The 2010 FIFA World Cup begins in South Africa this week, with thousands of tourists expected to fly in to see their teams at the tournament.

This week, South Africa is gearing up for the largest tourism exercise in its history, preparing to distribute 300,000 welcome bags containing maps of the country, stadium information and hints and tips on how to understand its unique brand of English at international airports.

A 24 hour multilingual call centre for tourist information has also been opened, ready to dispense advice for the duration of the tournament to visitors dialing +27 87 803 4636.

South African tourist authorities say that the World Cup will leave a "tangible and lasting" tourism legacy for South Africa, which has shown healthy growth in the last few years regardless.

Despite the global downturn, tourism in the country outperformed global averages and visitor numbers grew three percent to 9.9 million arrivals.


Johannesburg will host the World Cup Final on July 11 at the newly constructed Soccer City stadium. It will also play host to two of the quarter-finals on July 2 and July 3. The luxury Westcliff was described by travelers as a "lovely colonial hotel".

1 The Westcliff
2 Rutland House Bed & Breakfast
3 Idwala Boutique Guest House
4 African Pride Melrose Arch
5 Saxon Boutique Hotel and Spa

Average price of top five $480/€398


Durban is set to host the second semi-final of the tournament at the new Durban stadium on July 6. The Audacia Manor Hotel was rated travelers' favourite and praised as a "top-class hotel with wonderful staff".

1 Audacia Manor Hotel
2 The Benjamin
3 Durban Spa
4 City Lodge Durban
5 SunCoast Hotel and Towers

Average price unavailable

Cape Town

Cape Town will host the first of the semi-finals at the Green Point Stadium and the third semi final on July 3. The luxury 2Inn1 Kensington beat the Derwent House Boutique Hotel to top place among TripAdvisor users.

1 2Inn1 Kensington
2 Derwent House Boutique Hotel
3 Blackheath Lodge
4 An African Villa
5 Atlanticview Capetown Boutique Hotel

Average price of top five $210/€174

Port Elizabeth

Port Elizabeth's Nelson Mandela Bay stadium will host one of the quarter finals on July 2 and the match for the third place on July 10. Manor 38 took top place amongst the city's hotels, with the Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve also winning rave reviews from animal lovers.

1 Manor 38
2 Schotia Safaris Private Game Reserve
3 Windermere Hotel
4 Hacklewood Hill Country House
5 Courtyard Hotel Port Elizabeth

Average price unavailable


The Loftus Versfeld Stadium in Tshwane/Pretoria will host the penultimate Round of 16 match on June 26. Milner 246, Pretoria's favorite hotel with travelers, was described as a "real home away from home".

1 Milner 246
2 Illyria House
3 Quiet Mountain Country Club
4 Aluvi House
5 Garden Court Hatfield

Average price unavailable

Data is taken from millions of independent reviews and rankings surveyed at TripAdvisor taken on June 9, 2010.