The target of about 60,000 rooms they hope to have available might not be reached.

While the majority of hotels are signing up with a company handling accommodation bookings for World Cup visitors in 2010, some are holding back. This is according to the chairman of the special advisory board for the soccer spectacle.

Otto Stehlik, who is also chairman of Protea Hotels, said a few hotel groups were making excessive demands on booking agent Match Hospitality, the exclusive holder of hospitality rights. The target of about 60,000 rooms they hope to have available might not be reached.

He said one wanted a guarantee that they would receive R18 million for food and beverages bought from the hotel for the duration of the matches, before they would sign a contract.

Others believed that once all the Match accommodation was booked, they would be able to charge what they liked.

The board hoped to hear that it had secured at least 40,000 rooms at a meeting in November.

If not, they might have to solicit the help of government, said Stehlik.

Stopping short of suggesting a boycott, he said there could be repercussions as government departments are major hotel clients and they could take their business to other hotels.

However, he said reminding the hospitality industry about the need for accommodation might be all that was necessary.

According to a sample contract viewed on the Internet, the contract stipulates that the room has to be available to Match, who have the exclusive rights to sell it as part of a package which could include air tickets and tickets to the matches.

Match receives a booking fee and stipulates certain standards and conditions in the contracts. – Sapa

PUBLICATION: Sowetan
AUTHOR: Sapa
DATED: 1st October 2008