Q: What will be on offer and what will be the combination of games?
A: Opportunities to see the Lions and New Zealand will range from a fully escorted six and a half week tour to a weekend one Test option, plus much more, including motor home and ticket and flight and ticket options.
Whatever you want to make the perfect tour, it can be included, all the matches, hotels and locations, flights, motor homes, special events and official match tickets. For those looking for ultimate flexibility there will be flight and ticket options too.
Our experience tells us our Three Test and Two Test options will be the most popular tour durations but you will also be able to pick the matches you want to see and the locations that will make your dream Lions holiday.
Q: What ticket-inclusive packages will be available?
A: There are many different demands and priorities from the fans and it is important that there is as much flexibility and choice as possible which is why we will offer full tour options, weekend breaks, motor home and ticket and flight and ticket options All of our packages guarantee official match tickets.
Fans have different requests, therefore we will be creating packages ranging from escorted Tours including flights, transfers, accommodation, official match tickets and access to the Lions special events through to a flight and official match ticket option including some of the Lions special events and a replica Lions shirt
Clients are assured financial protection with all packages and all packages including a flight are issued with an ATOL certificate. All packages include Lions Rugby Travel staff support throughout the Tour. There are also weekend packages available for those clients looking do go off and visit relatives in between matches.
Q: What are the benefits of buying an official Lions package?
A: Clients can guarantee official match tickets for the games of their choice for an event that is traditionally over-subscribed.
Unlike a general sale, clients can confirm match tickets for the games of their choice from one source and have these packaged with return international flights, again of their choice, and with a range of hotel options if required.
With the escorted packages they include return transfers from the airports to the hotels, internal travel, invites to official Lions events on match day and other dates, official merchandise and support from staff during their stay.
Lions fans like to travel with like-minded fans, which are all part of the experience, with them staying in the same hotels, travelling together and sitting together at the stadia, to create the famous sea of red.
Lions Rugby Travel protects the consumer through ATOL and ABTA bonding and licensing. Financial protection is guaranteed by booking with us – which in this current climate is of paramount importance.
Q: I want to buy ticket only, can you help me?
A: Lions Rugby Travel is the British & Irish Lions own travel company, and is contractually committed to sell guaranteed official match tickets as part of a ticket inclusive supporter tour.
Q: I booked The Lions Den package in 2013 – that is not available at the moment. Why is that and will it be in the future?
A: We have gone on sale with what we believe are our most popular tour experiences that provide a range of destinations, durations and matches. We decided not to go on sale with Lions Den packages at launch because our feedback and survey results have told us our escorted tours, particularly for to New Zealand, are the most popular.
Q: Are the British & Irish Lions a governing body?
No, the Lions are a touring team who play under the rules and regulations of the World Rugby, who are the governing body of the game of rugby union.
Q: Who runs the Lions?
The Lions are operated by an organisation called British Lions Designated Activity Company, which is owned by the four home unions (England, Wales, Scotland and Ireland).
Q: Which teams do the Lions play?
The Lions have an agreement with the Australian, South African and New Zealand rugby unions to tour once every four years on rotation.
Q: How do the Lions receive their tickets?
The British & Irish Lions are classified as the away team in the series of fixtures in 2017. As such they receive an allocation of tickets from, the host union, in the case of 2017; this is the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Q: Will the Lions be operating a general sale for match tickets from their allocation?
The Lions have not operated a general ticket sale for previous tours. Details about the types of ticket packages that will be available for the New Zealand tour will announced during the 2015/16 season. The structure of the ticket-inclusive travel programme include:
a) Consumer Protection
The protection of the fans and the customer is critical to the Lions. By allowing fans to buy tickets through an official travel programme the consumer is guaranteed the safe delivery of the match ticket. Furthermore, the official travel programme only appoints organisations with appropriate financial protection for consumers to facilitate their travel and accommodation requirements.
One of the main reasons for this approach is to ensure that the limited number of tickets available for EU based supporters goes to genuine fans, rather than being siphoned off to the black market. If the tickets were available on their own, it would be all too easy for touts to obtain tickets in bulk and sell those tickets unofficially, or though secondary market ticket websites.
