Joburg: ‘close to a million 2010 visitors’

22 July 2010

South Africa’s biggest, fastest-moving city, Johannesburg, had almost a million visitors during the 2010 Fifa World Cup, says the Joburg Tourism Company, adding that tourism initiatives put in place for the event would continue to benefit the city’s visitors and residents.

Laura Vercueil, the company’s manager of communications and public relations, said this week that while the data still needed to be properly analysed, “there is anecdotal evidence of one-million visitors to Joburg during the World Cup, comprising domestic, continental and international guests.”

The Joburg Tourism Company (JTC) pulled out all the stops to ensure a memorable stay for visitors during the tournament, said Vercueil.

Substantial investment

“To meet the challenges of supplying adequate tourist information services to the visitors and thereby ensuring memorable experiences for them, Joburg Tourism made a substantial investment in improving information skills, information dissemination and other service level enhancements, including the provision of information touch screens, brochures and kiosks, as well as the volunteer Know Your City programme,” said said.

“Aside from initiatives to skill up frontline staff and tour guides, we also partnered with Sasol [the fuel company] to train petrol pump attendants to deal with tourist information requirements, as well as with the Johannesburg Metropolitan Police Department [JMPD] to train tourism cadets.”

The company also worked with the Johannesburg Roads Agency to make available 122 brown tourism signs for tourist attractions and public facilities throughout the city, as well as directional signs to different accommodation establishments.

“The JTC ensured the dissemination of tourism information through existing platforms, as well as at public viewing areas and fan parks, while the City of Johannesburg trained 650 volunteers as information ambassadors, coaching them about tourism awareness, cultural diversity and knowing their city from a tourist’s perspective.”

Programmes

The programmes included:

  • Tourism cadets: with the JMPD, the tourism company trained 200 tourism cadets drawn from former commandants and unemployed youth, to focus on tourism safety and security, and visible policing.
  • Tour guides: with Gauteng Tourism, the JTC facilitated the training of 10 high school learners from Alexandra as tour guides during the Football for Hope Festival, which will help in their future careers in the tourism sector.
  • Information officers: the JTC facilitated the training of information officers at various shopping centres, including Hyde Park Shopping Centre, Maponya Mall, Rosebank Mall and Killarney Mall, and its own information staff.
  • Petrol pump attendants: the company trained 200 Sasol petrol pump attendants drawn from different tourist routes in Johannesburg.
  • Information brochures: updated Johannesburg Visitors’ Guide and maps were produced for distribution to tourists.
  • Website: the JTC website is constantly updated to ensure that information about the city is available electronically and is integrated with the Visitors’ Guide.
  • The usefulness of the programmes has not ended with the World Cup. They have left a legacy that will allow those who were trained to continue in the field, while the signage will help residents navigate their own city better.

    Source: City of Johannesburg