World Cup of Tourism 2010

by Ant Stone on June 21, 2010

in Features

Every four years the World Cup brushes aside the world headlines. Oil spills become washed onto the sidelines. Elections become booed off the pitch. And wars are waged over just 90 minutes. As travellers, the World Cup reaps more reward than any other world event. It dazzles the world media, producing some of the most complete travel guides available and fast-tracking our knowledge of the chosen nation. However, if we swap goals for tourists, which country takes the glory?

Tourism World Cup


Group Stages

The theory of the Tourism World Cup is simple. Instead of goals, the teams are scored on the forecast number of tourists who will visit their country over 2010, while the group draw and subsequent fixtures mimic the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.

The highlights of the group stages saw Serbia take a narrow win over Ghana, but then failed to win their next two matches against Germany and Australia. North Korea get smashed all over the park, while Brazil were the only one of the six South American teams to progress to the knock out stages. In seven of the eight groups, European teams topped the group, while second place honours were made up of nations from five different continents.

All six of the African teams failed to make it through the group stages, with only South Africa and the competition’s third lowest entrant in terms of tourism numbers, the Ivory Coast managing to scuffle some points off the locked down North Koreans.

Eliminated: South Africa, Uruguay, Argentina, Nigeria, Slovenia, Algeria, Serbia, Ghana, Denmark, Cameroon, Slovakia, Paraguay, Ivory Coast, North Korea.
Progressed: France, Mexico, Greece, South Korea, USA, England, Germany, Australia, Netherlands, Japan, Italy, New Zealand, Portugal, Brazil, Spain, Switzerland.

Round of 16


The Round of 16 ironed things out, with England securing a narrow victory against their footballing arch-rivals, Germany. New Zealand — the lowest tourist seed remaining — are picked apart by the touristic highs of the Netherlands, while their cruisy neighbours, Australia are repelled by tourism juggernaut, the USA.

South Korea and Japan fail to give Asia any representation at all in the quarter final stages, losing out to France and Italy respectably, while Spain turf FIFA world number 1 team, Brazil out of the tournament in what pundits could describe as a 10-0 drilling. Mexico outshone Greece to take their place in the quarter’s, while Portugal suppress Switzerland’s hopes of making the final eight during a closely fought contest.

Eliminated: South Korea, Australia, Germany, Greece, New Zealand, Switzerland, Japan, Brazil
Progressed: France, USA, England, Mexico, Netherlands, Portugal, Italy, Spain

Quarter Finals

Popular European destination, Portugal continue their good form to destroy the Netherlands hopes of making the final four with the narrowest victory of the round. Meanwhile the USA — one of the tournaments favourites — are flattened by a thunderous display by France. England snatch a narrow win over Mexico, while Spain claim the final semi final spot with a convincing win over their Mediterranean cousins, Italy.

Eliminated: Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Italy
Progressed: Portugal, France, England, Spain

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Semi Finals

The final four is made up of the powerhouses of Western European tourism, and the crowds began to stir. With Portugal taking on France, and England facing Spain it was anyone’s guess who would take the spoils and claim the inaugural, Tourism World Cup title.

In the first semi final, France flatten the sultry Portuguese to claim their place in the Tourism World Cup Final, while fans of England are left reeling as they’re outmanoeuvred by the conquistadors of Spain, and turfed into the third place playoff with the downbeat Portuguese.

Eliminated: Portugal, England
Progressed: France, Spain

Third Place

A heartfelt contest between two of Europe’s finest family destinations sees England claim a potentially controversial victory. While fans of the small island nation appear content, the southern Europeans appear a little perturbed to have finished fourth after a strong start.

Third Place Winner: England

Tourism World Cup Final


The moment has arrived, the vuvuzelas are screaming and the flags are flying as European neighbours France take to the field against La Furia Roja, Spain to battle it out for the title of the World Cup’s most-visited tourist destination.

In a remarkable coincidence, these famous teams met in the Round of 16 during the 2006 World Cup in Germany, when France emerged victorious after a late surge, which powered them all the way to ‘that’ final.

Fans of Spain claim their sizeable expanses of coastline dappled with some of Europe’s most lively culture, and endless opportunity for rustic exploration is reason enough for victory. Meanwhile, the French argue they offer a combination of charming history, hearty cuisine and unmistakable style which is unrivalled anywhere in the world, and connected by some of the best rail networks on the planet.

This 2010 Tourism World Cup match mimicked a classic 2-1 victory, and that victory was awarded to Les Bleus, of France.

Tourism World Cup Winner: France

Tourism World Cup Review

With France lifting the title, it means two things: France is the most visited nation represented at the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and that the Tourism World Cup 2010 has no resemblance to the main event; because we all know who will win that, right?

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