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Rotorua mayor invited to address global wellness summit

Rotorua mayor invited to address global spa and wellness summit

Rotorua Mayor Steve Chadwick has been invited to address the 2014 Global Spa and Wellness Summit (GSWS) in Morocco later this month.

The summit provides an opportunity for Mrs Chadwick to talk directly to 350 of the world’s top spa investors, developers and operators about Rotorua’s aspirations to become the South Pacific’s premier spa destination. She will also be part of an international panel during a conference business session.

Global Spa and Wellness Summit president, Susie Ellis of New York, said she had been taken by the Rotorua story and the city’s vision. Ms Ellis said she had never seen such a combination of beautiful landscapes, lakes, natural reserves, indigenous culture and geothermal resources in such an exotic location - all within close proximity.

Mrs Chadwick said the international spa and wellness summit was a perfect opportunity to talk one-on-one to potential investors with the aim of getting them interested in Rotorua.

“I also intend exploring the possibility of Rotorua hosting a future Global Spa and Wellness Summit or international spa tourism conference. That would give some real momentum to our Rotorua 2030 business innovation and prosperity goal around economic sustainability and use of our natural resources.

“Internationally the real big growth area is health and wellness, in locations where hot springs naturally occur. Rotorua is well-positioned to take advantage of this global trend. But we need to build an international profile and get to the people who can help make it happen here.”

The invitation for Mrs Chadwick to address this year’s conference followed attendance at last year’s spa and wellness summit in New Delhi by Grow Rotorua chief executive Francis Pauwels. Mr Pauwels will also be attending the summit in Morocco.

Mrs Chadwick said the spa, health and wellness sector had been identified as a key driver for developing Rotorua’s tourism economy, along with mountain biking and the district’s unique Maori culture.

“Rotorua used to be a world leader in the spa industry and, given our abundance of natural geothermal resources, we want to regain that position.

“With substantial iwi ownership of land providing access to geothermal resources, there are real opportunities for Te Arawa investment and joint ventures that have the potential to create jobs.

“These types of businesses often employ up to 200 people across a range of disciplines - everything from therapists and health specialists to managers, geothermal engineers and even gardeners,” Mrs Chadwick said.


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