South Shields' Westoe Travel reports phones 'ringing off the hook' with fans hoping to book up for Women's World Cup in Australia and New Zealand after England Euro win
Football fans enchanted by England’s Euro 2022 victory are flocking to book up for the Women’s Football World Cup in 2023, a South Tyneside travel boss has reported.
The Lionesses – which included South Shields’ own Demi Stokes in the squad – clinched the first major trophy for England since the 1966 World Cup with their 2-1 win over Germany in the 2022 UEFA European Women's Football Championship final on Sunday, July 31.
Graeme Brett of Westoe Travel in South Shields said phones were ringing off the hook with supporters wanting to register for bookings when tickets go on sale.
“What an incredible day,” said Mr Brett, speaking at close of trade the day after the win.
"We have had over thirty groups pre-registering for details of tours to the Women's World Cup.
“We have four women's teams looking to go to Australia, watch England games and play matches against Australian women's teams
“We have more than 50 enquiries from families and small groups looking to watch England games and visit some of Australia's iconic sites.”
Mr Brett said the interest had exceeded that of fans of men’s sports taking place Down Under in previous years.
“We have been selling Australia for over 30 years and have never know such interest even for the Ashes cricket tours or Lions rugby tours,” he said.
“The location for England's games will not be known until later in the year when the draw is made but everyone is wanting to combine the chance to watch England women in the World Cup with the chance to see these fantastic countries.
"For the women's teams, we are arranging matches with teams in Australia in between the World Cup games.”
Mr Brett, a nominated ‘Premier Aussie Specialist’ by Tourism Australia who has been to the country 24 times, said the tournament is also a great chance to take in the charms the destination has to offer.
“Australia is such an interesting and fascinating country to visit,” he said.
"People usually underestimate the size of the country, which is the same size as the whole of Europe.”
He added: “With some of the games also being staged in New Zealand this is the chance in a lifetime to combine watching or playing football with ticking off those items on your bucket list.”