by R. Asmerom
With all the hundreds of thousands of soccer fans who came to South Africa this summer to attend the World Cup, you’d think the financial returns would prove a win-win for the popular tourist destination; however, The Telegraph is reporting that South Africa only recouped 10-11 percent of the money it spent on hosting the tournament.
The figure is a result of lower than expected attendance: estimates predicted 450,000 visitors although just 309,000 foreign fans showed. In addition, the developing country had a massive amount of work to do to prepare for the festivities by building stadiums and other infrastructure. All in all, it is estimated that South Africa spent nearly $5 billion leading up to the World Cup.
Despite the fact that the numbers don’t show a great return on investment at this point in time, a long term view would look favorably on this economic investment for South Africa. In the end, the country has new and much-needed infrastructure as well as a much higher world profile. And that, you can’t put a price on.