Interest high in fan tours and hospitality

(IRB.COM) Wednesday 5 March 2014
 
Interest high in fan tours and hospitality
Fans from all over the world - including recent qualifiers Georgia - will be heading to England for RWC 2015

Rugby World Cup 2015 official supporter tour and hospitality programmes are off to a flying start with record-breaking interest and sales recorded. 

With more than 400,000 international visitors expected to travel to England during the tournament, official supporter tour sales two months into the programme have exceeded the levels of interest from previous tournaments by more than 80 per cent.

With 10 global official travel agents selling packages and a further five due to launch within the next month, anticipation is high that England 2015 will set new sales standards, welcoming more fans from more countries than ever before. 

The official hospitality programme, available at all 48 matches across 13 venues in England and Wales, is set to be the biggest for any event staged in the UK. The first month of sales has delivered the highest levels of interest yet compared to previous tournaments and hospitality packages have already been sold at all 13 venues. 

This early demand for both travel and hospitality programmes is promising for the tournament as a whole, with every major milestone on the road to England 2015 being greeted by huge interest from fans and businesses at every level. 

Rugby World Cup Limited Managing Director Brett Gosper said: “Rugby World Cup 2015 is on track to be an exceptional event on and off the field of play. As England prepares to welcome the world for a six-week festival of Rugby and, its character-building values and the host nation, these early sales indicators further underscore the tremendous strength and appeal of Rugby World Cup as one of the must-see global sporting events.” 

Andrew Burton, Chief Executive of Rugby Travel and Hospitality Limited (RTH), said: “The levels of interest for the official supporter tours programme has been strong, with more than 80 per cent more tickets allocated to official travel agents than at this stage for previous Rugby World Cups.

In addition, within the first month of our hospitality packages being on sale, we received unprecedented demand with more than triple the level of interest at this stage than for previous tournaments.” 

“We believe that this response indicates that the Rugby World Cup 2015 tours and hospitality programmes offer flexibility, pricing options and unique experiences that appeal to both travelling and corporate Rugby fans.” 

The level of interest in both the hospitality and supporter tours programmes is exciting news for Rugby development and growth around the world. RTH’s investment in securing the rights to RWC hospitality makes up approximately 20 per cent of the commercial revenue generated by Rugby’s showcase tournament for reinvestment in the development of the Game globally by the IRB. 

Between 2013 and 2016 the IRB will be driving £180 million into participation, player welfare, tournament and high performance programmes across its 119 Member Unions. 

Gosper added: “Rugby is a major player in the global sports industry with an annual turnover of more than £1 billion and continued strong investment from broadcasters, sponsors and commercial hospitality within the Rugby World Cup programme enables the IRB to invest record sums in a sustainable future for what is now a truly global sport. Our partners like to be able to see their investment playing a key role in inspiring more men, women and children to play the sport in new and existing Rugby markets worldwide.”