An investigation into 2010 FIFA World Cup™ planning: a case study of the Eden District Municipality, Western Cape, South Africa
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Sport tourism, mega-events and the impacts thereof, especially in developing countries, have, in the past, tended to have been overlooked academically. This study investigated 2010 Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA) World Cup™ initiatives in the Eden District Municipality (EDM), Western Cape, South Africa, which is situated between the host cities of Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. The research investigated whether or not planning initiatives being conducted by the district and individual towns in the region were integrated or not, with special reference to the accommodation sector. The sector was the focus of the research, as most plans being conducted in the region were centred on the development of team base camps as accommodation satellites for travelling spectators. The research design consisted of self-administered electronic questionnaires, which were sent to a sample of 587 accommodation establishments. From the survey, a response of 251 valid questionnaires were received. In addition to the questionnaires, five key informant interviews were conducted with representatives from towns in the EDM. The findings indicated that, although stakeholders in the EDM were interested in becoming involved in 2010 FIFA World Cup™ planning, and despite the majority being involved in planning initiatives, little information reached the accommodation establishments in the region. As a result of such paucity of information, establishments were embarking on their own planning initiatives, which were not in conjunction with those being conducted by the EDM. The research also showed that awareness levels of plans being conducted by various stakeholders in the region were very low and that accommodation establishments knew very little about the plans concerned. Moreover, there was scant awareness of the roles of various stakeholders and involved parties in the region. The research established that, although a large number of establishments were aware of the services offered by MATCH Event Services Pty, which was appointed by FIFA to administer its Tour Operator Programme on its behalf, not many had registered with the body, due to any one or more of a range of reasons. Key informant interviews conducted as part of the study found that most of the above-mentioned respondents were working on projects in conjunction with other stakeholders, rather than in isolation, and that the level of buy-in from accommodation establishments was not very high. The majority of key informants agreed that there had not been sufficient or significant communication about the event from the EDM or from local municipalities and that the initiatives of which they were aware lacked a strong legacy focus. From the research conducted, recommendations made were that there should be a more consolidated marketing and planning effort for all towns in the EDM concerned with an event of this nature, while the individual needs, offerings and the nature of each of the towns should still be considered. Planning initiatives in a district municipality should involve all levels of stakeholders, and both communication channels, as well as the roles and responsibilities of all parties involved, must be clearly defined. In planning for the hosting of such an event as the FIFA World Cup™, the long-term needs of the area and the legacy of the event should be the main considerations in ensuring community development and sustainability radiating from the event.