Media Release

Federation Internationale de Football Association

FIFA Strasse 20, P.O Box 8044 Zurich, Switzerland, +41 (0) 43 222 7777

Customers from 72 countries book over 1 million overnight stays: 2006 FIFA World Cup OC: High demand for hotel rooms

The 32 teams qualified for the 2006 FIFA World Cup™ chose their base camps many months ago. Now large numbers of the three million visitors expected to attend the tournament, including a million from outside Germany, have also settled the question of where to stay. Some two months ahead of the event, 2006 FIFA World Cup Accommodation Services (WCAS), the service agency appointed by the OC, has booked over a million overnight stays for customers from 72 countries.

The business of finding accommodation is unquestionably at full swing, with a critical role filled by WCAS, a joint venture comprising key players in the hotel and travel industries under the Organising Committee's supervision. 2006 FIFA World Cup Accommodation Services, established in June 2004, is owned in equal shares by Euro Lloyd Reisebüro GmbH & Co. KG, Accor Hotellerie Deutschland GmbH, and British firm Byrom plc.

"Booking procedures are working exceptionally well, and we have exceeded expectations," OC senior vice-president Horst R. Schmidt declared, pointing out that more than 50 percent of the rooms set aside by 600 partner hotels had been allocated at this point in time.

On an even more positive note, although demand for overnight stays continues to increase, prices have remained at an average of €190 per room, as predicted three years ago. The average takes into account all categories from youth hostels up to six-star luxury establishments. "With the help of DEHOGA, the German Hoteliers' Association, and the entire industry in Germany, we have successfully prevented inflationary pricing. In fact, the current average figure of €186 is slightly below the forecast level. We continue to show availability in every Host City for every matchday in all categories, for example in Gelsenkirchen from €52 upwards," commented Michaela Radmann, head of the OC accommodation and tourism department.

In late February, the OC-appointed agency fulfilled a contractual requirement by returning approximately 30 percent of the reserved contingent of around 55,000 rooms to the hotels. Despite high levels of demand over the next few weeks and during the tournament itself, fair and moderate pricing and value-for-money remain guaranteed. "If you book with us, you avoid the customary trade fair and event surcharges. Our prices continue to remain considerably below levels seen at the 1998 FIFA World Cup in France, for example," explained WCAS Sales And Marketing Director Thomas Edelkamp.

If and when the OC block reservation runs out, customers will still be able to book rooms at reasonable prices, even for the day of the final in Berlin. A last-minute sales area at www. FIFAworldcup.com, opens in early May for this purpose. Commented Edelkamp: "After we returned surplus pre-booked rooms, even well-known hotels asked us to continue advertising their rooms at official World Cup rates."

To date, confirmed bookings account for 44 percent of the original room contingent for group phase matches, and 33 percent for the round of sixteen. Major conurbations are proving popular with a wide variety of fan groups intending to travel from a temporary base to watch their teams in action. Current statistics show some 6,000 Brazilians making an extended stay in Cologne, 4,000 Argentines in Frankfurt, 5,000 Mexicans in Dusseldorf, and some 2,000 fans from Angola in Hanover.

Demand from abroad is not simply focused on matchdays, according to logistics experts at the OC. Hotels in FIFA World Cup Host Cities such as Munich, Cologne, Hanover and Frankfurt are showing consistent 60 percent occupancy throughout the tournament, with up to 100 percent expected on matchdays.

The fundamentals in terms of accommodating visitors from all over the world remain simple: sufficient room capacities will be available at reasonable prices up until the end of the 2006 FIFA World Cup. "We have ample proof that our travel and hotel partners' wide-ranging expertise has secured the trust of all sectors of the worldwide tourist industry, especially in the area of accommodation," Horst R. Schmidt summarised.