The organiser of the World Cup, FIFA, says that 220,000 international football fans are set to visit South Africa in June and July rather than 500,000 as originally expected.

FIFA believes that the drop to less than half the expected number is due to a combination of factors, including the high price of flights to and within South Africa, the global recession, fears of being overcharged for accommodation and other services and concerns about crime.

The announcement has come as a blow to hotels and other businesses in the tourist industry, which have spent large amounts of money in anticipation of the tournament and now may not see a return on their investment.

Earlier this year FIFA