Last year, the official hospitality provider of the 2010 World Cup, MATCH Hospitality, predicted there simply wouldn’t be enough decent hotel rooms in South Africa to accommodate some 450,000 football (soccer) fans.
Almost immediately, more than 20,000 South African homeowners put their properties on the market – some at three to six times their normal rents – in anticipation of a lodging feeding frenzy. Many locals even planned to go on holiday during the games in order to maximise profits.
But just like many of the World Cup matches, not everything has gone to plan. Only 8,000 or so homes advertised with South Africa’s Seeff Properties, one of the country’s biggest real estate agents, ended up finding tournament tenants, according to Reuters. As a result, thousands of hotel rooms MATCH had set aside for fans were returned to the market, drawing criticism from South African property owners who subsequently lost potential business and some of whom even turned down bookings in the hope of holding out for better offers.
Who would have thought that short-term leasing feuds could be a source of conflict when national unity was supposed to be at an all-time high?