What’s the World Cup worth? Quite a bit, if you’re the host nation.

South Africa, which is hosting the 2010 event, could add 0.5% to its 2010 GDP thanks to the month-long soccer tournament, according to DNAIndia.

It’s tough to say for how long the economic boost will linger in South Africa, but hosting the World Cup would undoubtedly benefit any nation, especially one that still suffers from poverty and financial imbalance.

South Africa Hopes for Money Influx, Image Repair

South Africa will benefit in the short term, that’s for sure. The competition is projected to bring approximately 370,000 foreign visitors who will inject plenty of money into the nation’s tourism industry, among others.

Add that to the money the nation has already spent on building stadiums and infrastructure, and the nation’s GDP has improved greatly. South Africa’s GDP grew 4.6% faster in the first quarter of 2010 than it did one year earlier. In the build-up to the event between 2007 and 2010, the government spent $4.3 billion and added 130,000 jobs building and renovating stadiums, improving airports and expanding roads.

South Africa, which was governed by a segregated apartheid system as recently as 1994, has made strides to reverse course but still suffers from rampant poverty, disease and crime. According to the CIA Factbook, the nation suffers from the world’s second-highest AIDS rate and 50% of the population is impoverished. According to a United Nations study, South Africa claims the second-most murders and most gun violence in the world. An incident-free World Cup could do wonders to reverse the public perception of South Africa as poor and dangerous.

Other Nations Have Mixed World Cup Results

Germany, which hosted the 2006 World Cup, saw sharp growth in spending activity before and during the tournament but suffered a steep decline afterward. South Korea and Japan in 2002 shared the hosting duties, failing to give a clear picture of whether either economy grew substantially. 1998 host nation France saw its private consumption shoot up 1.5% during the World Cup but also saw a quick post-Cup decline.

South Africa has a very different and less developed economy than that of France or Germany, so it will be interesting to see whether the nation can hold onto the solid growth it has seen leading up to the event.

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  • it is becoming apparent that there will be a significant boost to foreign earnings for South Africa during the World Cup, as the prestigious VISA has recently issued statistics showing how tourism spend has grown in the first quarter of the year even before the arrival of the first of those involved in the World Cup 2010. Visa forecasts that there will be an even more significant growth both during the World Cup and following the enormous TV exposure of South Africa as a beautiful, but affordable destination.

  • it is becoming apparent that there will be a significant boost to foreign earnings for South Africa during the World Cup, as the prestigious VISA has recently issued statistics showing how tourism spend has grown in the first quarter of the year even before the arrival of the first of those involved in the World Cup 2010. Visa forecasts that there will be an even more significant growth both during the World Cup and following the enormous TV exposure of South Africa as a beautiful, but affordable destination.

  • lovette

    Well the great enent of the world cup is over.What i really want know is…..has the south african government still been able to maintain the GDP as high as it was or has it experienced a fall as the other host like France in 1998,South Korea and Japan in 2002 and Germany in 2006

  • I guess that will only be determined towards the end of the year, because these indicators take time to measure, but the strength of the South African Rand is holding the economy back. A fall in GDP may not necessesarily be attributable to a hangover after the World Cup. A strong Rand has a negative impact on exports and on tourism in South Africa.