Rugby World Cup Boosts New Zealand's Tourism Numbers

As if we needed more proof of the power of sports tourism, Statistics New Zealand has released figures showing arrivals for Rugby World Cup in October totaled 53,200 in October, adding to 80,000 arrivals between July and September.

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 percent of visiting fans were first-time visitors to New Zealand. Visitors were asked to indicate on their arrival card whether they were in New Zealand for Rugby World Cup.

“This is a fantastic result for New Zealand and the Tournament,” said RNZ 2011, GM Marketing and Communications 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 Rugby World Cup.”