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Tourism Industry welcomes Rugby World Cup

Media Release


Tourism Industry welcomes Rugby World Cup

18 November 2005

New Zealand’s tourism industry is today celebrating the news that the Rugby World Cup will be hosted here in 2011.

“It’s wonderful news that will give tourism businesses around the country a huge boost,” Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Fiona Luhrs said.

The DHL NZ Lions Rugby series this year generated more than $130 million in foreign exchange earnings but the Rugby World Cup was likely to reap far more, Ms Luhrs said.

The economic benefits would be spread around the country, not just the main centres, and to a wide variety of accommodation, transport, visitor attractions, and food and beverage businesses.

She had no doubts that New Zealand could cope with an influx of as many as 60,000 visitors.

“The tourism industry now has six years to prepare for this event and ensure all the facilities are in place to give our visitors the trip of a lifetime.”

TIA member organisations are also thrilled the Rugby World Cup is coming to New Zealand.

Hospitality Association of New Zealand Chief Executive Bruce Robertson said he was “absolutely delighted”. The hospitality industry had demonstrated during the Lions tour that it was capable of hosting such an event and he was sure that track record helped the New Zealand bid for the Rugby World Cup.

“We look forward to stepping up to the mark again. There’s no doubt that all parts of the New Zealand hospitality industry will benefit across all the regions.”

John Collyns, Executive Director of the Bus & Coach Association (BCANZ), the Rental Vehicle Association (RVANZ) and Marine Transport Association (MTA), said it would be an opportunity to showcase New Zealand. The event would be spread over several weeks and though dates are yet to be announced, it was likely to be held during a traditionally quiet time of year for the tourism industry.

The rental vehicle and coach sector would benefit and he would also be looking to maximise opportunities to use charter boats to help fill accommodation shortages.

Holiday Accommodation Parks Association Chief Executive Fergus Brown said members of his organisation benefited hugely from the Lions Tour and were expecting even greater business from the Rugby World Cup.

“We’ll be looking to offer as much assistance as we can to the New Zealand Rugby Union,” he said.

ENDS

Key statistics about tourism:

- Tourism is the world's fastest growing industry

- New Zealand tourism arrivals have doubled in size since 1994

- Forecast annual growth is 6% on average for at least the next five years

- Tourism is New Zealand's single largest export sector and contributed $7.4 billion dollars to the economy in the year ended March 2004. That is 18.5% of exports

- Tourism directly and indirectly employs 10 percent of the work force. That is one in 10 jobs in New Zealand.

- Tourism represents 9.6% of gross domestic product and generates nearly $500 million in GST returns from international visitors each year. Tourism is the only export sector whose international clients pay GST.

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