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Demand for Australia, New Zealand tours up as cricket World Cup kicks off next month

Cricket fans and corporate executives are heading Down Under to witness the cricket World Cup action, which kicks off on February 14.

The tournament, which is being co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand, will run till March 29 and both the host countries are piggy backing on the event to attract leisure and business visitors from India.

Australia’s trade and investment minister Andrew Robb, who visited India ten days ago, invited corporate houses to come to Australia for mix of business meetings and cricket.

“We have contracted 11,000 room nights (number of rooms booked multiplied by number of nights) across Australia and New Zealand during the World Cup and have bookings from several corporate groups,” said Rakshit Desai, India head of Australian travel firm FCM Travel Solutions.

Demand for tickets is high especially for the India-Pakistan match, India-South Africa match in the league stage, semi finals and finals.

“Tickets are still available for all the matches including the final,” said Mayank Khandwala, founder of Cutting Edge Events, one of the official distribution partners of the International Cricket Council.

“Packages are available for 4-9 days which include tickets to 1-2 matches, hotel accommodation, ground transport. Package costs range for Rs 1.25 lakh to Rs 10 lakh per person and the more expensive packages comprise business class travel, five star stay and private suite hospitality at the matches. We have bookings from few individuals who are travelling for a month to watch all of India’s matches,” Khandwala added.

Companies are taking World Cup as an opportunity to organise incentive tours to Australia and New Zealand, said Manoj Chacko, CEO of Kuoni Business Travel.

“While we are not the official partner, our sales teams have reported a strong 40% increase in queries with interest not just from the corporate world but also from ad hoc groups of families and friends. Also our bookings for Australia and New Zealand have gone up by 25%. Interestingly, source markets are not limited to metros as we have noticed queries from tier II towns as well,” said Shibani Phadkar, senior vice president and head (leisure travel outbound), Thomas Cook.

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