Springbok rugby supporters will soon be able to buy match ticket-inclusive travel packages directly from a new South African Rugby Union company, following the announcement on Friday of the appointment of travel agents by Rugby World Cup organisers.
SARU, working in conjunction with experienced integrated tourism company Tourvest, has won the exclusive rights to offer sub-Saharan rugby fans the chance to travel to England in 2015 for the Rugby World Cup.
The new company, SA Rugby Travel, was one of three representing national federations – along with England Rugby Travel and All Blacks Travel – to be awarded exclusive rights to sell travel packages in their designated territories.
The appointment of leading agents from 10 nations follows a comprehensive tender evaluation and selection process by RTH, the company appointed by RWCL to manage the global fan travel and hospitality programmes, said the International Rugby Board.
The awards were made by Rugby Travel and Hospitality – a Rugby World Cup Ltd company – after a worldwide tendering process.
“This is an enormously exciting development for rugby fans,” said Jurie Roux, CEO of SARU. “We couldn’t have found a better partner than Tourvest and we believe this partnership will benefit our fans significantly given Tourvest’s expertise in sports travel management combined with our own thorough understanding of the Springbok supporter’s needs.
“Now, for the first time, we can offer very competitive packages to rugby events with interesting itineraries and a host of additional value-added travel services for fans who want to follow the Springboks in England in 2015.”
Tourvest chief executive, Tommy Edmond, said he was truly humbled by the opportunity to become involved with one of South Africa’s most successful sporting brands. “It feels as though we have been selected to play for the Springboks and we look forward to being a value-adding partner to SARU and all Bok supporters,” he said.
Tourvest’s Destination Management division is the single largest ground handler of foreign leisure tourists to the Southern African region and is responsible for managing the travel arrangements of some 120 000 overseas holiday-makers to South Africa every year. It single-handedly looked after 67 000 corporate soccer fans during the 2010 FIFA World Cup and is currently involved with the 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil.
It means that the only South African agent able to sell travel packages with authentic match tickets and guaranteed entry to venues will be SA Rugby Travel.
Official fan travel packages for Rugby’s showcase event the will go on sale in 2014 with full details regarding the range of packages, prices and on-sale date being announced before the end of the year.
The Springboks open their Rugby World Cup campaign on Saturday 19 September, 2015, against the top qualifier from Asia in Brighton on England’s south coast.
They then move north, to the central English city of Birmingham, where they will face Samoa at Aston Villa’s home ground, before taking on Scotland, just south of the border, in Newcastle.
They complete the group stage in London at the Olympic Stadium against an Americas qualifier.
Springbok Rugby World Cup fixtures:
Saturday, 19 Sept Asia 1 Brighton Community Stadium Brighton
Saturday, 26 Sept Samoa Villa Park Birmingham
Saturday, 3 Oct Scotland St James’ Park Newcastle
Wednesday, 7 Oct Americas 2 Olympic Stadium London