April 30, 2009

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

Far-flung market

DRTM is working to ensure manaakitanga will be felt at next month’s International Raft Federation World Championships being held in Bosnia. All six members of the New Zealand men’s team, five of whom are from Rotorua, will be wearing ‘Feel the Spirit’ branded shirts while their helmets and paddles will also feature Rotorua - New Zealand, the rotoruaNZ.com website address and our takarangi symbol. Team member Nick Chater, who owns and operates Multi-Day Adventures in Rotorua, says while the event is not well known in New Zealand, it’s taken very seriously in Europe and generates intense media interest equivalent to World Cup rugby coverage. The May 17-24 event, taking place on the Vrbas and Tara Rivers in Bosnia and Herzegovina, comprises three disciplines - sprint, slalom and downriver. The points earned in each discipline are added to determine the overall winner and final positions. Held every two years, the NZ men’s team has never failed to place in the top 10 and have come as high as third place. There are around 24 teams competing.

More new resources

Our new German and Korean DVDs are now available and can be seen on YouTube off our multi-media page on the rotoruaNZ.com website. The Korean DVD can already be viewed directly off our Korean website rotoruaNZ.co.kr while the German DVD will be linked to our new German site rotoruaNZ.de once that goes live next month. The new Korean DVD, a new specialty travel trade area on the Korean website and a trade postcard will be launched in Seoul next month where DRTM are partnering with industry at the Hanatours Convention 2009 tradeshow, May 23/24. The new German DVD, along with our new German language website, will be launched in Germany as part of a Tourism New Zealand cultural mission in mid-May. Represented by Hells Gate, Te Puia and Kaitiaki Adventures, Rotorua will use the Ngatoroirangi story (how geothermal activity came to New Zealand) as the theme of their presentations in Germany as well as the UK, Switzerland and the Netherlands. The image we chose for the German DVD cover and menu was taken by Cristiano De Araujo. It was a Highly Commended entry in the inaugural ‘Spirit of Rotorua’ photography competition held in March. If you work in the Korean or German market, and a copy of either new DVD would be useful, email

Positive result for campervan initiative

DRTM Research Co-ordinator Gina George attended the New Zealand Freedom Camping Forum (NZFCF) in Wellington on April 15. She reports that the forum attendees were delighted to note an overall increase in freedom camping responsibility over the summer season, a fact being attributed to the improved dissemination of information specific to motorhome and campervan visitors. The rental motorhome and sleepervan companies have been very proactive in supporting initiatives to overcome irresponsible freedom camping, with several companies putting links from their own website to the Camping Our Way website. Rotorua is one of a handful of regions that have created a motorhome and campervan specific webpage that reciprocates a link with the Camping Our Way regional information webpage. The NZFCF is encouraging other regions to follow Rotorua's lead and not only include information about local regulations pertaining to freedom camping, but to also use the opportunity to spread a positive marketing message welcoming motorhome and campervan visitors to their region. Although a niche market, our specialist motorhome/campervan facilities page is proving popular with 1200 pageviews since it was launched in late December.

Opportunities to highlight new product

The sub-editing of editorial for the TRENZ issue of In Essence 2009 is now in the process of being finalised. Proofing to operators is now underway and all material will be sent to our graphic artist next week. Any new updates that didn’t make the deadline for the winter issue of In Essence are still welcome for use in our monthly industry newsletters. Feel free to also forward info to James Fitzgerald at . He is currently preparing product update material for the annual RTO/IBO days in Auckland next month, May 12/13. On day one he will be updating product managers while on day two it will be the turn of frontline reservations staff.

Rotorua showcased in Oz

A feature story on Rotorua is to air on Australia’s hugely popular travel programme Getaway on the Nine Network in Australia tonight, April 30, at 7.30pm (Australian Eastern Standard Time). New Zealand viewers can catch the show on the Getaway website getaway.ninemsn.com.au/ tomorrow.

