News in this morning’s Cape Times that Marthinus Christoffel Johannes van Kortbroek, South African Minister for Tourism has demanded a probe into allegations that some accommodation providers are hiking prices excessively for the World Cup.
“We have noted allegations that accommodation establishments in the tourism industry are not responsible, and are inflating prices excessively,” van Schalkwyk said.
Well done, Marthinus. The rest of us only noticed that fact a few months back. It’s good to see that you and your department have got your collective fingers so firmly on the pulse of what is going to be the biggest tourist event this country has ever seen.
My faith in the Government is restored. Unfortunately.
He said the survey would help safeguard the reputation of the tourism industry since South Africa is known as a “value-for-money destination”.
“Price-hiking could damage the reputation of our tourism industry. However, it must be kept in mind that June and July will be high season in South Africa, and tourists should not expect the normal low-season prices,” he said.
Absolutely correct, Minister. However, nor should tourists expect to pay mark-ups of over 300% as we recently noted at the Ashanti Backpackers Lodge in Gardens.
Grant Thornton has been commissioned to conduct the survey, which is expected to be completed in three weeks.
…leaving the Government with very limited time to do absolutely nothing about it. Meh.
This article prompted me to give Ashanti a call, just to see if they have any rooms left for the World Cup. I didn’t even have to fake a British accent, since I still have half of one of those.
“Plenty,” was the reply.
Goodness me. I wonder why?