Stung by criticism that prices have been inflated ahead of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Cape Town has introduced a code of conduct for its hotels and guesthouses.
The code is based around the concept of "Fair Value" and will encourage the tourism sector to create "fair and reasonable" rates linked to current seasonal rate. In practice, this means that partipating institutions will be banned from artificially upping their nightly rates to capitalize on the fans visiting.
The code also asks tourism businesses to be mindful of Responsible Tourism and "sustainable tourism" to avoid tarnishing the reputation of Cape Town and South Africa in general as a destination that offers good value. Finally, the code asks that organizations adopt an ethic of "consumer protection" to ensure that visitors do not receive hidden costs and fees when they check out.
"The code is an important charter," said Cape Town Tourism spokesperson, Lianne Burton. "The industry is eager to ensure that Cape Town's good reputation is not spoiled by greedy individuals out to capitalize on a few weeks at the expense of a responsible sector that has worked incredibly hard to put destination Cape Town on the top of every travelers wish-list."
Despite negative press in several European outlets about accommodation prices, a survey commissioned by Cape Town Tourism found that 75.32 percent of establishments are currently charging no more than 20 percent above their peak season rates. Last month, South Africa's Competition Commission launched an investigation into six airlines after public complaints that local air fare prices during the competition have become "drastically high."
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