New tool for travel trade

Although still requiring some fine tuning, the soon-to-be launched trade area of rotoruaNZ.com received some excellent feedback when it was tested by Tourmasters reservations staff at in Auckland last week. International Co-ordinator James Fitzgerald had four, 30-minute training sessions with 20 Tourmasters’ staff, who sell a host of well known New Zealand holiday brands including Newmans, Magic, Horizon Holidays, Thrifty Tours and Ski Express. He said feedback about the new trade area was very positive. Dedicated solely to travel trade, the new section is designed to make it a lot easier for them to ‘sell’ Rotorua (and New Zealand) to clients. Two special features of the new area - printable summarised itineraries (either pre-set or customised DIY options) and mapping assistance were both given the thumbs up.

Socially acceptable

DRTM Web Development Co-ordinator Adrian Hodge and International Co-ordinator James Fitzgerald attended a 2-day Marketing Now conference in Wellington, April 15/16. To aim was to ensure that DRTM is ‘in the know’ across all areas of online marketing, PR and social media – and also that we learn how to use this knowledge to leverage off web-based communications like viral marketing, blogs, chatrooms, forums, rankers, Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, TripAdvisor etc. The key message to come out of the conference was that whether we know about them or not, conversations are taking place on multiple networks and websites about us and the products and services we offer. They posed the question: Are we participating in the conversation, watching it take place or do we have no idea it is happening? The message from the conference speakers was clear . . . interaction is needed with the people who are using these networks.

Hugh helps to create another cracker month

The March 26 - April 25 period was another winning month on rotoruaNZ.com with visits, absolute unique visitors, new visits and pageviews all trending upwards. The biggest win was a 14% increase in absolute unique visits (44,465 up from 38,912), much of which was attributable to DRTM’s successful Hugh Hefner April Fool marketing campaign to capitalise on the release of same Italian research.  The April 1 joke generated rotoruaNZ.com’s busiest day - 4800 visits from 4316 unique visitors - since we began tracking results using Google Analytics in June 2007. The exclusive ‘interview’ with Hugh Hefner has been viewed 1501 times on our site and a further 1033 times on YouTube.

We speak their language

Although overall numbers are still quite modest, we are also seeing steady growth on all our foreign language rotorua NZ websites bar the French (.fr) site. The Chinese (.cn) site saw a 125% increase in absolute unique visits and a 150%, increase in pageviews compared to the same March/April period in 2008, the Korean (.co.kr) site increased by 81% and 109% respectively, the Spanish (.es) site increased by 84% and 29% respectively and Japanese (.jp) site increased by 74% and 51% respectively.

Great feedback

Received this great comment off rotoruaNZ.com from Arda van Kuyk of Auckland who was in Rotorua with her family this past month. “We love Rotorua -just had a magical week there as my husband participated in the Xterra event. Our family highlight was Wingspan - oh my what an incredible experience. . . just wickedly magic. Please pass the word on how incredible this place is - just wow, wow, wow. We also loved Kiwi Encounter, Rainbow Springs, Kuirau Park and the museum was a treat as always. Just magic - thanks for sharing your city with us and our children.”

Website widget

Since we started tracking the response to our new Rotorua website widget (that’s available for loading to other sites), it has been viewed 647 times on 41 different websites including this Japanese blog - widget.blog.shinobi.jp. Want to utilise the website widget to promote our destination on your site? Go to rotoruanz.com/resources/widget/

Tempting Japanese runners

A pared down version of the Reebok Rotorua Ekiden relay entry has been translated into Japanese and loaded to our Japanese website – add link in here rotoruanz.jp  and also linked to Air NZ site to simulate interest in the annual round the lake Japanese-style relay event being held on October. DRTM GM Don Gunn says talks with Air New Zealand are centred on generating interest from New Zealand’s sister city links with Japan (including Rotorua’s sister city Beppu) but are likely to take a year or two to yield significant results.

