UCT scores with World Cup accommodation

26 July 2010

Some of the staff and students that made CA2010 such a blastPride: Some of the staff and students that made CA2010 such a blast. Samantha Payne, Anja du Plessie, Qingping Liang, Wei Mao, Eva Gumbie, Hilda Phatswana, Johnny Oriokot (at back), Mpho Raboeane, Vhahangwele Masutha, Errard Sullivan, Snigdha Basu and Emer Prof John Simpson.

UCT proved to be a hit with the visitors who were looking for lodgings over the FIFA World Cup.

More than 2 500 bookings (or bed-nights) were sold and UCT played host to hundreds of visitors from 33 foreign countries and other parts of South Africa as it opened up some of its student residences to World Cup visitors during the recent semester break, at the request of local government and tourist authorities. The project, Campus Accommodation 2010 (CA2010), was led by Emeritus Professor John Simpson, whose team included experts in the hospitality industry.

Among the local visitors were volunteers from FIFA's local organising committee. In turn, many of the foreign guests were visiting South Africa for the first time, and they commented on the professionalism and warm welcome provided by UCT.

"The student volunteers who served as marshals and receptionists became excellent ambassadors for the university, often working beyond the call of duty," said vice-chancellor Dr Max Price.

The campus also served as one of the city's largest transport hubs, with more than 2 150 cars parked on UCT property every match day, and thousands of people made use of the City's Park & Ride services. These services were also available to CA2010 guests.

There was even a smart viewing area on campus for staff, students and guests who could not make it to the live matches or the fan parks in town. Catering company Fedics fitted out the Graça Machel dining hall with high-resolution TV screens and an offering of hot meals and drinks.

The occasion put several lasting legacies in place at UCT: new systems that will contribute over the long term to the management of the residence sector in general, and to the development of the university's vacation accommodation in particular.

The university also picked up some unexpected tips, reported John Critien, executive director of Properties and Services, at a PASS Forum last week. "We learned that we have the capacity in our departments - and in our students - to run a small hotel here," said Critien.

"I would like to congratulate and thank Professor Simpson and the CA 2010 team members for their superb accomplishment," said Price. "CA2010 has enhanced the UCT brand internationally, and strengthened our relationship with the City of Cape Town and Cape Town Tourism."

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