SINGAPORE - The Singapore Rugby Union (SRU) and JTB on Thursday (Aug 16) launched a 12-month strategic partnership to promote rugby tourism to Japan and Singapore at the National Stadium.
Under the deal, both parties will promote opportunities for Singaporean and other expatriate rugby fans in South-east Asia to visit Japan for the 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan and for rugby fans and tourists from Japan to visit Singapore to attend the HSBC Singapore Rugby Sevens.
SRU president Terence Khoo said: "This partnership is strategic and timely, as rugby tourism is growing, and Singapore looks to take the lead in fostering this growth as a hub for sports tourism in the Asia Pacific region.
"Japan's hosting of the Rugby World Cup is a major coup for Asian rugby, as this will be a first time that it has been held in Asia.
"I am confident that rugby lovers from all over Asia will take tremendous inspiration from a global celebration of rugby in our part of the world".
Japan will, over the next three years, play host to three global sporting events - the 2019 Rugby World Cup, the 2020 Tokyo Olympics and the 2021 World Masters Games.
JTB's president and CEO Shinya Kurosawa said: "In 2017, there were over 400,000 Singaporeans who visited Japan. That equates to almost one in nine Singaporeans that have visited Japan, and represents an increase of almost 12 per cent on the previous year.
"Japan is about to host the Rugby World Cup across twelve of our amazing prefectures, which will be an incredible occasion for rugby lovers in Singapore and the region to visit our country.
"JTB is Japan's premier travel solutions provider and the JTB Asia Pacific Group is primed to take full advantage of this "golden era" of sports tourism."
At the Natas Holidays 2018 Fair at the Singapore Expo from Aug 17-19, SRU will support the promotion of RWC 2019 packages.
Visitors can learn more about and book their RWC 2019 packages at the JTB Pavilion, booth 4H-05 at the Singapore Expo.