Murph seal of approval

Rotorua’s international standard karting track looks set to become a reality this year. With $2.3m of the required $3.4m already raised (as of April 2009), the Rotorua KartSport Development Trust is hopeful that the project will be completed this spring provided fund-raising stays on track. Trust patron and V8 Supercar driver Greg Murphy became the first person to try out the new kartsport 1.2km long, 8m wide circuit at a sponsors’ day held on Easter Monday (April 13). The Australia-based Murph enthused that the track was “Technical and demanding with great overtaking opportunities. It’s a sensational bit of tarmac and I can see some amazing racing going on here in the future.” He was also quoted in The Daily Post as saying he can’t wait to bring his son back for a go on the new track (once completed) as karts are how he got into serious motor racing.

Register for MITR forum

Maori in Tourism Rotorua, in partnership with DRTM, are holding an industry forum at the Heritage Hotel from 9.15am to 3.15pm this Friday, May 1. Speakers for the morning session are the Hon. Dr Jonathon Coleman - Associate Minister of Tourism and Minister of Immigration, Brian Henderson - CEO of Tourmasters South Pacific, Paora Ammunson - National Project Manager for Te Puni Kokiri’s Rugby World Cup 2011 mission, Neville Foreman - CEO of the NZ Maori Tourism Council, Peter Blackwell - GM of AA Tourism, George White - CEO of the Rotorua Regional Airport and Warren Harford - Chairman of the Destination Rotorua Tourism Board. Rotating operator workshop sessions will be held in the afternoon following a networking lunch. Workshops will focus on services, resources and assistance available to tourism businesses in the Rotorua region. The ‘Financial Strategies in the Current Economic Climate’ workshop will be facilitated by Steve Pinder of Westpac Bank, Philippa Wills of New Zealand Credit Union and Stephen Graham of BDO Spicers. The ‘Staff Training and Up Skilling Opportunities’ workshop will be facilitated by Jenny Stevens of Enterprise Training, Kellie Hamlett-Coombes of Talent ID and Anne Hughes/Pushpa Wood  of Work and Income and Waiariki Insitute of Technology. The ‘Business Development Services’ workshop will be facilitated by Grant Kilby of the Rotorua District Council’s Economic Development Unit, Shontelle Bishara/Oscar Nathan of Te Puni Kokiri and Poutama Trust and Tupara Morrison of Sirdar BOP. To register contact Kay Clarke on 07 362 8879 or email . Cost is $35 for non-MITR member businesses while MITR members can register up to two staff per organisation FOC, additional numbers $35 each.

Swine flu outbreak

Aware that the outbreak of swine influenza (emanating from Mexico and already confirmed in New Zealand) is causing concern, the Tourism Industry Association sent out an update to members on April 28. TIA reports they have contacted all relevant organisations, including the Prime Minister’s office, Air New Zealand, Qantas, Tourism New Zealand and the Inbound Tour Operators Council, to develop a co-ordinated industry-wide approach to the threat of swine flu. They say all tourism agencies are working together to keep a close eye on the situation as it unfolds, and are confident that the government and airlines, in conjunction with public health authorities, are managing the risks associated with inbound travellers. Prime Minister John Key believes the country is well prepared to deal with an outbreak of swine flu and has approximately 1.4 million doses of the anti-viral drug Tamiflu available. For the latest information on swine flu in New Zealand, go to the Ministry of Health and safetravel.govt.nz  

Opera lovers in lap of luxury 

According to The Travel Memo (April 21) Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Estate is said to be one of two New Zealand luxury lodges set to host ‘Opera Interludes’ with the New Zealand Opera. Priced at $1353 plus GST per person share twin/double the “two-night privileged escape” on June 19 and 20 at Treetops will combine operatic melodies, gorgeous voices and outstanding cuisine in a truly European style soiree. The NBR New Zealand Opera will present a Viennese operetta, The Opera Ball, on the first evening, followed by a concert performance of favourite arias on the second night. The second venue is Wharekauhau Country Estate at Palliser Bay near Wellington on May 15 and 16. It is priced from $1617 plus GST per person share twin/double. The package also includes pre-dinner drinks, gourmet meal, breakfast and use of the lodge facilities.

