South Africa May Have Lost Money On The World Cup, But Claimed Long-Term Gains
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.