Rugby fans are being warned to take extra care on the roads during the Rugby World Cup as statistics show New Zealand has more than twice the number of road crash fatalities per 100,000 people as the UK.
The Foreign & Commonwealth Office is launching its ‘Be on the Ball’ campaign, which includes advice on travelling by road, as thousands of British supporters are expected to follow their countries’ rugby heroes across the globe for the tournament.
The Rugby World Cup takes place from September 9th – October 23rd.
Jeremy Browne, minister for consular affairs, said: “The English, Scottish and Welsh teams are busy preparing to ensure they are in ideal shape to take on the best in world rugby.
“British supporters should prepare for their trip to New Zealand in the same way to ensure they enjoy a trouble-free Rugby World Cup.
“Whether fans are planning on taking part in adrenalin sports or hiring a vehicle for a road trip, I strongly recommend that they check the small print of their travel insurance to ensure they are covered for everything they want to do.
“And people driving long distances should plan their journey carefully, including regular breaks, to avoid accidents.”
The FCO has been working with the Rugby Football Union, the Scottish Rugby Union and the Welsh Rugby Union to help encourage fans to be fully prepared so they can enjoy the tournament as much as possible.
Travel advice is available at airports as well through a number of travel companies and other FCO partners.
Welsh rugby coach Warren Gatland, who is from New Zealand, is well aware of the support his team will have during the tournament.
He said: “As always, Wales will have strong support in the stands, particularly in Wellington for our first match.
“Let’s hope that the fans enjoy their time here and go home with great memories of rugby rather than huge medical bills.
“New Zealand is a beautiful but vast country – it’s really easy to underestimate how long journeys can take so I’d encourage people to allow plenty of time to get to matches so you don’t miss a minute of the rugby or take risks on the roads!”
The Foreign Office has a dedicated Rugby World Cup advice page which contains details of match dates, locations and travel tips, including driving tips.
World Tourism Sport Congress
For the first time this year, alongside the climax of the 2011 Rugby World Cup, the World Sport Tourism Congress will take place on the luxury cruise ship – the P&O Pacific Dawn – celebrating the boom in sports tourism.
The event will comprise of four days of inspirational panel debates, leading-edge presentations and priceless networking opportunities, all conducted whilst cruising in style around New Zealand’s beautiful Bay of Islands.
The fully-inclusive cruise package departs from Queen’s Wharf, Auckland on October 10th, returning on October 14th in time for the Rugby World Cup Semi Finals.
Themed “Sharing the Sport and Tourism Boom”, WSTC presents an opportunity for network and engage with industry’s elite, gain invaluable insights from the world’s leading experts and meet face-to-face with the key Sport Tourism buyers as deals are brokered for future sporting events.
Confirmed speakers include: Jeanine Pires (Minster Special Advisor, Rio 2016 Olympics & former President, Embratur), Geoffrey Lipman (Advisor to Secretary General UNWTO), Campbell Jamieson (Commercial Director, International Cricket Council) and Darren Mee (COO, TUI Travel PLC, Specialist & Activity Sector).
The delegate rate of £950 will include access to all sessions on the WSTC programme, four nights accommodation on board the P&O Pacific Dawn, as well as exclusive VIP receptions and gala dinners, as the ship cruises around New Zealand’s North Island.