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CAR RENTAL: World Cup a Resounding Success for Avis


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Mid 1st century philosopher, Seneca, once said “good luck happens when preparedness meets opportunity”. This statement certainly rings true for Avis’ experience of the 2010 FIFA World Cup, which saw the car rental company record a significant growth in excess of current trends, over the same period last year.

Avis chief executive Wayne Duvenage says preparedness was key to Avis’ success during World Cup. “Not only did we embrace 2010 as a true South African brand, but thorough consistent planning and projections ensured we were prepared to handle the influx of tourists visiting South African shores,” he says.

What appeared to be a slow start with May not producing the expected “build up” volume, momentum gained as the much anticipated event became a reality. We engaged with our German colleagues about their World Cup Challenges of 2006 and learned a lot from them, which helped us to achieve acceptable utilisation of our fleet.

“There were differences between an African and a German experience and one key learning was our overestimating of the number of visitors we expected to the Western Cape, highlighting to us that despite it’s beauty, Cape Town is not quite a winter tourist destination,” says Duvenage.

He says while rentals to FIFA and other support groups boosted business, it was ultimately the fans who took the foreign inbound segment to around 200% growth during this event period. “This was somewhat offset by a decline in the corporate travel segment during the event, but overall, growth in volumes resulted in our best overall growth for 2010 so far, thanks to the soccer phenomenon,” he says.

In order to optimise service delivery to its customers during the World Cup event, Avis ensured that its recently upgraded kiosks and facilities were correctly manned and operated on flexi hours to ensure all soccer fixtures were accommodated.

In line with its brand promise of “We try harder”, Avis offered competitive pricing, which was managed by our Revenue Yielding team who ensured that rates were kept in line with normal trends so as not to take advantage of visitors.

“We are excited about the travel industry feedback from several quarters, which report significant forward bookings for the upcoming summer months – a direct spin-off from the recent showcasing of our amazing country and what it has to offer,” says Duvenage.

For Avis the successful World Cup event has not been a mere four-week affair, but a long term strategy impacting on the future of tourism. Avis will be looking to assist its Brazilian counterparts with knowledge sharing to ensure their World Cup in 2014 is as successful as the event hosted in South Africa.

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