Rugby tourists need help to find hosts - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Rugby tourists need help to find hosts

24/12/2009 08:09:06 AM Comments (0)

Rugby New Zealand and the government are working together on options to help visitors for the 2011 Rugby World Cup find accommodation.

Twenty-three towns and cities will host 20 international teams during the competition.

There are 16 centres in the North Island and seven in the South Island which will host at least one team for a period during the tournament.

Ten centres not hosting matches are among those which will host teams - the Bay of Islands, Rodney (north of Auckland), Tauranga, Taupo, Gisborne, Wanganui, Masterton, Blenheim, Ashburton, and Queenstown.

They join the match host centres Whangarei, North Shore, Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Napier, New Plymouth, Palmerston North, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin and Invercargill.

Rugby NZ 2011 chief executive Martin Snedden said his organisation would work with the government and International Rugby Board to help the expected 35,000 casual visitors find somewhere to stay. A similar number are expected to buy package deals.

"The idea of home hosting is something that has huge appeal," Snedden told Fairfax newspapers.

Organisers were gathering information on bed nights that would be available for people for corporate and official packages. Every three star plus hotel had been approached. About 300 hotels had signed up to guarantee an average of 60 per cent of their bed inventory at set rates.

Snedden said the casual visitors would need help.

"This is a major focus for government. This is one of the major reasons they are investing in the Rugby World Cup, to drive the free independent travel market," he said.

While there were enough commercial accommodation nights already available, private homestays would appeal to some visitors, and would be included.

"The whole rationale for private homes is not an accommodation shortage, it's event experience."

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