The build-up to the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup has begun in earnest with today's announcement of the seven regions that will host international games during the tournament.
The regions are Whangarei, Auckland, Hamilton, New Plymouth, Wellington, Christchurch and Dunedin.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Kevin Bowler says the event provides each region with an opportunity to showcase itself to teams, family, fans and international media.
"One of our goals, as it was for the Rugby World Cup 2011, will be on drawing fans and media beyond the stadium and out into the regions for a 100% Pure New Zealand experience.
"We want visitors to get the most out of their visit, to enjoy our world-class tourism products and experiences, and to recommend New Zealand to others."
Tourism New Zealand has also identified the 2015 FIFA U-20 World Cup as a key opportunity for engaging with the emerging visitor market of Latin America.
"Our new three-year marketing strategy has put Latin America in the top three emerging markets that we will be targeting, to build demand for a New Zealand holiday.
"A number of Latin American countries will be sending teams to New Zealand for the tournament and that they are crazy about football.
"We know that well before they get here we will have the attention of the fans and the media, and our job is to show everyone that not only is New Zealand a great place to host an international sports event, it is also a fantastic place to visit."
The tournament will be broadcast to over 100 countries and an estimated global television audience of more than 170 million people , providing exposure for the tournament, the host cities, and New Zealand on a massive scale.
It is estimated more than 7,000 overseas fans will pour into New Zealand for the tournament and to support their teams.
Altogether the tournament will host 24 national teams, include 52 matches, and will run for three weeks from 30 May until 21 June 2015 during New Zealand's local football season.
Tourism New Zealand has significant experience in hosting large numbers of international media on tourism programmes, with more than 2000 international media in the country during the six-week Rugby World Cup 2011.
Contact Deborah Gray, Communications Manager, Tourism New Zealand
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