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

December 13, 2010  |  

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.

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