25 Nov 2011

Rugby World Cup boosts international visitor numbers

7:31 am on 25 November 2011

The Rugby World Cup has boosted international visitors passing through Auckland International Airport, offsetting fewer New Zealanders heading overseas.

The country's main tourist gateway says international passenger numbers rose 10% to 726,276 in October, compared with the same month a year earlier.

The Rugby World Cup led to a significant increase in visitors from South Africa, France, Australia and Britain.

The tournament appeared to depress local business and leisure travel, with domestic patronage falling 2% to 505,743.

The number of flights also picked up, dominated by Air New Zealand, Jetstar and Korean Airlines, as well as the effect of new entrants China Airlines and China Southern Airlines.