WC tour operator programme launched


Tour operators are being invited to register for the programme, to which Fifa have allocated 350 000 tickets, world football's governing body said this week.

Fifa general secretary Jerome Valcke said the organisation hoped to facilitate travel to the matches for tourists by combining transportation, accommodation and tickets into a single package.

Valcke said he expected more than 450 000 visitors to travel to South Africa for the World Cup finals, half the initial estimate made by the local organisers when they first launched their bid to win the right to host the tournament.

Tour operators would be able to register for the programme from February next year and those later approved would be able to sell travel arrangements with a special quality mark featuring the official World Cup 2010 emblem with the words ‘Authorised Travel Packages’.

Fifa last implemented a tour operator scheme at the 1998 finals in France.