Sunday 22 January 2017

Price-hiking hotels face clampdown for Rugby World Cup

Published 20/12/2015 | 02:30

Taoiseach Enda Kenny passes a rugby ball to Michael Ring, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, at the Rugby World Cup 2023 Oversight Board meeting in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
Taoiseach Enda Kenny passes a rugby ball to Michael Ring, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, at the Rugby World Cup 2023 Oversight Board meeting in the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.
The €2m cost of supporting the bid is being shared equally by the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive. Photo: Niall Carson/PA Wire

The Government is considering an unprecedented clampdown on price-hiking hotels as part of its bid to host the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

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The move would see the State, for the first time, control room rates during a major event when hotels hike prices.

The proposal is mentioned in a progress report from the bid team brought before Cabinet last week, which details a range of actions the Government needs to take to land the rights to host the tournament with Northern Ireland.

It is hoped the games will result in up to 400,000 high-spending visitors travelling to the island of Ireland to watch the rugby spectacular.

Accommodation will be a key consideration for the tournament and the Government is anxious to ensure that visitors are not ripped off by hoteliers seeking to cash in.

The €2m cost of supporting the bid is being shared equally by the Government and the Northern Ireland Executive.

However, the bid will face tough competition from France, Italy and South Africa.

In the memo brought to Cabinet by sports and tourism minister Paschal Donohoe it states that a successful bid will require "extensive Government involvement".

This includes the provision of stadia and training centres for athletes travelling from all over the world to compete.

Additional security will also have to be rolled out for the tournament and teams will require garda escorts.

There is also a possibility that legislation will have to be enacted around ticket touting, ambush marketing and setting up 'clean zones' for official advertisers near the stadia.

The memo says the Irish message should highlight why Ireland would be the ideal location but should not appear overconfident or complacent.

The team will insist Ireland is the best candidate for the 2023 games as every stadium will be full - as was the case in this year's Rugby World Cup in England and Wales.

Ireland rugby legend Brian O'Driscoll is the bid team's ambassador, while former Tanaiste and Ireland international Dick Spring is the chair of the bid's oversight board.

The bid process will begin in May 2016 and the winner will be revealed in 2017.

Sunday Independent

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