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Rotorua tourism success puts focus on future

30 September 2016

Rotorua tourism success puts focus on future

Rotorua’s success at this year’s Tourism Industry Aotearoa awards highlights the need for ongoing investment and innovation to support sustained tourism growth, Mayor Steve Chadwick says.

Rotorua’s Canopy Tours took the Supreme Award last night, having won the Environmental Tourism and Visitor Experience categories. Meanwhile, Rotorua Lakes Council’s tourism arm, Destination Rotorua, won the Industry Alignment category for its tourism investment partnership which funds the Famously Rotorua campaign and Jared Adams from the Rotorua Top 10 Holiday Park was a finalist in the emerging leader category.

“This is a fantastic achievement for Rotorua – the second year running the top award has come our way with Skyline Rotorua winning the supreme award last year. It makes me very proud,” Mayor Chadwick says.

“Canopy Tours’ award was so fitting for a young company with a sustainable visitor product. Their business ticks all the boxes of looking after the land, species protection, history, storytelling and adventure tourism. The judges told me Canopy Tours’ application was a real standout.

“Meanwhile, the Famously Rotorua campaign has turned around the perception of Rotorua among domestic visitors and is delivering excellent results that have contributed to us tracking well ahead of targets to reach our goal to achieve $1b a year in tourism spend by 2030,” the mayor says.

“Rotorua has refreshed its visitor experience on so many levels and we should all be proud of and celebrate this. Tourism is on a roll and our local winners and finalists are leading the way for others, helping to maintain the district’s status as a key New Zealand destination.”

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Mayor Chadwick says Rotorua has seen a lot of investment and innovation from tourism operators in recent years and it’s important to keep the momentum going and keep refreshing and adding to the district’s offering.

“That will require ongoing commitment from both local and central government to ensure tourism, as a key economic driver, is supported by adequate infrastructure. It’s pleasing to know there’s work underway on that nationally now to ensure that happens so we can continue to ride the wave of tourism that’s benefitting the whole country,” Mayor Chadwick says.

“We want to be an outstanding visitor experience and to be able to sustain the great growth we’re currently enjoying and that requires a certain level and standard of infrastructure and the ability to maintain that.”

The mayor says while some local infrastructure, such as water and wastewater, is able to cope with increased demand, Rotorua’s roading corridors need significant investment and air connectivity needs improving. Rotorua has also been identified as needing a five-star hotel and is one of the areas New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is focussing on to speed up private investment in hotels around the country.

“We need to stay on top of things to ensure we can continue to reap the rewards of this tourism boom which according to all indicators looks set to continue,” Mayor Chadwick says.

Rotorua had record months in June and July for visitor nights and visits to attractions and activities and spending by tourists was up again in August with the Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates released yesterday [Thursday 30 September] and showing spending in Rotorua to the year ending August at $718m, up 5 per cent on the same time last year (nationally up 6.4 per cent). Spending by tourists in August in Rotorua totalled $44m, up 5.1 per cent on July (nationally up 0.5 per cent).


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