MATCH 'comfortable' with 2010 rooms

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Cape Town - Jaime Byron the executive chairman of FIFA's accommodation provider MATCH, said he was far more "comfortable" now than he had been before with the country's accommodation inventory.

Match had contracted more than 48 000 of the total rooms, which is near to its target of 55 000 rooms.

These rooms would be used to accommodate FIFA guests such as key sponsors and dignitaries.

Byron said 12 000 operators or 15 percent of all MATCH establishments are small enterprises, which surpassed FIFA's target to utilise 10 000 small providers.

He acknowledged that though there was a shortage of MATCH accommodation in some host cities, he didn't see this as a problem, adding that host cities in previous World Cups had also experienced a shortage of accommodation.

Byron noted that South Africans were now taking more interest in the World Cup with 70 percent of all applicants in the 72 hours since the latest ticketing stage began on Saturday being locals.

FIFA would also open ticketing centres in each of the host cities on 15 April, while MATCH would operate a last-minute sales call centre from the same month next year.

MATCH would also contract the equivalent of 50 000 return air seats between South African Airways (SAA) and Comair, he said.