Cricket World Cup draw offers tourism potential for regional New Zealand

Tourism New Zealand has welcomed today's Cricket World Cup 2015 venue announcement and can now begin planning for the influx of cricket fans and international media.

The draw will spread teams, media and fans across the country with seven regions winning the rights to host three matches each.

Tourism New Zealand Chair Kerry Prendergast says the multi-national Cricket World Cup in 2015 provides a valuable opportunity to once again showcase New Zealand on the global stage.

"The Rugby World Cup 2011 (RWC 2011) taught us that sporting fixtures like this not only encourage "super" fans to travel but also provide the trigger for those already dreaming of visiting New Zealand to go out and book their trip," she says.

"The ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 provides us with a major opportunity to boost exposure in key target markets and encourage travellers to visit New Zealand or add New Zealand to their Australian tour plans."

Acting Chief Executive Justin Watson says it is about taking the attention New Zealand gains by hosting the event, and using it to tell the world that New Zealand is a stunningly beautiful place to visit, with friendly people and unique experiences on offer.

"Tourism New Zealand will work with other Government agencies and the Regional Tourism Organisations to deliver a 100% Pure New Zealand experience to visiting teams, fans and media, making it easy for them to tell others, a wider New Zealand story.

"We will achieve this through our unique form of welcome and hospitality, or manaakitanga, and by facilitating visits to venue regions to incorporate relevant tourism experiences into itineraries.

Justin says the hosting of games in Christchurch, and in particular the opening match between New Zealand and Sri Lanka, will be another significant milestone.

"This provides an opportunity to show the world that Christchurch offers a wealth of unique experiences for visitors.

"Although all teams will compete in New Zealand, the markets of particular focus for the tourism industry are India, the UK and Australia.

"We recently identified India as an emerging tourism market presenting significant growth opportunities. Indian travellers offer particular benefit to New Zealand as they tend to travel in our off-season, helping smooth out the demand curve.

"The UK is of course "home of cricket" and one of New Zealand's traditional visitor markets.

"Visitor arrivals from the UK have declined in recent years, but during the Rugby World Cup 2011, 19,100 visitors travelled from the UK. We also saw a boost in arrivals during the 2013 summer connected to the touring English cricket team, so we know this event is an opportunity to capture the UK's attention once again.

"Finally, although we are co-hosting with Australia, we see significant opportunity in encouraging our closest neighbours to make the most of New Zealand's accessibility and hop across the ditch to experience all the matches."

Tourism New Zealand has committed to work with Tourism Australia and other Government agencies to deliver a successful CWC 2015.

Auckland, Hamilton, Napier, Wellington, Nelson, Christchurch, Dunedin

Contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager, Tourism New Zealand; phone +64 21 624 170