22 Nov 2008

NZ's giant rugby ball inflated in London

7:16 pm on 22 November 2008

Tourism New Zealand's giant promotional rugby ball has made its international comeback in a bid to fight flagging visitor numbers.

The giant inflatable sat underneath the Eiffel Tour during the Rugby World Cup last year and is now at Tower Bridge in London for the All Blacks tour of the British Isles.

The 12m high ball is also a venue that holds 220 people and will host Queen Elizabeth and the mayor of London, Boris Johnson.

Visitor numbers to New Zealand are predicted to fall by 10%, with Tourism New Zealand's chief executive George Hickton saying competition for tourist dollars is much more difficult in tough economic times.