud of. The initiative provides tremendous global marketing potential for SMMEs (small, medium and micro-enterprises)," stated van Schalkwyk.
To make it easier for football fans to identify the tour operators who are entitled to sell travel arrangements with valid 2010 tickets, a special quality mark featuring the 2010 official emblem with the word mark "Authorised Travel Packages" has been developed. The registration period for tour operators will start on 15 February 2008. A total of 350,000 tickets have been allocated to cater for these packages.
"It is extremely important for us to ensure that the first
FIFA World Cup in Africa touches as broad an audience as possible
in the most meaningful way," said FIFA General Secretary
Jérôme Valcke. "FIFA's aim is to facilitate travel to the
matches for more than 400,000 international visitors by making use
of a strong alliance of available local accommodation in various
forms, ranging from small bed-and-breakfast establishments to top
world-class hotels, ground and air transportation facilities. At
the same time, we want to ensure that the spectators will be in for
a real African treat, experiencing the great culture that the
continent and South Africa have to offer."
Danny Jordaan, CEO of the 2010 SALOC, explained that: "The tour operator programme will help FIFA, the LOC, MATCH and all tourism stakeholders in South Africa to present the 2010 hosts in the best possible light. What is more, the tour operator programme will also enable South African SMME tourism entities to be involved in this once-in-a-lifetime event and benefit from the 2010 FIFA World Cup. It is a chance to enhance international awareness of a world-class tourism destination."
The programme will be implemented on a non-exclusive basis, allowing for the appointment of multiple tour operators per country and/or region in order to foster competition among the participating companies, thereby resulting in competitive prices for fans and facilitating a broad distribution of tickets within all countries/regions as well as among broad economic markets for potential customers.
FIFA has appointed its servicing partner, MATCH Event Services Pty, to administer the programme on its behalf. FIFA Ticketing Sub-Committee chairman and Honorary FIFA Vice-President David Will, FIFA Ticketing Sub-Committee member and consultant for the 2010 FIFA World Cup Horst Schmidt and co-chairman of MATCH Jaime Byrom introduced the workshop participants to further aspects of the programme, ranging from the host country to ticketing.
Interested tour operators are requested to register online at http://touroperator.match-ag.com. The applications of tour operators who meet the mandatory requirements such as insurance and experience will then be rated on additional factors. FIFA requires tour operators offering international packages to confirm international transportation to ensure that ticket-holders can get to the country in time for matches.