A second strong month of international visitor arrivals in October 2011 has seen the Rugby World Cup 2011 forecasts well surpassed for New Zealand tourism.
Statistics show that 16.8 per cent more visitors arrived in New Zealand from overseas during October 2011 than the same month last year.
The total number of visitors arriving for the Rugby World Cup 2011 has now been confirmed at 133,200 against a forecast of 95,000 for July through to the end of October.
For the UK and Ireland a confirmed 19,100 fans followed the home teams’ progress in New Zealand. This was the second largest fan base after Australia.
Tourism New Zealand chief executive Kevin Bowler said to see the forecasts exceeded so resoundingly is a fantastic result.
“We promoted the New Zealand message hard around the tournament and so expected to see this sort of growth from traditional rugby-loving nations like Australia (up 17,200 people, 21.2 per cent), South Africa (up 4,900 people, 417.4 per cent) the UK (up 2,800 people, 18.8 per cent) and France (up 2,700 people, 146.6 per cent).
“What we also see in the October result is that the RWC helped lift year-end visitor arrivals back into growth (up 2.6 per cent) after a really difficult year.
Current figures for the UK show 232,939 visitors have travelled to NZ for the first ten months of the year.
“In general the Rugby World Cup fans were very mobile, with many following games around the country and taking time out to explore and engage in activities,” continued Bowler.
“There were large numbers of fans travelling in campervans, and Auckland Tourism Events and Economic Development says the Westhaven Marina site alone hosted more than 2,000 campervans throughout the Tournament and reached capacity every weekend.”