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Following the "absolutely sensational" confirmation from FIFA headquarters in Zurich on Saturday, May 15, that South Africa has been successful in its bid to host the 2010 Soccer World Cup, South African Tourism chief executive officer, Cheryl Carolus, says that the country's tourism industry will be ready and waiting to give a warm South African welcome to the thousands of fans who will flock to the country to the largest sporting event of its kind in the world.

"What better news could our industry have asked for to cement the successes we have achieved and are indeed celebrating during this historic year as we celebrate 10 Years of Freedom?" she added. "The future of our growing industry could not have had a better boost."

Tourism has been identified as one of the South Africa's top five leading growth industries for its ability to contribute towards the eradication of poverty, and closing the gap between rich and poor through the sharing of an expanding tourism cake. The huge influx of international media and spectators that will be drawn to South Africa for the 2010 event &endash; as well as those visiting and scouting out the country in the years running up to the World Cup itself - will add significant momentum in contributing to increased GDP growth and job creation.

An ebullient Carolus added: "FIFA's decision is indisputable proof that South Africa has now received the ultimate stamp of approval for its ability as a preferred, world-class global destination to successfully host major events. The country has shown without a shadow of a doubt that it has the ability and maturity - in possessing the sophisticated, world-class infrastructure and technology and quality tourism products - to facilitate and exceed beyond expectations in hosting such an international gathering of diverse cultures pursuing one single passion."

Over the past few years, the country has fast gained an enviable reputation for hosting, without incident, a number of high profile international events that have attracted hundreds of thousands of people, from Royalty and leading Heads of State to business delegates and sports fans.

This reputation was substantially heightened by the hosting in Johannesburg of the World Summit on Sustainable Development &endash; one of the largest UN events of its kind, and arguably one of the most significant global gatherings of the 21st century. This was followed by the 8th ICC Cricket World, the largest and longest-ever competition in the history of the event, held over a six-week period with matches played in centres countrywide.

The country, with its wealth of diverse cultural attractions, scenic beauty and wildlife, is now recognised as one of the world's fastest growing tourist destinations. 

"As we proudly celebrate this momentous decision with our SADC (Southern African Development Community) neighbours, we are committed to delivering a world-class tourism and hospitality experience second to none to the thousands of people who will be attracted to our beautiful shores for the duration of the 2010 Soccer World Cup. At the same time, however, we will work to ensure that the economic benefits derived from tourism are also spread throughout our region," stated Carolus.

To learn about South African packages available from TOPAC members visit <http://www.topac.org/>www.topac.org, call 1-866-57-TOPAC or contact one of the TOPAC members directly. TOPAC members include: Africa Experts by Goway, G.A.P Adventures, Lion World Tours, Reservations Africa, Tourcan Vacations, Travel Studio, Trek Holidays and Wild Africa Safaris.

Contact: Jeff Lanthier

DBA Communications

416.591.7783 ext 112


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