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Rediff.com  » Business » Tour operators try to cash in on coming football frenzy

Tour operators try to cash in on coming football frenzy

April 26, 2010 11:28 IST

Tour operators are turning their attention to the coming football madness, with the World Cup tourney set to kick off in 46 days.

Though ticket sales for the event, the most-watched sporting event globally, have entered their last leg, tour operators and travel agents are coming up with their packages only now.

"There are a lot of soccer fans, especially in eastern India. An event of such scale results in incremental business for us," said Subhash Goyal of Stic Travels.

Agencies said bookings were picking up. Many travel companies are tying up with ground agents to make the tickets available. The fifth and last phase of sales started April 15.

"We have noticed that a lot of interest has been generated for South Africa because of the World Cup and we are cashing on this demand," said Karan Anand-Head Relationships and Supplier Management, Cox and Kings India.

South Africa is one destination which has benefited from high-profile events like the Indian Premier League (cricket) and the Miss World contest. The outlook of the travel industry is very positive for South Africa, with experts believing there would be a surge of over 20 per cent in the number of travellers visiting the destination this year. Places like Durban and Johannesburg are in greater demand, being the venue for various matches and for attractive tourist spots.

"Compared to last year, there is an increase in sales and this is due to the soccer World Cup," said Sanjay Bhasin, chief executive officer of Travelchacha.com.
The airlines, too, are expected to offer special ticket prices for the World Cup. With Jet Airways commencing its Mumbai-Johannesburg flight, the fares on this sector are likely to get more competitive.

"Availability will be tighter during the time of the World Cup. So, a lot of people are going for extended trips, either pre-or post-event, and combining the World Cup with places of interest. Availability of tickets is also an issue," said Deepak Rawat, product head for South Africa on Makemytrip.com.
  

SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI

 

Emirates

Makemytrip

Travelchacha

Stic Travels

Package*

1,73,500

1,24,990

1,12,000

Customised

Duration

5 days

9 days

4 days

3 days

Hotel (3 Star)

21,000

46,000

16,200

47,000

Airfare**

62,800

42,000

38,000

40,000

*includes accommodation, A/C transportation, breakfast and sightseeing
** round trip per person;                                                                         (Figures in Rs)

The travel portal is offering travel packages around Cape Town, Suncity Resorts and wild life in South Africa.

"It is a destination for evolved travellers and it is something that will not have a mass market appeal. Even corporates have started travelling to the destination for incentives and dealer conferences," said Anand.

Ruchika Chitravanshi
Source: