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World Cup Fans Provide Tourism Boost For New Zealand

World Cup Fans Provide Tourism Boost For New Zealand

Tournament organisers, Rugby New Zealand 2011, have welcomed official figures showing that 133,200 visitors from around the world arrived in New Zealand specifically for the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

Statistics New Zealand released figures showing arrivals for the Rugby World Cup in October totalled 53,200 in October, adding to 80,000 arrivals between July and September.

Visitors were asked to indicate on their arrival card whether they were in New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup.

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“This is a fantastic result for New Zealand and the tournament,” said RNZ 2011 Marketing and Communications General Manager Shane Harmon.

“One month prior to the tournament we estimated 95,000 visitors based on ticket purchases to that point, so it’s really pleasing to see that the momentum continued in the lead into and during the Rugby World Cup.”

The influx of visitors led to a 17 percent increase in total visitor arrivals in October 2011, compared with October 2010. Previous analysis suggested 44% of visiting fans were first-time visitors to New Zealand.

“Visiting fans added enormously to the colour and spectacle of the tournament. Many were first-time visitors who were here for the rugby, but also got to see the stadium of four million come to life through the REAL New Zealand Festival, the fan zones and Kiwi hospitality,” he added.

Australia led the way contributing 55,200 visitors. Interestingly only 63% of Australian arrivals were Australian citizens. Large numbers of Kiwi, Irish, British and South African ex-pats made the trip across the Tasman.

19,100 visitors travelled from the United Kingdom, followed by France (11,100), South Africa (8,500), United States (5,500), Ireland (4,300), Argentina (3,000), Japan (2,800) and Canada (2,800). Visitors from other countries accounted for the remaining 20,900.

“The number of visitors out of Australia is a great result and it demonstrates, as anticipated, that many rugby fans living in Australia made a late decision to come to New Zealand.”

Figures released last week by Statistics New Zealand for the September quarter show that visiting rugby fans contributed to the largest quarterly increase in retail sales since 2006.