Nearly 1 000 De Oranjecamping soccer fans from the Netherlands settled on the banks of the Berg River, the same place where their forefathers had settled more than 300 years ago. Only this time they came here for a different purpose: to enjoy the historic 2010 FIFA World Cup(tm) in a very special way.The orange-clad adventurers not only provided colour to the beautiful town of Paarl, they also provided a much-needed cash injection into the Cape Winelands economy, said Finance, Economic Development and Tourism MEC Alan Winde.
“Although most of the economic benefits of the World Cup are accrued to the host cities, the Western Cape is host to various Cup related activities in the Cape Winelands, Cape Garden Route and other parts of the province, thus widening the economic reach.
“Even budget travelers such as these Oranjecampers provide a significant injection into the local economy. Their contribution of approximately R6 million is new money entering the local economy and through the multiplier effect will help to grow it,” said Winde.
Speaking from the Berg River Resort camp-site, Cape Town Routes Unlimited CEO Calvyn Gilfellan echoed the sentiment of the MEC, “The Dutch have a long historic, cultural and linguistic link with Paarl and the Western Cape as a whole. Every fan I have spoken to cannot stop raving about the stunning World Cup South Africa is hosting – the natural beauty and hospitable people – and of course they all spoke about the great weather in the middle of winter! We are sure that they will be enthusiastic ambassadors for our destination when they return to their European homes.”
De Oranjecamping is believed to be the world’s largest football fan camp and consists of a convoy of 175 vehicles travelling across the entire African continent. Whenever the Dutch national squad qualifies for a FIFA World Cup De Oranjecamping and its visitors follow. The three base camps in South Africa are in Pretoria, Durban and Paarl.