Irish and Scottish rugby fans more supportive than English fans?
With the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand now in full swing, Skyscanner reveals which nations can lay claim to the world’s most dedicated rugby fans.
By comparing searches of flights to New Zealand from the competing nations for travel during the Rugby World Cup period, Skyscanner can reveal that the Irish are the world’s most dedicated fans with flight searches from the Emerald Isle to The Land of the Long White Cloud up by 123%.
Scottish fans also appear to be heading over in force with a 44% rise, while their English counterparts appear to be staying home, with flight searches from English airports to New Zealand showing no increase in numbers compared to the same period last year.
Australians are the second most supportive nation – with an 86% increase in searches. Hoards of Australian rugby fans will make the relatively short journey across the Tasman Sea to see their team compete on their arch rival’s home turf.
Fijian (+35%), French (+29%), Italian (+29%), Russian (+28%), Japanese (+17%) and South African (+12%) rugby fans are all showing support of their team and should also be arriving in significant numbers.
Sam Baldwin, Skyscanner Travel Editor commented:
“International sporting events can bring a huge number of visitors into the host country, and New Zealand will be expecting massively increased numbers this year due to the World Cup Rugby. However it will be interesting to see if the fans’ dedication to supporting their team is reflected by the final standings in the tournament!”
World’s Biggest Rugby Fans*
1. Ireland +123%
2. Australia +86%
3. Scotland +44%
4. Fiji +35%
5. France +29%
6. Italy +29%
7. Russia +28%
8. Japan +17%
9. South Africa +12%
10. England 0%
*Figures are percentage increase in searches to New Zealand for World Cup Rugby Period, compared to searches for the same time period last year. Countries with very small search volumes were not included in the study.