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Thursday, March 12

Rugby World Cup 2011 Draw Favours Regions-NZ Tourism says

Tourism New Zealand says the announcement of venues for the Rugby World Cup in 2011 is good news for tourism in New Zealand.

Thirteen venues were chosen for games, with a geographical spread from Invercargill to Whangarei. This reflects the Rugby Union’s ‘New Zealand is a Stadium of Four Million’ approach, encouraging all New Zealanders to support the event. All venues will host at least two games.

"We are delighted that the Rugby World Cup game draw shows such great regional spread," says George Hickton, Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive.

"We are expecting tens of thousands of visitors for the event. This draw means that the benefits of those visitors will be shared by a large part of New Zealand."

"Tourism New Zealand will be working hard to encourage visitors to see as much of the country as possible. We already have our ‘Front Row Rugby Club’ that enables us to target rugby fans around the world and feed them information on the Cup and New Zealand’s tourism activities. By this we are aiming to convert a love of rugby and an interest in New Zealand into a trip here for the 2011 Rugby World Cup."

"Our giant rugby ball venue has also already been used twice in an international setting. Now that the games have been announced, there is an opportunity for the regions to be involved in profiling themselves in this unique venue."

"Once we’ve convinced the fans to come, we are working on them to come early, stay longer, and do more in our country while they are here."

He adds that there is still also the opportunity to get players, management and supporters out to other regions that have missed out on games.

"Many of those that come over to New Zealand will travel further afield than the locations of the games," he says.

"They’ll be here to take a look around, and in-between games will likely visit regions that don’t actually have scheduled games."

The IRB Rugby World Cup is the third-largest sports event in the world. The inaugural tournament took place in 1987 and it is held every four years. The 2011 tournament will take place in New Zealand from 9 September to 23 October 2011.

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