Upgrades and treats during May

Work began on a major upgrade of the Lake Spa locker room facilities at Polynesian Spa earlier this week. Marketing Co-ordinator Laura Wächter says the floor-to-ceiling upgrade will see the installation of new lockers, changing cubicles, toilets, showers, hand basins and vanities along with a new colour scheme. The upgrade began in the men’s locker room. Once complete, the newly revamped men’s room we be used by females while their locker room is upgraded. Male Lake Spa clients will be using the Family Spa changing rooms until May 16 while redevelopment is in progress. Laura adds spa staff will be on hand to assist clients during this upgrade period. The spa is also holding Tuesday ‘treat nights’ for locals during May. Every Tuesday night, from 6pm-11pm, Rotorua residents will get a 30% reduction on hot mineral bathing in the deluxe Lake Spa, adult pools, private pools and the family spa. Laura adds that local also have the option of joining their Residents’ Club and enjoy reduced bathing cost any time. A $40 monthly pass offers unlimited use of the adult pool, Priest Spa and family spa while the $20 annual pass offers a 30% discount on mineral bathing and spa therapies any time throughout the year.

Whirinaki among Bellamy’s favourite places 

A quarter of a century after he coined the phrase ‘New Zealand’s Dinosaur Forest”, Professor David Bellamy is to return to Whirinaki Forest Park. He will be the guest of honour at September's Whirinaki 25 community event marking 25 years since the (often bitter) battle to protect Whirinaki Forest Park’s precious native forest. Fronting the cause at the time, Professor Bellamy’s vision for the forest was to become a Mecca for world eco-tourism and thereby provide for the local communities. That vision helped sway opinion to ensure New Zealand’s best remaining tract of lowland podocarp forest full of giant kahikatea, miro, totara, matai and rimu was conserved for future generations. Whirinaki remains one of Professor Bellamy’s favourite places on the planet and his return for the Whirinaki 25 event, September 4-6, will be a chance to celebrate a 25-year milestone in the history of the Dinosaur Forest; a place that is millions of years old yet still largely undiscovered.

Promoters of quality – and environmental performance

Qualmark’s Chief Executive Geoff Penrose reported in their April newsletter that their new look website qualmark.co.nz is receiving some excellent feedback. What we particularly liked is that a DRTM image, a motorhome at the Blue Lake, is one of three featured panorama images on their home page. He also said a new site they are working on with Air New Zealand is also progressing well. Promoting achievers in the Qualmark Green programme, the website will feature operators with strong environmental performance. Holders of Enviro Bronze, Enviro Silver or Enviro Gold logos are invited to contact Qualmark – email - to discuss the possibly of having video footage included on this website.

Singlespeed focussed on fun

The Pig and Whistle New Zealand Singlespeed Championship were held in Rotorua’s Whakarewarewa Forest last weekend with top cross country riders Tim Wilding and Annika Smail taking out the men’s and women’s open titles – and the obligatory singlespeed tattoo. It was two in a row for Rotorua District Council employee Annika, who also won last year’s inaugural event. More than 200 riders contested a tough four laps of a 9km course. The race started with a 500m Le Mans style run which proved ‘interesting’ for competitors as spectators were invited to re-arrange the bikes prior to the start of the race. Apparently moving rapidly evolved into a new spectator sport called “hide the bike” however organisers reckon no one can really complain about unfair advantage as the men’s open winner was one of the last people to find his bike. Some weird and wonderful costumes added to the atmosphere of the fun event; check out Braveheart (aka Rotorua District Councillor Dave Donaldson) photographed by Mike Vincent.

Winter hours at Te Puia

Te Puia have announced their operating hours for winter are now 8am to 5pm with the last guided tour at 4pm and the time for the Te Pō evening experience 6.15pm to 9.15pm. The Te Pō Combo includes a guided tour which commences at 4.30pm followed by the evening experience. Guests doing the evening experience need to report to Te Puia admissions office by 6pm.

