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Rotorua’s visitor industry enjoys buoyant times

Rotorua’s visitor industry enjoys buoyant times

Rotorua – 03 December 2015:

Rotorua has experienced one of New Zealand’s best growth rates in visitor expenditure, with increases from almost all markets and expenditure categories.

Latest regional tourism estimates released recently by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment reveal visitor expenditure in Rotorua for the year to March 2015 was $593 million, an $85 million or 17 per cent increase over the previous year. This is against an 11 per cent increase nationally and makes Rotorua the best performing North Island region.

Rotorua’s visitor expenditure was almost equally split between the domestic market ($298 million) and the international market ($295 million). Aucklanders spent $85 million in Rotorua, up $8 million or 11 per cent versus a seven per cent increase nationally. This makes Auckland the single largest source market for Rotorua, underpinning the strong growth in the domestic visitor expenditure.

The Auckland visitor market had increased spending on Rotorua’s cultural and recreational services and on food and beverage services (up $2 million each). Destination Rotorua general manager Oscar Nathan said it was great to see so many Aucklanders reintroducing themselves to Rotorua.

“It shows that they are picking up on the Famously Rotorua campaign messages, which profile the many diverse activities that there are in the destination as well as the growing café and dining scene.”

Visitors spent almost $100 million on cultural and recreational services during their Rotorua visit, which is equivalent to a nine per cent market share of total visitor expenditure in this category and ranks Rotorua the third largest recipient of this type of visitor expenditure.

Again, it was the Auckland market that made the greatest contribution towards this expenditure category ($17 million), with the Australian market a close second with a contribution of $15 million.

Rotorua visitor expenditure was not only concentrated within the tourism businesses, but also spread across wider sectors with $87 million being spent on Rotorua food and beverage services. Australians were the biggest spenders in this category at $13 million, followed by Aucklanders spending $11 million.

Australian visitor expenditure in Rotorua totalled $63 million and was only marginally less than China ($64 million), which is Rotorua’s most valuable international visitor market as well as the market with the greatest single increase (up $22 million or 51 per cent).

“This result is great news and demonstrates the change in momentum for the destination,” said Rotorua mayor, Steve Chadwick.

“The breakdown in visitor expenditure illustrates that the wider Rotorua economy is also benefitting from a buoyant visitor sector, with Rotorua retailers, hospitality providers, supermarkets and many other non-tourism specific businesses all capturing value from this growing market.

“Rotorua’s strong growth in visitor expenditure indicates that the visitor industry is on-track to achieve our goal of doubling the value of the industry from $500 million in 2013 to $1 billion by 2030,” said Mrs Chadwick.

“As the largest employment sector in Rotorua, attaining this goal will have a significant positive economic impact on the local community, generating new employment opportunities not only within the tourism, hospitality and retail businesses that deal directly with visitors, but also to those businesses that supply and service the visitor industry.”


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