The Vibe from Abroad – Spot the obvious mistakes

Here is a test for you; see how many mistakes there are in this report which went out on the BBC last Saturday, February 27, 2010,  during the morning news:

The reporter began his World Cup journey from Heathrow, London, complete with enormous suitcase, football and vuvuzela tucked under his arm. His mission; to report on what sort of journey a football fan can expect while in South Africa.

He next appeared beside a dusty road in Rustenburg, and began his report by saying that due to this being such a small town, the fans will be bussed in from Johannesburg, or for those with more money, Sun City is the closer option. He next appearance was in a tent – location unspecified – and reported that due to the shortage of accommodation, a number of “tent cities” were being set up across the country that offered, for a mere £55 per person per night, a night under canvass. In a bed admittedly, but luxury it was not.

He then appeared on a train, still clutching his football and vuvuzela, and reported that travel to Cape Town was best done by train as the domestic airfares were too expensive. The fans would have plenty of time to dream of victory, as the journey would take 25 hours.

His report from Cape Town was equally brief, but did mention the fan parks as an option for those without tickets, and then he was off up the Garden Route, which he described as the four-day journey to the third venue, Port Elizabeth. He did find time to stop along the way and do a bungee jump, and showed some accommodation options as he whizzed along the N2.

The report ended with a visit inside the Nelson Mandela Bay stadium and concluded that because the distances were vast, anyone visiting would need to make sure they did their homework beforehand.

I will give you a few minutes to add up the mistakes.

You can lead some visitors by the hand, but if they are acting on poor information, or are just going to turn up and expect it all to work out, it’s not going to go according to plan.

The big challenge for the industry, I believe, is going to be how best to communicate with the fans who have not planned their trips, or find themselves suddenly having to move from Port Elizabeth to another city, as yet unknown, to watch England if they get through the group stages. How will they get there, what will they do when they arrive, where will they stay, what will they eat and is there enough beer?

If you are an accommodation provider, or tour guide in Cape Town, and the hordes are descending on your city the next day, how will they find your products and services?

Let me know your thoughts mary@tourismleisure.com

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