June 30, 2009

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

Time to sign up for more exposure via web listing

Web listings on rotoruaNZ.com and our associated foreign language sites are due for renewal effective July 1, 2009, to June 30, 2010. We have worked hard to bring many extra features to the sites over the past year; not only has this enhanced usability for the end user but it has also added value and built traffic for advertisers. In the June ’08 to May ’09 period visitors to the rotoruaNZ.com site increased by 39% and pageviews 41% compared to the previous year. We believe we’re offering even better value-for-money this year for operators taking a $350 plus GST premium full page listing. There are now more options among the five category choices, additional categories are available at a 50% reduction ($50 plus GST per category) compared to last year, no fee to load a supplied 30-second video clip (previously $50 plus GST) and one free foreign language site listing (previously $100 plus GST per category). NB Translation costs are still additional as per last year. Click here for full details and sign up options.

Off to UK and Europe IMA

DRTM GM Don Gunn heads to the UK and Europe next month as part of a UK and Europe International Marketing Alliance (IMA) in conjunction with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ). He will visit London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Frankfurt and Munich with a TNZ team between July 20 and August 3. During his travel Don will meet with product managers in UK, Germany and the Netherlands at a crucial time – as they go into the planning stages of brochuring product for the 2010/11 season. The second part of the visit to those cities will be training frontline staff on both Rotorua and GNZTR regional product. The UK and Europe IMA visit follows on from successful visits in the previous two years which saw more Rotorua and GNZTR products feature in wholesalers’ brochures.

TRENZ debrief

Fifteen local operators exhibited on the hard-to-miss bright green Rotorua stand at TRENZ, June 8-11. Highly visual, the stand received many positive comments. Click here to see handycam footage. View Rotorua TRENZ stand here. Assistant GM Ruth Crampton said “Although appointments were solid, there’s no doubt that times are a little difficult out there. Positive signs of improvement in some markets and the arrival stats out of Australia for April and May were very heartening.” The launch of the new trade section on rotoruaNZ.com was also well received with buyers saying that the array of new on-site tools that will make things a lot easier for them.

Ready for SAHM* role

For those of you who missed the news in the marketing newsletter in the middle of the month, Assistant General Manager Ruth Crampton has resigned and will be leaving us on August 28. Ruth says she’s loved every minute of her time at DRTM. Husband Shane has been the primary caregiver of their daughter since her birth in September 2007, but Ruth has decided it’s time for her to spend more time with Lucy. *SAHM - stay at home mum.

RVG Jasons changes

Another big change is about to take place at DRTM. As of December 2009, DRTM will merge the Rotorua Visitor Guide with the Jasons Rotorua What’s On guide. After more than a decade of printing the RVG annually, the change addresses several key issues: the combining of two publications that were basically a double up thus helping operators stretch advertising dollars to cover more opportunities, achieving wider national distribution without additional cost, and a chance for operators and event organisers to update content and events on a quarterly basis. Don Gunn and Jasons CEO Matthew Mayne officially signed off the joint venture at TRENZ. DRTM’s current Event brochure will also cease operation as the What’s On publication offers quarterly event listings and will become DRTM’s key event piece for Rotorua. The deal allows editorial contribution from DRTM. Advertising for the new joint publication will commence in August and will be promoted via Jasons sales representative Sharon Murray. Operators with queries in the short–term should contact .

The essence of Rotorua product

The domestic, international and media mail-out of the Winter 2009 edition of In Essence, delivered on June 1, is virtually complete. If you require additional copies, hard copies are available from the DRTM office. They are also downloadable from the rotoruaNZ.com website.

Perfect nuclear family

Congratulations to our Web Development Co-ordinator, Adrian Hodge, who become a Dad for the second time in the middle of the month. Adrian’s wife Kim delivered a gorgeous 7lb 14oz girl, Kaylee Rae, at 2.15pm on June 18. Mum, Dad and big brother Joshua are very proud and Kaylee is thriving. She even has her own website with weekly updated photos, kayleehodge.com.

