VisitEngland, the English tourist board, is planning to capitalise on the country’s hosting of the 2015 Rugby World Cup.
The organisers of the tournament, England Rugby 2015, have announced the twelve venues across the country that will host the matches, and VisitEngland intends to provide its support to the organisers and the individual venues in order to maximise tourism potential and visitor experience. It is hoped that promotional input for the event will encourage visiting rugby fans to further explore the country during their visit, which will involve longer stays and increased expenditure.
VisitEngland’s chief executive, James Berresford, said, ‘Sport in this country is an incredibly powerful sales tool that has the power to attract millions of international visitors, and acts as an important catalyst to stimulate domestic visits from our vast home-grown fan-base. We are proud to see Rugby World Cup 2015 hosted in England and this provides the industry with a tremendous opportunity to grow tourism throughout the country, and deliver on the legacy of the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games.’
The 13 match venues and host cities selected are: Twickenham Stadium (London), Wembley Stadium (London), Olympic Stadium (London), Millennium Stadium (Cardiff), Manchester City Stadium (Manchester), St James’ Park (Newcastle), Elland Road (Leeds), Leicester City Stadium (Leicester), Villa Park (Birmingham), Kingsholm Stadium (Gloucester), stadiummk (Milton Keynes), Brighton Community Stadium (Brighton) and Sandy Park (Exeter).
The tournament is expected to draw visitors from most of the competing nations, including Australia, New Zealand, Ireland and Italy. They will be treated to a programme of cultural events in support of the tournament and be welcomed at specially created ‘fan zones’.