April 13, 2011 13:15 ET

Why Stay in a Hotel When You Can Stay With a Rugby Buddy?

Rugby Fans Traveling to New Zealand Can Now Find Accommodations From Local Rugby Fans; Offers Sports Travelers a Cost-Effective and More Authentic Experience Than Staying at Hotels

AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND--(Marketwire - April 13, 2011) - Getting to the Rugby World Cup in New Zealand is now easier than ever with iStopOver (, a travel website that features numerous hosts in New Zealand ready to accommodate rugby fans from all over the world. allows home, apartment, RV, farm, and condo owners in New Zealand to rent out space to traveling rugby fans seeking an authentic local experience and alternatives to hotels.

"We gained tremendous experience at the Vancouver Olympics and the Soccer World Cup in South Africa – and look forward to finding the perfect accommodations for rugby fans later this year," said Anthony Lipschitz, CEO and co-founder of "New Zealanders are well known for their hospitality and love of rugby. The large amount of reservations we have processed in the past few weeks says a lot about New Zealanders' resilience and the excitement for this great event."

Set to begin the weekend of September 9 with games in Auckland, Invercargill, Rotorua, New Plymouth and Wellington, the World Cup culminates with the finals scheduled to be played in Auckland ( on October 23.

Rugby fans traveling to New Zealand simply search their city of choice, identify/select the accommodation they want, and then interact with the host to make the booking. Using iStopOver's social interaction, travelers can securely seek out rooms from fellow rugby fans, and amenities that the hosts offer, such as favorite beer in the fridge, snacks in the pantry, and rides to and from the stadium. Hosts make all the arrangements with their guests before they arrive and iStopOver acts as the connecting marketplace and financial clearinghouse.

"We can't wait for the Rugby in New Zealand," said Pieter Du Toit, a South African and life-long rugby aficionado, living in Barranquilla, Columbia. "We learned about iStopOver several months ago, thanks to my online search. This is the first time we are visiting New Zealand, and we really wanted to experience it like a local. We visited and within minutes had found a suitable host. The friendly people at iStopOver helped take care of the details and a couple days later, our plans were confirmed. We're set to stay with some delightful people."

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