Traffic still of good quality

Despite the global downturn, traffic to rotoruaNZ.com still managed to hold up in some areas. Although the overall number of visits was down in the past month (May 25 to June 24) compared to April/May, those who came to the site stayed longer and looked at more pages. The average number of pageviews per visit was up almost 16% for the month while the average time spent on the site per visit was up more than 25%. The year-to-date traffic remains very healthy - up 72% in visits and up 20% in pageviews compared to the previous year. Top five favourite downloads for the past month were: Rotorua Visitor Guide, Walking Tracks, Rotorua Map, RDC Rotorua Walkways and Rotorua Events.

Three month forecast of tourism demand

The Tourism Industry Monitor is a great new resource that allows individual New Zealand tourism operators to benchmark the actual and expected performance of their business against the wider tourism industry. The ongoing success of the Tourism Industry Monitor will be determined by the willingness of tourism operators to complete the survey each month. Please play your part by bookmarking this link www.covec.co.nz/TIM and setting a task in your calendar to enter the requested information between the first and fifth of each new month. All data entered into the survey is strictly confidential to Covec (the consultancy contracted to manage the survey by Tourism Industry Association NZ, NZ Hotel Council and Ministry of Tourism), and will only be used to derive aggregated statistics. The survey takes an average of four and a half minutes for respondents to complete, with businesses completing the survey receiving results several days ahead of them being made publicly available. Click here to learn more about the Tourism Industry Monitor and to view the latest results.

Hitch a ride to Rotorua – the best in the world!

Interesting to receive a phone call from London at the beginning of the month. It was a woman researcher from the BBC’s Radio 5 Live asking “Why do Rotorua people treat hitch-hikers so well?” It turns out that the morning’s discussion on the station’s hugely popular morning show was hitchhiking. The researcher said they had been inundated with calls, emails and text saying Rotorua was the friendliest place on earth; so naturally they wanted to find out why and continue the discussion on an afternoon drive show. The researcher said callers had recounted tales of UK visitors being taken home for meals, offered free accommodation, taken sightseeing and offered onward travel – one had even been lent a car! Great to see Manaakitanga in action.

Time to reflect on success of forest protection

Back in 1984, Dr David Bellamy argued for the total protection of Whirinaki Forest Park, south-east of Rotorua, as a way of creating a sustainable future for the (then) forestry-based communities in the area. Twenty-five years later the world-renowned botanist and television presenter will reflect on that lofty goal when he speaks at a gala dinner being held at the Novotel Rotorua Lakeside Hotel on September 4. The world’s best-known tree hugger is an optimist and recent developments at Whirinaki indicate his vision may not be all that far off track. The signing of an agreement in principle between the Crown and Ngati Whare - for whom the forest is home - and the development of a self-started tourism cluster (supporting the new Te Urewera Rainforest Route are pointers to a prosperous future underpinned by eco-tourism. To find out how today’s reality stacks up in relation to the original dream, head along to an evening of reflection with Dr Bellamy accompanied by great wine and food. Tickets $150. Inquiries contact for more information.

Tap into opening offer for locals

The Wai Ora Group is launching a locals card at the Women’s Lifestyle Expo being held at the Energy Events Centre this weekend, July 4-5. The new Wai Ora Club will offer a host of member benefits from discounted spas, meals and spa products through to tourism attractions and therapies. Club members will also be invited to VIP charity balls, food and wine evenings and other social events. For an opening special rate of $95, the club offers members 50% off Wai Ora water experience plus 20% off spa therapies, Mokoia Restaurant, Manary Bar, accommodation and Alite Spa products at Wai Ora Lakeside Spa Resort; a free geothermal walk for members plus 50% off for accompanying guests as well as 20% off mud and mineral spa, massage and Alite Spa products at Hells Gate and Wai Ora Spa; and 20% off tours with Mokoia Island Experiences. Contact Candy Hughes for further details.

