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  • South Africa tourism board denies hotel price fixing

    Daniel Fountain
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    Following HotelDesigns’ report on hotels fixing their prices ahead of the World Cup, an investigation has revealed this is not the case.South Africa, Minister for Tourism, Marthinus van Schalkwyk said a report into the alleged price fixing showed that hotels were acting responsibly.

    A survey was commissioned by the National Department of Tourism to compare accommodation rates during the World Cup to regular rates.

    Schalkwyk said: “The research shows that 74 per cent of all accommodation establishments in the country are charging a premium less than 50 per cent above their highest rate for 2010. Half of all establishments will not be charging a premium at all.”

    Establishments including hotels, guest houses, bed and breakfasts, lodges, camping and self-catering facilities in all nine provinces in South Africa were looked into. More than 2,500 responses were analysed. The research showed that about a quarter of accommodation providers in the sector are charging price premiums of more than 50 per cent above the high season rate for 2010.

    In areas where there is significant demand, such as Gauteng, hotels are charging higher premiums, at around 65 per cent.

    Schalkwyk said: “We will continue to do everything to discourage excessive premiums when these do occur. I have already consulted with the tourism industry in this regard. I am satisfied that by far the majority of accommodation establishments are acting responsibly and are sensitive to our warnings about price hiking and its effects.”

    However, the premiums are higher than those charged during World Cups in other countries. For example, when Germany hosted the World Cup in 2006, only 37 per cent premiums were charged.

    Carmen Allan

    Daniel Fountain / 30.03.2010

    Editor, Hotel Designs

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