International travel to New Zealand is expected to surge significantly during the Rugby World Cup, according to analysis by Forward Keys, the business intelligence tool launched by Forward Data in partnership with Amadeus. The forecasting tool estimates arrivals to the Rugby World Cup by analysing all Global Distribution Systems’ travel agency bookings data computed by Amadeus. The world class event kicks off on 9 September and runs until 23 October 2011.
Forward Keys’ analysis of air bookings made up to 26 August 2011 indicates that international passenger arrivals to New Zealand will increase by 25.4% during the Rugby World Cup compared to the same period in 2010. 72% of all tourist inflows will be driven by visitors from the world’s major rugby playing nations. The largest number of visitors will arrive from Australia - with a 14.8% growth compared to 2010 -, the United Kingdom (+56.2%), France (+449.8%) and South Africa (+503.8%). Interestingly, traveller numbers from the USA decrease compared to 2010.
In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, international arrivals are expected to grow by 22.9% with the biggest flow four days before the first match between New Zealand and Tonga (see Chart 1, Point 1). One of the most important spikes in arrivals is expected on 7 October (see Chart 1, Point 3), coinciding with the start of the quarter finals. While most long-haul travel is booked for the pools phase of the competition, almost half of the total arrivals expected from South Africa occur during the final phase of the competition, suggesting a high degree of optimism about the Springboks’ performance.
David Brett, President, Amadeus Asia Pacific said Forward Keys could enable hotels in New Zealand to anticipate the spike in visitors and more effectively leverage their commercial efforts.
“The analysis shows 2,000 passengers will arrive from France two days prior to the game with New Zealand, suggesting an opportunity for hotels to tailor their promotional efforts specifically to this customer segment,” Brett commented.
“Forward Keys’ customers around the world can significantly increase operational efficiency and maximise profitability by anticipating visitor arrivals, understanding their length of stays and where they come from,” said Olivier Jager, CEO, Forward Data.
“Since the start of 2011, Forward Data has driven analysis to look at how key events impact travel. For example, the impact of the Pope’s visit to Spain, understanding travel trends during Ramadan and benchmarking travel to a specific destination against competition,” Jager concluded.