Good guys deserve recognition

Thought we would share this thank you from Leah Evans, Project Founder of Project KPH, whose vision is for special needs, kids to be given the opportunity to realise their motor racing dreams and experience the thrill of meeting top motorsport talent in a safe and empowering environment. Young cancer sufferer Josh Vertogen from Palmerston North is one of the kids helped by Project KPH and he got to meet and ride with his hero Greg Murphy. The trip to Auckland was hugely tiring for Josh so Rotorua–based Leah thought a stop-over in Rotorua on the way home would be a good idea for Josh and his parents. She sent DRTM a “help” email and from that Skyline Skyrides, Rainbow Springs and Kiwi Encounter, Kawarau Jet, Millennium Hotel Rotorua (Nikau Restaurant) and Polynesian Spa all stepped in to offer their support. Leah wrote “You all provided an excellent time for Josh and his parents. Josh thoroughly enjoyed all of the activities and his parents loved their meal out followed by a relaxing dip in the spa.” She went on to say “I am incredibly proud of the fact that through one email, my community have got behind this to help a lovely family enjoy a few days break away from their otherwise very stressful life. This is testimony to the character of the people I am lucky enough to share this wonderful city with. It is humbling that people will so readily come together when they have something to believe in; in this case – the smiles on the faces of this family. I hope you can all be proud of the fact that Rotorua will leave a very positive and fond set of memories for this fellow Kiwi family.”

Google guru to share his knowledge

Australian search engine optimisation specialist Jim Stewart is holding half-day workshops in Hamilton next month. Often referred to as a Google guru, Jim is offering to teach small business owners the importance of search engine optimisation (SEO). Jim reckons SEO is particularly relevant to businesses with an export, global or national focus and provides them with the opportunity to learn how to increase their chances of being found online - and how to do it themselves. The cost of the July 20 workshop is $295. Starting at 9am, it will include a hearty morning tea and a light networking lunch at the end. Interested? Click here for more details or Register online at marketingnow.co.nz FYI - Two DRTM staffers attended a two-day conference In Wellington earlier this year where Jim was one of the guest speakers and were impressed with his 90-minute workshop.

Huge boost for business development

A $7m Grow Rotorua Development Fund is to be established by the Rotorua District Council. The economic development fund is designed to grow the Rotorua economy and to tackle local impacts from the global recession. The ‘Grow Rotorua Development Fund’ is included in the RDC’s new 10-year plan that was formally adopted by RDC yesterday (June 29). It will see $3.5 million allocated in each of the next two financial years. Mayor Kevin Winters said it was a bold and creative initiative that sends a strong message that Rotorua is not prepared to sit back and watch the local economy be trampled on by recessionary forces. Kevin said the Grow Rotorua Development Fund was a pro-active response to a raft of submissions to the draft 10-year plan, and to valuable feedback from businesses and business organisations. The fund will be used in three key areas: Reducing the impact of the economic recession on business and the community, improving local GDP and growth beyond the recession period, and improving community capacity by growing the economy, population, and new business and recreation opportunities.

Work placement via Sequoia

Graziella Novella of Hamurana Lodge and Sequoia Motel is involved with a tourism polytechnic in her home country of New Caledonia. She tells us the polytechnic is currently looking for work placement options in the Rotorua region so she is trying to source businesses interested in providing these students with two weeks work experience in August. She says there is no salary involved and Sequoia Motel will be providing accommodation to the group as an official sponsor. Any operator willing to assist should email Graziella at

Accessibility important for disabled guests

Lianne Kalivati has recently launched a website - accomobility.co.nz - that features accommodation suitable for those with disabilities. She sent DRTM a “help” message earlier this month as so far she hasn’t had much luck getting Rotorua accommodation providers with facilities that can cater for guests in wheelchairs or with hearing and visual disabilities on board her new site. Interested? Contact Lianne at .