Raving about raves

Over 100,000 people have viewed video ‘raves’ about New Zealand on YouTube through the mobile studio Tourism New Zealand has been using to collect comments from international visitors over the past few months. The initiative has also been highlighted by the UK’s Sunday Times as one of the ‘Ten Most Ingenious Offers’ from the travel industry during the recession.
The Collection Point mobile recording studio has been travelling around New Zealand recording short video diaries from international visitors. They are then edited and posted on social networking sites by TNZ within minutes. TNZ Chief Executive George Hickton says the initiative is a cost-effective way to capture the value of personal recommendations. “Social media is used by people from all walks of life to connect with people back home while they are travelling. Add to this that word-of-mouth is one of the most effective marketing tools to promote a destination, and the 100,000 views milestone shows means that the Collection Point has really proven its worth. The fact that this has also been recognised by one of the most prestigious newspapers in Britain is the icing on the cake!” Over 1300 videos were uploaded by travellers as the Collection Point visited some 40 New Zealand towns since December 2008. Some videos have been viewed more than 250 times. To view video ‘raves’ go to nz.youtube.com/PureNZHaveYourSay

City privileged to see ocean

Rotorua is one of three New Zealand city’s chosen to be part of Billy Ocean’s Greatest Hits Tour in June. The biggest selling British black artist of all time, Billy’s 25-year career as a singer and songwriter has seen him notch up sales in excess of 30 million albums and singles. Born in Trinidad and brought up in Britain, some of Billy’s most memorable hits include Love Really Hurts Without You, Caribbean Queen, Loverboy, Suddenly, When the Going Gets Tough (the Tough Get Going) and Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car. Following a hiatus, Billy he went back on the road in 2007 – and also started writing and recording again. The resultant album, Because I Love You, was released on February this year. Tickets for Billy’s June 20 concert at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre (supported by Kiwi band Ardijah) went on sale yesterday. Go to www.ticketmaster.co.nz to book.

Writing the right stuff about us

Winning the bid to host America’s top travel writers for their annual conference in 2011 is a coup for New Zealand tourism, Associate Minister of Tourism Dr Jonathan Coleman says. Around 350 travel media from the Society of American Travel Writers will spend a week or more in New Zealand in November 2011, with coverage expected to reach millions. Wellington will host the main convention programme, with meetings scheduled over five days. Convention delegates will also have the opportunity to participate in (yet-to-be determined) pre and post-convention tours in various parts of the country – hopefully that will include the Rotorua region.

Short film festival back

The Magma Short Film Festival returns to Rotorua’s Shambles Theatre this week. Running from April 30 to May 3, the digital film festival features special guest presenters and workshops for aspiring and practicing film-makers. Local film and television personality Temuera Morrison is the guest speaker on opening night, with writer Nick Ward (Stickmen, The Ferryman), producer Karl Zohrab (The Devil Dared Me To, Dean Spanley) and actress Nancy Brunning (Crooked Earth, What Becomes of the Broken Hearted?) also making appearances during the four-day festival. RDC Community Arts Officer Kiri Jarden says the festival boasts a great selection of films from around New Zealand. “Selection criteria got tougher this year due to an increase in entries, however the end result is a fantastic line-up of entertaining home-grown films. Tickets and programme are available online at magmafilm.org.nz or from McLeod’s Booksellers.

Believe or not, it’s back

Seismic Gastro Bar in Whakaue Street is bringing back their famed ‘Believe It or Not’ Quiz nights starting May 26. It will be limited to 20 teams, so register at to be in to win some great prizes. 

Spend small, save big

If the idea of spending to save appeals, read on. The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) is still running their Tourism Energy Efficiency pilot programme in partnership with the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA). Aimed at delivering practical energy saving audits for tourism operators, energy audits of TIA members in the past nine months have identified potential savings of 10-20% annually. Implementing the findings from an energy audit is not only good for bottom-line profitability; it is also good for the environment. Actions outlined in the audit report could also help businesses achieve some of the outcomes needed to improve ratings under the energy efficiency component of the Qualmark Responsible Tourism enviro logos. Tourism businesses with an energy spend of less than $50,000 a year may be eligible for one of two small accommodation energy audits TIA now have available in the Rotorua area. An energy audit by experienced auditors is worth approximately $2000 but operators pay just $500, the rest subsidised by the TIA programme. Want to find out more? Check out this link or contact the Programme Manager Simon Wilkinson of Stewardship Solutions phone 09 948 2597 or email simon@stewardship.co.nz

