Rugby World Cup interest starts to build

Rugby World Cup interest starts to build
By admin


Tourism officials have predicted 10,000 to 15,000 Australians will head to England and Wales for the Rugby World Cup (RWC) next year.

Packages went on sale in March through the four official tour operators – Qantas Holidays, Flight Centre, Gullivers and Sportsnet – with VisitEngland describing early demand as “huge”.

The tourism agency’s Sydney-based marketing and PR executive, Kersti Martin, said pre-registrations numbered “in the thousands”, with a fresh promotional push to sell packages earmarked for September.

“The OTA’s were selected in March and while it is early days, the level of interest is double our expectations,” she told Travel Today at Destination Britain in Kuala Lumpur.

With venues spanning all corners of the country, Martin said the tournament presented an opportunity to showcase regional England to Australians heading over to follow the Wallabies.

She said VisitEngland was working closely with the four OTAs and providing them with destinational information and suggested itineraries.

"The next push will be in September, which will be one year out from the tournament," she said.

Meanwhile, international visits to England climbed 6% to 30 million in 2013, with almost 17m spending time in London, according to new figures.

Martin admitted it was a constant challenge to entice tourists out of the capital.

“It is something we are very aware of. We need to keep educating the trade and consumers about the many other options available in England,” she said.

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