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Lions tour drawing UK visitors to NZ

Tickets for next year’s Lions rugby tour are being snapped up, with one official agent reporting selling out their allocation of ticket packages within a week of tickets going on sale in the UK. 

An official sub-agent of the tour, which was also an official distributor of packages for the 2011 Rugby World Cup, is now in the process of sourcing additional tickets as a result of the phenomenal levels of interest in the upcoming tour.

An estimated 20,000 supporters are expected to travel to New Zealand for the six week tournament starting in June 2017, 15,000 expected from the UK.  Games will be played across seven regions and Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the tour provides an excellent opportunity to showcase New Zealand as a holiday destination with a diverse range of experiences – with amazing landscapes and activities all within easy reach.

“We know from previous tours that people come for the rugby but they experience so much more. The tournament starts in Whangarei which opens up the whole of the Bay of Islands experience to the travelling supporters. They will travel in both islands and finish up in Dunedin which is on the doorstep of magnificent south island scenery, skiing and the unparalleled winter wonders of Queenstown.

“We are currently working strenuously to attract people outside of the main summer season so this winter tour is a perfect opportunity to boost the number of European visitors during the winter months.

“The Lions tour only happens every twelve years. It is a highlight on the global rugby calendar and it is important that New Zealand really gets behind this tour to welcome the fans and help them to have a memorable experience while they are here.”

Rugby legends are also singing the praises of off-field New Zealand as the build- up begins to next year’s tour.

Former Lions players, Gareth Edwards and Ieuan Evans love New Zealand and say a Lions Tour is not just about rugby.  In a trailer for next year’s tournament, they say the tour is about friendships, discovering a great country and making lifetime memories. They talk about everything from golf and fly fishing, to whale watching, skiing and the beauty of the Bay of Islands.