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Rotorua’s event profile gets $300,000 boost

Rotorua’s event profile gets $300,000 boost

Tarawera Ultra March. Photo by Graeme Murray.

Rotorua’s reputation as a major events city has been given a $300,000 boost by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE).

The MBIE Major Events fund, will see $100,000 per year allocated towards staging the annual Vibram Tarawera Ultra Marathon over the next three years – a gruelling 100km race which was held on Saturday.

Last year Rotorua also received Major Events funding to host the 2013 World Rafting Championships in November and won an International Festivals and Events Association (IFEA) World Festival and Event City Award.

The IFEA awards are designed to recognise “exemplary” cities around the world that have “raised the bar” in relation to hosting community and major events.

Destination Rotorua Marketing General Manager Oscar Nathan says the city’s calendar is full of premium outdoor events and festivals including the iconic Rotorua Marathon celebrating its 50th year, XTERRA, 3D Rotorua, the Walking Festival, Tough Guy, Moonride, 2W Gravity Enduro, Running Festival, XRACE, Whaka 100, and the Bike Festival, just to name a few.

Mr Nathan says having a clear focus on Rotorua’s point of difference is the reason why the city is successfully attracting so many big events and consequently reaping the economic rewards.

“Many cities in New Zealand are competing for that lucrative event tourism dollar but we stand out by hosting events that showcase Rotorua’s stunning mix of natural assets such as our forests, lakes and rivers,” Mr Nathan explains.

“Outdoor, multi-sport and endurance events are a natural fit for us and we’re now achieving international recognition which benefits our whole community.”

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick says major events provide significant economic stimulus that extends well beyond the immediate impact of attendee bed nights.

“The media coverage we receive from sporting events like these directly reaches out to people abroad, arousing interest in Rotorua and promoting tourism in our district.

“This funding is very welcome as it complements our Rotorua 2030 vision, and supports our strategies for economic growth and for sports and recreation.”

Rotorua District Council Economic Growth Strategy leader, Councillor Mike McVicker, says it is a vote of confidence in Rotorua’s tourism and hospitality sector, as well as in those actually organising the events.

“Staging locally-owned and locally-produced events like the Tarawera Ultra Marathon and Rotorua Marathon have been key to growing a sustainable major event portfolio for our district.

“Every city in New Zealand wants to be seen as an ‘events capital’ but you have to get the formula right. Rotorua has found its niche and we’re a great example of what a small city can achieve on the world stage when you focus on your natural strengths,” he says.


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