Cup to boost Whanga¯rei’s economy
Bringing the 2021 Women’s Rugby World Cup to the southern hemisphere for the first time is expected to provide a boost to the Far North’s traditional tourism off-season.
The tournament, expanded from 23 days to 35 days, will be played in July and August.
New Zealand won the bid to host the tournament. It will be hosted in Auckland and Whanga¯rei, with the final and possibly the semifinals, played at Eden Park, though a quarter final may be played in Whanga¯rei. It is expected to bring millions of dollars to Whanga¯rei’s economy, but the rest of Northland is expected to benefit too.
Northland tourism leader Jeroen Jongejans said the tournament will see visitors in Northland from as early as May through to the end of the tournament, “our traditional offseason”. He said a positive about that is the region will have plenty of capacity.
“It won’t displace anybody else,” he said.
Instead he said the year will start with its usual peak, drop a bit lower, then peak for the WRWC period, then go up again for the next summer.
“It’s a real positive event for Whanga¯rei and Northland as well, we will all benefit.”
He said visitors will spend money on accommodation, entertainment and food.
“They’re not going to sit in Whanga¯rei. They’ll be travelling to the Bay of Islands, the Hokianga, the Far North.”
Jongejans said the teams will also have recreational days when they can explore the region.
He said the challenge is to be ready — to keep enough staff on to be able to deliver the products.
“The increases in tourism turnover and job opportunities will be quite significant.”
In other changes to the tournament schedule, there will be four days between pool games and five to six between knockout games. Jongejans said those days in between would be “ideal for a little tiki-tour around” and those people would be staying in Northland.
He said it’s also ideal for people in Auckland to travel and explore Northland.
Northland Women’s team players Amanda Nepia, Chanel Murray, Bronwyn “Horsie” Hames, coach Suzy Dawson, Northland Rugby Union president Sharon Morgan and player Kat Wira-Kohu are celebrating the Women’s Rugby World Cup coming to the region.