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15 February 2013

AFCON 2013 – a great showcase for South Africa

AFCON 2013 provided a perfect platform to market South Africa to potential travellers across the African continent.

SA Tourism's Phumi Dhlomo South African Tourism's regional director for Africa, Phumi Dhlomo

With the number of Nigerians who came to support the Super Eagles in South Africa during AFCON 2013, the numbers will grow even further. – Phumi Dhlomo, South African Tourism’s regional director for Africa.

After 31 games and 23 days, The 2013 African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament concluded on 10 February 2013.

The final match took place at the National Stadium in Soweto, attended by an appreciative crowd of 85 000 supporters all in a festive mood to celebrate the beautiful game on African soil. 

The closing ceremony included musical performances from some of the continent’s finest musicians including Yvonne Chaka Chaka, D’Banj from Nigeria and Muthoni from Kenya, amongst many others.

After 94 minutes on the field, Nigeria’s Super Eagles secured their place in the sun by beating Burkina Faso by 1-0. 

For Phumi Dhlomo, South African Tourism’s regional director for Africa, AFCON 2013 provided the perfect showcase for South Africans to give visitors from Africa a dose of home-grown hospitality. He said many of the visitors not only came for the football, but also had the opportunity to visit the country’s sights and attractions. It was a marketing opportunity made in heaven, according to Dhlomo.

With Johannesburg being home to the final, many of the supporters had the opportunity to visit historical and heritage attractions, and get a good dose of the restaurants, malls and nightlife on offer.

The fact that Nigeria walked away with the winning trophy was an added bonus for South African Tourism’s marketing team, who have been hard at work in trying to attract Nigerians to visit South Africa for the past 10 years.

Their efforts are paying off. Dhlomo says that South Africa achieved a 16.6% increase in arrival figures for the period of January to October 2012. He has high hopes for the next sector. ‘With the number of Nigerians who came to support the Super Eagles in South Africa during AFCON 2013, the numbers will grow even further,’ said Dhlomo.

The Confederation of African Football (CAF) was thrilled with the outcome of AFCON 2013 and gave praise to South Africa for organising a successful tournament. CAF Secretary-General Hicham El Amrani told reporters: ‘As CAF, we are satisfied with the progress of the tournament. We are satisfied with the infrastructure as well as the support from the South African government.’