As the Rugby World Cup 2011 final approaches in New Zealand, VisitEngland has partnered with ex-England rugby legend Martin Corry to promote the 2015 event to potential domestic and overseas visitors.
When the winners of the 2011 event are decided on Sunday in New Zealand England take over as the host nation.
The tournament forms a central plank in Britain’s sporting decade which includes the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games and the Cricket World Cup in 2019.
The Rugby World Cup alone and is estimated to be worth £2.1 billion to the British economy.
This week an English presence, led by Martin Corry, joins a VisitBritain international mission to promote events tourism in England.
The mission will take Corry to Auckland, to maximise exposure for England as a tourist destination during the handover ceremony on October 22nd.
VisitEngland’s chief executive, James Berresford said: “Sports tourism forms an important element of VisitEngland’s national and international marketing strategy.
“We know Brits love sport, both playing it and watching it and it is also a key driver for many of our international visitors.
“I am delighted that Martin Corry has joined our team to spread the word and inspire visitors at home and abroad to enjoy such a thrilling competition in such a wonderful destination as England.”
Invented in England in the 19th Century, Rugby is followed avidly all over the world.
This particular tournament will be played at 12 host grounds (11 of which are in England, one in Wales) from Twickenham in London to Old Trafford in Manchester, showcasing some of the country’s most beautiful and exciting destinations.
Corry said: “It’s fantastic that VisitEngland is proactively promoting tourism around the Rugby World Cup and the other forthcoming sporting tournaments.
“They will not only provide a great reason for tourists to visit England and a chance for us to showcase our country to the world, but it’s also a time that we, the locals, can show our pride in our country.
“I’m thrilled to be acting as a spokesperson for the country’s national tourist board to help spread the word about all the exciting events we have coming up,” he concluded.