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Friday, October 21

80,000 visitors arrive for RWC 2011 by September end

Tournament organiser Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) today welcomed official figures showing 80,000 visitors from around the world have arrived in the three months to the end of September for Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011).

Statistics New Zealand today released figures showing arrivals in September totalled 74,400, bringing the number of visitors to date since July for the Tournament to 80,000. Most were from Australia, the United Kingdom and France.

The figures do not include arrivals for October which included the last weekend of pool play and the knockout phase which concludes with the Final on Sunday night.

“This is fantastic news and further evidence of the valuable platform this Tournament has created to promote New Zealand to the world,” said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden.

“Our ticket sales data pointed to overall visitor numbers of 95,000 from over 100 countries and with October’s arrival figures still to come, we are right on track to hit our expected target or possibly exceed it.

“We have seen in the past six weeks that our overseas guests have added hugely to the colour and passion of our match day crowds so these numbers bear out that they have certainly been here boots and all!

“This is also further good news following the achievement of the ticket revenue milestone yesterday of NZ$268.5 million.

“Attracting visitors to New Zealand was a key part of the rationale for holding the seventh Rugby World Cup and a critical payoff for the investment this country has made to make the Tournament a success.

“Visitors are one part of the economic benefit expected from RWC 2011. Their spending on hotels, food, attractions and other services while here is important, but their endorsement of this country is a priceless way of marketing our country to other travellers.

“As we reach the final stages of the Tournament, proof that we are delivering on our objectives, is a wonderful way to mark the end of what has been a wonderful moment in our country’s history.”

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “Rugby World Cup 
is truly a global event attracting visitors from every continent. These outstanding figures not only reflect the enormous prestige of the Tournament, but they also underscore New Zealand’s position as a major tourism destination.

“Rugby World Cup 2011 will live long in the memory of all who travelled from near and far to be a part of an exceptional event that has delivered a winning blend of compelling Rugby and a wonderful nationwide festival of events.”