Join paper lantern parade

The new owners of Hamurana Lodge, Steave and Graziella Novella, are celebrating their French national day, Bastille Day, with a paper lantern parade and dinner-dance on Saturday, July 18, from 5pm-10pm. The cost, $48 adults, $24 children under 14 and free for under fives, includes a buffet meal but excludes beverages. Reservations are required by July 10, phone 332 2222.

Thanks a million

The New Zealand tourism industry is saying “Thanks a Million” in a big way to Australian visitors. Figures released by Statistics New Zealand earlier this month revealed 1,001,880 visitors arrived from Australia in the year ending May 2009. To celebrate this milestone, Tourism New Zealand launched a two-week long millionaire’s promotion for Australians on June 22. The holiday giveaway consists of return business class air travel to New Zealand along with accommodation at some of New Zealand’s top luxury lodges including The Boatshed on Waiheke Island, Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Experience in Rotorua, Wharekauhau Country Estate in Martinborough and Remarkables Lodge in Queenstown. The promotion is being run online and promoted through New Zealand’s i-SITE information network. TNZ’s Chief Executive George Hickton said “This record is an important milestone for the New Zealand tourism industry. It shows that the increased focus we have put on the Australian market over the past 12 months to offset reductions in other markets has paid off.” Since the 100% Pure New Zealand campaign started 10 years ago the number of Australian arrivals has doubled from just over half a million in the year to May 1999.

Rising tourism star sought

The Tourism Industry Association is calling for young ‘rising stars’ of the New Zealand tourism industry to enter the 2009 PATA Young Tourism Professional Award. Managed by TIA, the award recognises aspiring young individuals who are paving the way in the tourism sector. The winner will receive a grant of $2500 to advance their professional development as well as access to ATTTO management courses. The award is open to those working in the tourism industry under the age of 35 at the closing date for entries (August 14). Finalists will be announced in early October. Click here for more details.

Favourite North Island attraction

Visitors travelling with Australian-based luxury coach tour specialists Grand Pacific Tours named Skyline Skyrides as their ‘Favourite North Island Attraction’. Grand Pac is a large luxury coach operator with a large number of tours into New Zealand each year so to be named best North Island attraction is a prestigious award within the tourism industry. Grand Pac guests visit Skyline Skyrides for a buffet breakfast via a gondola ride and also have a luge ride. Skyline Skyrides GM Neville Nicholson says the award is a “big tick for all of our staff across the property who work so hard to make everyone’s visit special.” Neville added that many Grand Pacific Tours guests listed the visit to Skyline Skyrides as a highlight of their tour of New Zealand, so “. . . we are pleased to exceed their expectations and be recognised with this award”.

Congratulations to hospitable hosts

Rotorua’s B & B Broekhaven Cottage in Kaska Road, Hamurana that has awarded an AA Spirit of Hospitality Award for Bed and Breakfast establishments. Owner/operators Van Den Broek say their property was nominated by guests impressed by the hospitality they offer. Ed and Debbie reckon the award was extra special to them because “We can only accommodate one couple/group at a time yet we were competing with B & B’s that can cater for three to five couples/groups at once.” They believe part of their success lies with the many unusual animals they foster on the property for the Rotorua SPCA which guests can often interact with. Part of their profits is donated to the SPCA Haven Scheme as a token of appreciation for the success of their business. It was also great to read in the Travel Memo that in the same AA Spirit of Hospitality Awards, three of six of the New Zealand finalists in the holiday park category were from the Bay of Plenty. They were Thornton Beach Holiday Park, Bowentown Beach Holiday Park and Waihi Beach Top 10 Holiday Park.

Daily scheduled cruising begins Nov 1

Clearwater Cruises have added a new product to their range of water-based options, which they launched it at TRENZ earlier this month. A Lake Tarawera cruise on the 50ft Clearwater Spirit catamaran will be available from The Landing jetty each day at 2.15pm beginning November 1, 2009, and running through until April 30, 2010. The 90-minute daily cruise will run for a minimum of two and maximum of 50 passengers. Cruise highlights will include Maori history and story of The Pink and White Terraces, geothermal hot streams and pools, and the beautiful native bush surroundings. Fares: $68 adults, $39 children and $165 families (two adults and two children up to 14 years). Transfers to DOC’s Hot Water Beach camp will also be available at $32 per person one way. Refreshments will be available on board.

