Record response to OTA application process

(RUGBY WORLD CUP) Monday 10 June 2013
 
Record response to OTA application process
The Webb Ellis Cup

  • More than 400 tour operators express interest in becoming Official Travel Agent
  • Significant uplift in developing Rugby markets reaffirms sport’s growth
  • Response reaffirms stature of RWC as one of the world’s ‘must-see’ major sports events
Rugby World Cup 2015 looks set to be the must-attend sporting event of 2015 after Rugby Travel and Hospitality Limited (RTH), the official travel and hospitality provider appointed by the IRB, confirmed that more than 400 global tour operators have expressed an interest to become an Official Travel Agent for the world’s third-largest sporting event.

The response, which is a record for this stage of the process and is greater than the response for the previous two Rugby World Cups combined, includes significant uplifts in traditional and new Rugby markets and represents a further significant boost for an event which is exceeding all delivery milestones as England prepares to welcome the world’s biggest Rugby stars and more than 400,000 overseas fans in two years’ time.

Expressions of interest to become an Official Travel Agent have been received from 34 countries, including Brazil, Chile and the Netherlands for the first time as well as Namibia, Kenya, Spain, Romania, Georgia, Dubai and Hong Kong. A significant increase in applications has also been received from tour agents in senior playing territories, with the most notable increase in Argentina and Italy.

With RWC 2019 set to be staged in Japan for the first time, the number of applications has tripled and a number of their largest agencies are now included in the appointment process.

RTH are currently in the process of appointing Official Travel Agents from around the globe to develop and sell match ticket-inclusive supporter tour packages to deliver a fantastic fan experience. The application process has now been closed for agents wishing to apply to become an Official Travel Agent. Official appointments will be made in September and announced in November 2013 and the official travel programme is due to go on general sale across the globe in January 2014.

RTH Chief Executive Andrew Burton said: “We are delighted with the high level of interest to be appointed as an Official Travel Agent for Rugby World Cup 2015.”

“It is estimated that over 400,000 supporters will travel to England for what will be the biggest sporting event in the world that year. The Official Travel Agents appointed later this year will offer a wide range of ticket inclusive supporter tour packages, so fans from around the world can guarantee tickets for the games they want to see.”

The official travel and hospitality programme has been one of the major Rugby World Cup success stories with more than 450,000 tickets sold to fans from around the world through a network of agents across the France 2007 and New Zealand 2011 tournaments, delivering significant revenues for the International Rugby Board to invest in the development of the Game at all levels.

Rugby World Cup Limited Chairman Bernard Lapasset said: “This unprecedented response truly reinforces the strong stature of the Rugby World Cup brand in the global sporting marketplace. We are confident that fans travelling to England in two years’ time will experience not just world-class Rugby played on some of the world’s best-known Rugby stages, but will be welcomed with open arms to an exciting nationwide festival that will showcase the very best of Rugby and England.”

General ticket sales for Rugby World Cup 2015 will go on sale in 2014. Supporters can get the latest information on the Tournament, including news and details on tickets and volunteering, by joining The Front Row at www.rugbyworldcup.com/frontrow.