Sunvoice

Promoting Sports Tourism In The Country

The rugby craze in Fiji is not limited to only 7s or only when Fiji is playing. It extends to 15s matches with fans siding with teams apart from Fiji.
01 Feb 2016 10:15
Promoting Sports Tourism In The Country

The rugby craze in Fiji is not limited to only 7s or only when Fiji is playing. It extends to 15s matches with fans siding with teams apart from Fiji.

Fiji is no doubt popular in the world as a rugby crazy nation. In fact, many people became aware of our small Pacific nation because of our performance in rugby.

And we are now ready to take our popularity in rugby to a whole new level.

Only six months remain before we host a Super Rugby match in Fiji for the very first time.

On July 1, the Chiefs will take on Crusaders at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.

This will be just the second time a kiwi side has taken a game out of New Zealand following the Crusaders’ match against the Sharks in London in 2011.

So what’s in it for us? Naturally because of the large following of Super Rugby in Fiji, there will be a big local crowd buying tickets to watch the game live here.

But, at the same time, we will also be able to attract people from our neighbouring countries, in particular, Australia and New Zealand.

The ANZ Stadium has total seating capacity of 15,000. This is made up of 4062 bucket seats and the remainder is concrete and grass embankments. So space should not be an issue.

However, we all know that Suva is not necessarily known as a tourist attraction with bulk of our tourists staying in the West where most of the resorts are concentrated.

So it would be interesting to see how our hotels and resorts in the Capital City prepare to host the crowd who come for this sporting event.

Of course the event will be just a day in Suva and many visitors can still spend a bit of time in our tourism hub – being the West.

The spin-off benefits and the preparations will also be expanding to other businesses as well. For example the restaurants, etc.

Sports tourism is a big and growing global industry with important economic implications. It has travel and tourism-related benefits on host destinations.

Of course the primary reason to host this sport event is to provide us with an opportunity to secure high prominence in the tourism market.

We have already seen the benefits of hosting the  Fijian International golf championship in Natadola.

But in order to get the most out of any sports event, marketing and organisation would be a very important aspect.

Preparations should have and would have started already for the game – after all this is not just any game – it is the Super Rugby.

The potential is great for our tourism industry and the business sector. It just needs to be maximised.

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