Tournament organisers for Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) today confirmed that key match ticket sales and revenue targets have been achieved for 2010 and that international visitors will number 85,000 at least.
In addition the organising body Rugby New Zealand 2011 (RNZ 2011) and the event owners Rugby World Cup Limited (RWCL) have today both indicated that they are pleased with overall preparations to date as New Zealanders gear up to deliver the largest event ever hosted in the country.
“This is a very good position to be in with 267 days to go until kick-off,” said RNZ 2011 CEO Martin Snedden. “We still have a lot left to do, but event preparations, coupled with ticket sales to date and strong international visitorship projections, mean we are getting ourselves in good shape to host the Tournament.
“Since the ticket sales programmes were launched earlier this year a total of 864,000 tickets have now been sold, taking us to just short of two-thirds of our overall target of around 1.45 million sales across the 48 matches.”
This includes 662,000 sold through RNZ 2011’s global public ticket phases. Ticket sales revenue across all programmes to date currently totals NZD$166m (excl GST).
“We are on track to achieve the forecast total ticket sales revenue of NZD$268m. We knew this NZD$268m sales target was always going to be a big leap into the unknown given that the biggest grossing event previously in New Zealand’s history was the 2005 Lions tour during which the NZRU grossed NZD$24m from ticket sales.
“We’ve now achieved seven times that figure. In the end, we’ll need to do eleven times that amount to hit budget.”
In addition, the Official Travel and Hospitality Programme is tracking strongly, with sales to date exceeding initial forecasts.
RNZ 2011 today also released the key results of a survey of ticket purchasers carried out by independent research company Covec. During November Covec surveyed all of those who had purchased tickets by the end of October 2010 from RNZ 2011 through its global sales process. The response rate was 30%, providing a strong credible base for analysis.
“The survey results are great news for New Zealand and for our tourism industry. This is reliable evidence that we can expect at least 55,000 international visitors from sales to date in our public ticket programme, in addition to the 30,000 plus visitors who we know will come through packages sold by the Official Travel Agents operating worldwide.
“Attracting visitors is a key part of the benefits of staging a Rugby World Cup. It’s terrific that 44% of these FIT (free and independent travellers) visitors will be coming to New Zealand for the first time. Furthermore, almost half of those surveyed have indicated an intention to arrive before the opening match on September 9 with the average length of FIT stay being 23 days.
“Many intend travelling right around the country. While the bulk of visitors (36,500) expect at some stage to visit Auckland, at least 11,000 say they will also travel down the West Coast of the South Island and 18,000 to Otago and Southland. Regions up and down New Zealand will benefit.
“These survey results also auger well for the REAL New Zealand Festival. All of us involved in supporting the Festival preparations have been encouraging visitors to ‘take the long way round’ the country and to really enjoy the host of uniquely New Zealand events that will be happening right across the country so these numbers underline the great opportunity for our regions to really turn it on for visitors.”
Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Mike Miller, in New Zealand to check on progress at Stadium Christchurch and the new state-of-the-art Otago Stadium, underscored RWCL’s confidence that overall Tournament preparations are right on track.
“Stadium Christchurch will be an exceptional Rugby World Cup venue and I have no doubt Otago Stadium will not only be ready on time, but will quickly establish itself as one of the finest sporting venues in the world with its innovative design and exceptional spectator experience.
“What I am seeing, having made several visits to New Zealand in the past year, is a country that is advanced in its preparations to host a fantastic Rugby World Cup. This Tournament is all about partnership and I am delighted to say that all stakeholders, including the New Zealand Government are geared towards hosting a Tournament that New Zealanders and the global Rugby family can be proud of.
“We have every confidence that New Zealand will stage a very successful Tournament and one that will provide fans from around the world a truly memorable experience combining compelling action in great stadia with a wonderful festival of sport and culture as New Zealand becomes a nation of four million hosts.”
Ticketing and visitor snapshot
Ticket sales to date: 864,000
Ticket revenue to date: NZD$166m
Expected international visitors from sales to date: 85,000
- Free and independent travelers (FIT): 55,000
- Visitors through the Official Travel Programme: 30,000+
Almost 50% (FIT) arrive before Opening Match
Average length of stay: 23 days
44% will be visiting New Zealand for the first time
Top visitor sources: Australia, UK (incl. Ireland), France, South Africa, USA, Canada
50% domestic ticket purchasers travel outside home region at least once
57% of international purchasers and 45% of domestic purchasers expect to buy more tickets
Courtesy of RWC 2011 media releaseTweet