Shift of Easter impacted on international arrivals

Data released by Statistics New Zealand last week shows short-term international arrivals declined by 9.7% during March 2009. Many international visitors take advantage of the Easter holiday period to travel, which occurred in March in 2008 but moved to April in 2009. Ministry of Tourism Research Manager Bruce Bassett said that the movement of the Easter holiday period had a significant impact on this result. “It is estimated that 6% of the March decline is attributable to the ‘Easter effect’, making the underlying fall in international arrivals 4%.” 

Tapping into Australia

The latest marketing campaign to promote New Zealand in Australia was launched by Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism John Key on April 21.  The two new advertisements come just six weeks after the Prime Minister announced an additional $2.5m to boost New Zealand’s marketing in Australia. TNZ Chief Executive George Hickton says the additional funding will give New Zealand a greater presence in Australia, our largest tourism market. One advertisement promotes winter activities in NZ while the other is a joint campaign with Air New Zealand. Over the next three weeks, Air NZ is giving away more than $2m in free domestic travel by providing a free one-way New Zealand domestic flight to any of its New Zealand ports with every one-way direct trans-Tasman flight purchased during the promotion. Air NZ Deputy Chief Executive Norm Thompson says Australia is an extremely important and growing market for New Zealand tourism generating over $1.5 billion in foreign exchange earnings. DRTM is currently partnering with TNZ in Australia with the autumn What's On campaign focussed on family and indulgence. Rotorua elected to go with the family theme and has banner adverts running on Nine MSN, National Geographic and Drive PM sites. To view our mud bathing banner advert click here.

Flash but not in the pan

Flashpackers, a new ‘business class’ backpackers offering smart, affordable urban accommodation right, opened in time for Easter 2009. An adjunct to the Regent of Rotorua, which opened in Pukaki Street on the site of the old Regent Motel last December, the backpackers features flexible, spacious rooms with fully made up beds. Options include private, shared or ‘women only’ shared rooms. Separate male and female shared bathroom facilities have been fully refurbished and include wheelchair friendly facilities. Co-owner Darryn Whitehead says the new option offers all 21st century mod-cons as well as thermal heating, superior comfort and style. All bedding and linen is included in the rate.

Pie is ka pai

Traditional hangi food has been given a new twist and turned into another Kiwi fast food favourite, a pie, by Whakarewarewa Thermal Village Tours. Hangi ingredients like chicken, silverside, carrots, kumara, potato, cabbage and bread stuffing now come wrapped in a delicious pastry case to create what is already fondly referred to as a ‘Whaka pie’. Whakarewarewa Thermal Village Tours Chief Executive Grace Neilson says visitors are already saying the new Whaka pies are ka pai kai (good food).

Enviro silver for lodge

Already the proud holders of bronze Green Globe benchmarking for their sustainable practises, Nicara Lakeside Lodge and Cottage have now achieved a Qualmark Silver Enviro logo. Owner/operators Heather and Mike Johnson say they are “delighted”.

Reuniting with Auckland

After four years in Rotorua firstly with the Agrodome and latterly Group General Manager for Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa, Jason Baker is leaving town. He returns to Auckland to take up a position with the Rendezvous Hotel as their Business Development Manager – International on May 25. He said, “My time in Rotorua has been incredibly rewarding and most enjoyable. I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their tremendous support and hospitality – especially Warren Harford and Paul Bowen of the Agrodome and Bryan and Liza Hughes of the Wai Ora Group for sharing their expertise and knowledge of the industry with me.” Jason’s wife Lorena took the opportunity to open and manage a new shop in Auckland a few months back and the couple have been doing the Rotorua-Auckland commute.

Losing their lake view

Owners of Clearwater Cruises and The Landing, Paul and Nicky Connell are returning to Auckland to manage another of their business on a full time basis. Paul said it was a tough decision to leave as the businesses are starting to realise their potential “. . . however we're happy to reassure everyone that the operations will continue as always - you just won't be seeing our faces as often.” 

