Rugby World Cup to hand New Zealand 25% visitor boost" target="_blank">Rugby?World Cup is expected to spur international visitor arrivals to New Zealand by more than a quarter.

Analysis of air bookings made up to August 26 for the tournament, which runs from September 9 until October 23, indicates that international passenger arrivals to the host nation will increase by 25.4% compared to the same period in 2010.

The figures come from research by?Forward?Keys, a business intelligence tool launched by Forward Data in partnership with Amadeus.

Almost three quarters (72%) of all arrivals will be visitors from the world’s major rugby playing nations.

The largest number will arrive from Australia, with a 14.8% growth compared to 2010. Visitors from the UK are expected to be up 56.2%, with equivalent rises of 449.8% from?France?and 503.8% from South Africa.

Traveller numbers from the US are expected to decrease compared to the same period last year.

In the weeks leading up to the World Cup, international arrivals are expected to grow by 22.9% with the biggest flow four days before the first match between the New Zealand All Blacks and Tonga.

One of the most important spikes in arrivals is expected on October 7, coinciding with the start of the quarter finals.

While most long-haul travel is booked for the pools phase of the competition, almost half of the total arrivals expected from South Africa occur during the final phase of the competition, suggesting a high degree of optimism about the Springboks’ performance.
Amadeus Asia Pacific president David Brett said Forward Keys could enable hotels in New Zealand to anticipate the spike in visitors and more effectively “leverage” their commercial efforts.
“The analysis shows 2,000 passengers will arrive from France two days prior to the game with New Zealand, suggesting an opportunity for hotels to tailor their promotional efforts specifically to this customer segmen