The tourism industry in Cape Town will be disappointed that none of the 32 World Cup teams have chosen a base camp in or near Cape Town. The base camp location has an important attraction for fans, who want to stay in the same towns and cities as their home team.
Despite a deadline of the end of last month, FIFA has given the teams one more week to finalise their choice. Six teams have not yet announced their final base camp choice.
The Western Cape has 2 teams (France and Denmark) staying in Knysna at Pezula and Simola, respectively, and Japan will be based in George at the Fancourt Hotel.
Gauteng has the most teams to date, who chose the province for the altitude for their practice sessions, the top quality sport facilities and top quality accommodation : The Netherlands, South Africa, Portugal, Serbia, New Zealand, Slovenia, Brazil, Australia, Honduras, Switzerland, North Korea, and Mexico.
Pretoria has attracted USA, Germany, Italy, Slovakia, and Argentina. KwaZulu-Natal has secured Algeria, Ivory Coast, Greece, and Paraguay. Uruguay is staying in Kimberley. Ghana is staying in White River. England and South Korea are staying in Rustenberg. Chile is staying in Mapumalanga. Spain has not chosen between Rustenburg and Potchefstroom yet.
Many municipalities spent big money trying to encourage teams to set up base camps in their towns. Mossel Bay was sure that it had bagged Paraguay, and both Val du Vie and Pearl Valley outside Franschhoek were rumoured to have signed up a team. The Sunday Times reports that the Mossel Bay municipality spent R 200 million on its bid, and had launched an extensive Spanish language campaign for tourism players in the town. Bloemfontein, Port Elizabeth and East London also did not attract any base camps.
Chris von Ulmenstein, Whale Cottage Portfolio: www.whalecottage.com