International tourists' perceptions of crime-risk and their future travel intentions during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa

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South African Journal of Business Management

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University of Cape Town

The 2010 FIFA World Cup™ tournament provided an opportunity for South Africa to showcase its unique beauty and attractiveness as an international tourist destination. However, the trepidation over crime emerged as a key concern in relation to South Africa’s ability to host a successful 2010 FIFA World Cup™. This study investigates 398 foreign tourists’ perceptions of South Africa during the soccer tournament, especially regarding crime and safety concerns. A questionnaire was distributed among tourists in Cape Town and Johannesburg; two of the major host cities and semifinal and final venues respectively. Findings reveal that most respondents had positive perceptions of South Africa as a holiday destination. Two-thirds of those interviewed agreed that South Africa was a safe place to visit. Over half of respondents were not concerned about their safety while in South Africa. Several individual factors were found to affect their crime-risk perceptions of which the most significant was nationality. Most notably, soccer tourists from the Middle East felt the safest, whereas those from South America and Western Europe felt the least safe. Crime-safety issues did not appear to affect respondents’ future travel intentions, as the majority of study respondents said crimesafety concerns would not deter them from returning to South Africa. The findings of the study are useful to practitioners and contribute to the development of staging major sporting events in Africa, specifically, and globally more generally, in the future.