There are a number of unofficial organisations that sell packages that purport to have match tickets in them, but every major sporting event has media reports of people who have either purchased packages through unofficial ticket companies or unofficial tour operators, and have either not received the match tickets or not been allowed entry in to the match because the tickets are invalid.
b) Tour Funding
As you can imagine facilitating and delivering a professional touring squad with support staff to New Zealand for six weeks has a cost, all of which is funded directly by British Lions Limited - which includes not only the official supporter tour programme but also kit supply, sponsorship and merchandising.
c) Reinvestment in the Game of Rugby Union
British Lions Limited does not retain any profits from its Touring and commercial activities. Any additional funds generated are directed back into the funding and development of the sport of Rugby Union in the UK and Ireland via the four Unions which are the shareholders of British Lions Limited. The four Home Unions are themselves responsible for the on-going funding, development and nurturing of the sport (at all levels from grassroots to the elite game) in their territory and they, in turn, work on behalf of and are accountable to their own member clubs and stakeholders.
d) Contractual Arrangements
As part of the Lions’ agreement with the three host Unions (Australia, South Africa and New Zealand, in this case New Zealand are hosting the fixture), the Lions are contracted to sell their limited ticket allocation in official packages. The Lions only get a limited allocation as they are classified as the away team, and all ticketing policies are governed directly by the three host unions, in this instance the New Zealand Rugby Union.
Q: The packages available currently are all between 14-40 days in length - will shorter trips be available for Lions fans who are short on time?
There are multiple package options available and more than 35 different itineraries to cater for Lions fans wishing to tour. Our experienced team have created a range of itineraries we believe best suite what fans want. Our experience tells us this is the range of tour fans want to experience, given the distance they are travelling and how the games fall.
Q: A rugby tour with the lowest price of around £2,999pp makes it beyond the budget of many Lions fans- why is the price so high?
By booking through Lions Rugby Travel, fans have the added bonus of travelling on an official Lions tour and the host of additional benefits this brings, for example access to supporter villages and exclusive pre-match experiences; making for an unforgettable experience and unbeatable atmosphere throughout. There are also significant commercial rights fees attached to tickets the customer doesn’t see, staffing, merchandise and associated costs of delivering a tour of this size for The Lions.
Q: It is possible for Lions fans in the UK to purchase tickets-only from you for the games? If not, why not?
The Lions have never sold tickets on their own for any of their tours and have appointed various travel agents to manage the distribution of ticket packages. Official Lions Supporter Tours have been created to develop a more complete experience for fans.
These tickets are sold as part of a package for numerous reasons, including consumer protection, reinvestment back into the game, Lions tour funding and to ensure tickets are not sold on the black market, which is something British Lions Designated Activity Company is very keen to protect against. The additional benefits of touring with The Lions is official events, supporter villages, the chance to meet Lions legends and the Lions coaching team before the tour, which is not available anywhere else.
Q: Do you anticipate many fans travelling to New Zealand without tickets in the hope they can purchase them locally?
There is always the potential for Lions fans to travel without tickets but it’s not something we would recommend. Rugby is the number one sport in New Zealand and for that reason demand there and in Great Britain will mean all matches will be sold out well before. The stadiums are considerably smaller and there is significantly less accommodation options, meaning travelling without tickets is not something we would recommend.
Q: Approximately how many Lions fans were at the Australia tour?
More than 35,000 Lions fans were in Australia in 2013, of which more than 8,000 per Test match travelled with Lions Rugby Travel.
Q: How many fans in total do you expect to travel to New Zealand for the 2017 Tour?
We would expect a similar number to be interested in being part of the tour at some stage in New Zealand, given the fact The Lions have not toured there for 12 years and the All Blacks are current World Champions.
Q: Do you expect demand for the New Zealand tour to be greater than the previous Tour – if so, why?
New Zealand is a real rugby nation and the stadiums for each test match are smaller than those in the previous tours of Australia, meaning that demand for tickets is set to be higher. Every Lions Tour is billed as the biggest ever but with The Lions only ever having won once in New Zealand, in 1971, and the fact The Lions have not toured since 2005, we believe demand will be every bit as high as 2013.