Best of fishing and hunting weekend

Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Experience are offering some special winter sporting weekend escapes. The first is a fly fishing and pheasant shoot weekend on July 17 to 19. Anglers and shooters will divide their time between fly fishing at one of region’s best pools and the thrill of a walked-up pheasant shoot using one of New Zealand’s top gun dogs (or your own gun dog). Hosted by Chris Brennan and Barry Hogg, the weekend will celebrate fishing and hunting at its best. The two-night package will include afternoon of clay bird shooting, a half day fly fishing trip, a half day pheasant shoot, final clay bird or pheasant shoot, two breakfasts, two lunches (include a gourmet picnic), two dinners with pre-dinner drinks (including a four-course game dinner) and accommodation (Pheasant Cottage, lodge suite or villa suite options). Further weekends are planned for August 14-16 (golf) and September 11-13 (game food).

Change to more of the same at lodge

Exciting news for the former manager of Lodge at 199. Kay Shortland is now leasing the property following an agreement with the lodge’s UK-based owners. Kay has been managing the lake-edge luxury lodge on Lake Tarawera for the past three years and goes into this new phase with the owners’ blessing and supportLodge at 199’s sister property, Accolades Boutique Hotel, is now up for sale and will cease operation today, June 30. Pre-booked Accolades clients are being upgraded to Lodge at 199 at no additional charge.

GNZTR contract let

Kerryn Ralston takes up her new part-time contract role managing GNZTR’s (mainly administrative) needs on Wednesday, July 1. With a 14-year history of product and marketing roles within both wholesale and inbound travel companies, the Auckland–based director of Ralston Marketing is a good fit for the job. Contact Kerryn at .

Couple keen to broaden horizons

Lake Rotoiti Holiday Park has new camp managers, Keith and Chris Waddell. From Papamoa, the couple have been managing the Okere Falls holiday park since the beginning of June and they “absolutely love it”. Chris says although neither she nor Keith have a background in tourism or hospitality, they are keen campers and it’s something they’ve always wanted to do. No doubt Chris’s admin and marketing skills and Keith’s building and caretaking skills will stand them in good stead. Chris says they are really keen to increase off-peak business, and see real potential in booking out the park for big gatherings like weddings and family reunions. “We’re ideally suited to big groups as we have a commercial-style kitchen, a large function room, a total of 100 beds (across cabins, self-contained cabins, motel units, backpacker area and two bunkhouses) as well as 24 powered and non-powered sites.” She adds the site also offers lake views, boat launching ramp, a 16-berth marina - and there is room to erect a marquee.   

Leisure time for Rob

Glad to hear Rob Finlayson has secured the role of Business Development Manager for Leisure Time Tour. Founded in 1987, Leisure Time Tours is a family run inbound tour company based in Hamilton. GM Scott Mehrtens says “We are pleased to have the services of Rob on board with us and know that the business relationships he has with both our existing suppliers and fellow inbound tour operators will be invaluable to the growth of our business during these trying times and beyond.” Rob was previously with Ngai Tahu Tourism Central North Island based in Rotorua. He started with Leisure Time on June 16.

Back in sales

Marija Gecan, the former owner of Seismic Gastro Bar, took up the role of Sales Manager - Central North Island for Novotel and Ibis Hotels based in Rotorua on June 2. Since selling Seismic, Marija has spent some time tutoring in computing skills at Waiariki Institute of Technology. Marija previously had sales roles with Skyline Skyrides and Volcanic Air Safaris.  Her contact email is .