Landing lost essence

Pukeko Landing is no longer part of the Essence of New Zealand portfolio of accommodation properties. Essence of New Zealand Managing Director Jennifer McBrearty says the investor who purchased the property last year has decided to retain the property for personal use by family and friends. Jennifer says they are still keen to be represented in Rotorua if they are able secure a suitable luxury accommodation. We’ll keep you posted. 

Newly created role

Michelle Caldwell was appointed to the newly created position of Ngai Tahu Tourism Central North Island Regional Sales and Marketing Manager effective as of March 30. Michelle is responsible for the Rainbow Springs, Kiwi Encounter and Hukafalls Jet brands. The new position resulted from a restructure and the disestablishment of the Regional Sales Manager’s position formerly held by Rob Finlayson. Stewart Brown GM Central North Island said Rob’s contribution and dedication over the four years he was with Ngai Tahu Tourism was “legendary”.     

And baby for makes four

Nick Lambert (of local graphic design studio, Zero Seven) and his wife Kimberley became the proud parents of a second daughter, 3.6kg Devin Paige, on March 29.

Twins for Fi

Well known local hospitality trainer and assessor Fiona Withers delivered twin boys late last month. Fiona says Thomas James Barber and Harrison Scott Barber arrived safely on March 25 at 37 weeks. She says the boys are both fit and well - and are feeding and sleeping well too. Congratulations.

Bin there, done that

Fantastic to see a new recycling initiative happening in Rotorua. Stage one is the placement of 10 smart new metal recycling bins within the CBD with more bins to follow if they prove successful. Funded by the Rotorua District Council, the idea came from NZONE who were willing to sponsor a bin (via advertising) and get other local businesses involved too. As resource consent issues - with having advertisements on bins - would have caused significant delays to bringing the project to fruition, the RDC has funded Stage l of the project. Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Assessor Eldad Collins, who assisted NZONE with its proposal to RDC, said “This is great news and hopefully a joint funding option (as per NZONE’s proposal) will be available in the near future. It will have the double advantage of ensuring buy in from local businesses and save ratepayers money.”

Take the first step towards sustainability

Sustainability is about making a commitment to adopt a philosophy of continual improvement in business practices that overall will contribute to the long-term economic sustainability of the business and the sustainability of the natural, socio-cultural and built environment in which the business exists. The Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter offers tourism businesses the opportunity of increasing their sustainability at a pace conducive to their own business. Over time many Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter member businesses have increased their internal expertise in sustainability to the point of achieving standards based accreditation in sustainability and using their sustainability knowledge to mentor other Charter members.

For information on becoming a member of the Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter please contact Gina George by email or phone 349 7289.

Foundation Rotorua Marathon
May 2
New Zealand's largest marathon with more people running or walking this event each year.
More info...

Cateye Moonride
May 8/9
The most amazing 12/24-hour mountain bike event held in New Zealand’s MTB Mecca, Whakarewarewa Forest.
More info...

Scott Big O Trail Run
May 9
A 35km off-road run around the full circuit of Lake Okataina. There's a 19km option too.
More info...

The Pink Floyd Experience concert
May 16
The Pink Floyd Experience is exactly what it says, an experience.
More info...

Colourplus Waikato Bay of Plenty Magic vs LG Northern Mystics
May 18
A North Island battle in the ANZ Netball Championships.
More info...

The Beatlemaniacs - Anthology Tour
May 23
Direct from the UK and from sell-out performances at the Cavern Club.
More info...

For more information on these and other events, go to rotoruaNZ.com/events

We have collected your contact details. This information is collected to enable us to keep you up to date with tourism news pertinent to the Rotorua tourism market and keep you informed of the activities of the Destination Rotorua Marketing office. We will not disclose your contact details to third parties.


Jill Marshall
Communications Manager
Destination Rotorua Marketing
Private Bag 3007, Rotorua
Phone +64 7 349 7285
Fax +64 7 349 4133