Lions tour set to boost NZ economy

New Zealand's economy is expected to receive a huge shot in the arm when the British & Irish Lions start their 11-match tour on June 4. [more]

Lions Australia Tour 2013

New Zealand’s economy is expected to receive a huge shot in the arm when the British & Irish Lions start their 11-match tour on June 4.

The thousands of rugby fans that will follow Sir Clive Woodward’s side during their five-week stay are expected to spend $120 million, according to research commissioned by the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).

NZRU’s manager of the Lions series, Nigel Cass, said most British visitors would spend several weeks in the country.

"The economic benefit will not just be felt in one part of the country. It’ll be felt from Invercargill in the south to Auckland because the team is going everywhere," he told the New Zealand Herald.

The tourism industry could also benefit in the long-term as around 200 foreign journalists will accompany the touring side and many will write travel articles alongside their rugby commentary.

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Tourism Auckland chief executive Graeme Osborne believes the economic impact of the tour will be huge for his city.

"We know that many visitors will be using Auckland as a base during their stay in New Zealand," he added.

Fifteen thousand overseas visitors are expected during the tour, which runs from June 4 to July 9.

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