Loving tourism

Bruce Erasmus became the Agrodome’s Retail Development Manager at the end of April. Originally from South Africa, Bruce has been in New Zealand for four years and was previously manager of Auckland’s Victoria Park Market for two and half years. Although new to tourism, Bruce is enjoying working in the “cheerful” Agrodome environment and says it has been a real eye-opener getting to see how tourism works.

Returning to big smoke

Lisa Ross, Assistant Manager at Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Experience, has resigned and is returning to Auckland to take up the position of Hospitality Services Manager at Whenuapai Airbase. Her last day at Treetops is July 21.

George leaves big shoes to fill 

George Hickton is to step down from his position as Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand in December. After more that a decade of leading New Zealand’s key marketing tourism organisation, George advised TNZ last week that he will leave when his contract expired on December 1. He said “After more than 10 years in this role the decision has been a difficult one but I believe the time is right.” George has presided over a 60% growth in visitor numbers during his decade in office, which was capped last week with the news that visitor numbers from Australia exceeded a million people for the first time in a 12-month period to May 2009. “I am immensely proud of what we have achieved since 1999. We launched the 100% Pure New Zealand brand and it has now become iconic for both the country and tourism,” he said. “We’ve also had some high-profile PR results with New Zealand gardens at the Chelsea Flower Show in London, and the giant inflatable rugby ball events in Paris and London.”


Turning on the right light

Businesses still using incandescent lighting may have electricity costs considerably higher than necessary. A tiny 5% of electricity used by incandescent lightbulbs is converted into light; with the remaining electricity being converted to heat. New technologies in lighting now offer greater choice in terms of functionality, light quality and style that can significantly reduce lighting costs. Early users were often disappointed with light quality, but in recent years there have been big improvements in quality that make these new technologies comparable to incandescent bulbs. Check out rightlight.govt.nz to determine the best lighting options (that also possibly lower costs) for your business circumstances. For more great tips on sustainability consider what becoming a member of the Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter could offer your business. Visit sustainableNZ.com or contact Gina George via email or phone 349 7289.

Growing nature-based tourism

Now is the time to sign up for next month’s Ecotourism NZ Conference 2009. Being held in Nelson on August 5 and 6, this year’s conference keynote speaker is Bruce Poon Tip, founder and CEO of the world’s largest adventure travel company, Gap Adventures. Register before July 1 and each delegate saves $140 on early bird registration. Go to tourismnz.com.

Rhapsody Rotorua 2009
June 30 to July 3
An International Schools’ Music Festival including concert bands, orchestras, choirs, percussion groups, jazz groups, stage bands and guitar ensembles. The programme includes concert performance, adjudication, tutoring, clinics, master classes, workshops and play-outs.

Women's Lifestyle Expo
July 4 to July 5
The annual Women’s Lifestyle Expo is a great day out for women. More than   150 exhibitors are expected to feature everything from jewellery, health products and business information to education providers, food and wine sampling and home wares.

RATS Winter Duathlon Series - Race 2
July 5
The Rats Winter Duathlon Series is on again. The courses are fully off-road and offer a choice of short (3km, 8km and 1.5km) or long (5km, 15km and 3km) run bike run distances.

N-Duro Winter Mountain Bike Series: Race 2
July 12
The second race of the N-Duro Winter Duathlon Series will be raced over challenging terrain on a one lap course of the Whakarewarewa trail network.  Option of either 25km or 45km distances to cater for both recreational and elite riders.

Rotorua Music Federation concert
July 25
Featuring Jonathan Besser (composer and pianist) and Miranda Adams (violin). Jonathan and Miranda have been playing music together in various ensembles for many years. They enthusiastically bring their own brand of energy to their performances through improvisation and spontaneous expression, in a range of Besser works that juxtapose the sweetly melodic with the dark and furious. 

BOP Steamers versus Northland
July 31
The Steamers are the flagship team of the Bay of Plenty Rugby Union and were the inaugural winners of the first ever NPC in 1976. In 2004 the Steamers recorded their first ever Ranfurly Shield victory with a momentous defeat of Auckland at Eden Park.

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