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Business Leaders Want To See A Bold Visionary Future For Our City

Creating a bold visionary future for Rotorua, and rebuilding the city’s reputation, are highlighted as key priorities, a recent survey shows.

The fifth biannual Rotorua Business Pulse Report providing these and several other insights from Rotorua’s business leaders has been released.

The Rotorua Business Pulse programme serves as a key barometer for local businesses, serving as a platform for business leaders to share their perspectives on Rotorua's economic health. The most recent survey, which ran for a month over March and April 2024, collected responses from more than 100 Rotorua-based businesses.

As with the previous two surveys, overall business confidence continues to be optimistic.

The programme is run by RotoruaNZ, in partnership with the Rotorua Business Chamber.

RotoruaNZ chief executive Andrew Wilson said, “We appreciate the sentiments shared by our local business community. While we celebrate the prevailing optimism, we are also committed to continue working to lift Rotorua's reputation and create a vibrant place for our residents to live, work and play, as well as show our city is a world-class destination for our manuhiri.”

Additional key themes:

· Perception of economic performance in the most recent 12 months has improved, and confidence in the 12-month outlook remains strongly positive albeit not as strong as the heady highs of the previous survey period which followed the election of a new government.

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· Profitability expectations are positive for the second consecutive survey period but confidence in volume of business activity and staff employed is declining.

· Business strategy is the number one thing Rotorua business leaders feel most confident about for their business.

· Half of all respondents perceive tourism will be Rotorua's most positive driver in the upcoming 12 months.

· Inflationary pressures and finding skilled staff continue to be top concerns for Rotorua businesses, but both issues continue to trend downward in each survey period.

· Although staffing pressures are easing, Rotorua businesses value retaining skilled workers, as evidenced by their continued offer of flexible work hours and opportunity to work from home where roles allow.

· Business survival and adaption was the most common theme of respondents’ general comments, with many being positive they had successfully navigated a challenging period and were increasingly focussed on being part of a visionary future for Rotorua.

Rotorua Business Chamber chief executive Bryce Heard said, “The most important message for Rotorua to take on board is contained within the open ended question, ‘What do you think should be the highest priority for Rotorua over the next 12 months?’ Of the seven options identified, 43.6% of all respondents selected Vision/Investment & Reputation Rebuild. By contrast, the smallest number of respondents – only 5% – answered Council costs/debt. There is a very clear message to council in this answer.”

For a comprehensive understanding of the current business climate in Rotorua, the full Rotorua Business Pulse Report for March 2024, as well as previous reports, is available here on the RotoruaNZ website, and a summary can be found here.

About RotoruaNZ

RotoruaNZ is a values-led organisation committed to developing and promoting Rotorua as a destination of choice to work, study, visit, invest and live in. We connect people, land, capital and ideas.

Our work directly supports the development of the Rotorua economy, unlocking opportunities for commercial investment and providing employment, wealth and wellbeing for all of our people. RotoruaNZ works in partnership with iwi, the private sector, community organisations, and local and central governments to support the growth aspirations of Rotorua, and enhance the city’s identity and reputation.

We operate as a neutral entity and a trusted advisor, balancing the needs of each group of stakeholders for the benefit of the destination.

RotoruaNZ is a Council Controlled Organisation (CCO), 100% owned by Rotorua Lakes Council (RLC). RotoruaNZ is the Economic Development Agency (EDA) and Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) for the Rotorua district. RotoruaNZ also operates as the Convention Bureau for Rotorua.

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