July 31, 2009

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

Face to face marketing update

Mark your diaries now; DRTM’s next industry forum is on Wednesday, August 26. The update on marketing activity out of our office will be complemented by guest speakers from Tourism New Zealand, Rotorua Airport, Event and Venues and Rotorua District Council. Other presenters have yet to be confirmed. It will be held in the Rotorua Convention Centre between 1pm and 5pm, followed by drinks and a chance to say goodbye to Assistant GM Ruth Crampton (who leaves on August 28). Invitations will be out early next week.

Flying the flag far and wide

London, Manchester, Amsterdam, Munich and Frankfurt all got a taste of Rotorua – and New Zealand – over the past week or so thanks to DRTM’s involvement with an International Marketing Alliance (IMA). GM Don Gunn was one of nine IMA representatives who were in Europe and the UK on a Tourism New Zealand-organised training and relationship-building event. Don says the IMA concept is a great way for RTOs like Rotorua to combine force. “It enables us to offer a more co-ordinated approach when engaging in TNZ trade training activity overseas.” The group met with Product Managers as well as conducted training for frontline travel agents to update and develop their New Zealand regional and product knowledge. Don said from the UK on Tuesday that feedback from product managers has been excellent as they find these sessions very beneficial in updating them on new product and product developments within the GNZTR region. “The timing is relevant because most of them are starting to produce their next season’s brochure.”

Exposing city’s creative side

Entries for this year’s Rotorua Wearable Creations 'n Colour Awards closed last week. Barbara Cook of the organising committee says “This year is going to be exceptional” and that she has seen some great plans coming across her desk. The event is being held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on August 20 and 21 with pre-judging on August 15. There will be a full dress–rehearsal matinee at noon on Thursday, August 20, at noon with a gala night function at 7pm on Friday, August 21. Matinee tickets are $20 while gala evening tickets range from $40 to $120 (including dinner). DRTM’s Media Advisor Justine Southwick plans to host eight invited media from several targeted lifestyle/art magazines and newspapers in an effort to raise the profile of the event. Their attendance at the Wearables will be part of an arts weekend that will also showcase local art and artists.

Getting in the face of Australians

Almost 13 million catalogues featuring promotional images of Rotorua have been distributed via the IGA supermarket chain in Australia this month as part of a consumer incentive promotion by Schweppes. Shoppers will have the chance to win one of four family trips to Rotorua. One trip is being given away each week from July 6 until the beginning of August. Each prize package includes return airfares, accommodation, car hire and activities. DRTM has helped arrange prizes and will co-ordinate travel arrangements. Assistant GM Ruth Crampton says the promotion is a fantastic one to be involved with. “Working with Schweppes and the IGA for this promotion showcases Rotorua as one of the most family-friendly locations in New Zealand, and an ideal place for any family holiday. It also shows our diversity as a premier incentive destination. Kentera Events, which selected Rotorua for Schweppes, was impressed by the range of incentive product in such a compact space. Schweppes are also running a ‘best in-store display’ promotion (from June 22 until August 16) which will see IGA supermarkets with the best New Zealand/Schweppes-themed displays win a five-day trip for two to Rotorua. The prize package includes accommodation and activities.

The wizard in Oz

International Co-ordinator James Fitzgerald is currently in Australia on a Newsman Holidays NZ roadshow taking in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne, July 27-30. Along with five Rotorua operators, Mitai, Volcanic Air Safaris, Polyneian Spa, Skyline Skyrides and Te Puia, James will be showcasing Rotorua to big wholesalers at a series of sit-down dinner functions that will see him give 10-15 minute presentations on the destination to tables of six to eight agents before moving on to the next table. The roadshow has been timed to coincide with the release of a new look Newmans Holiday NZ brochure, which will become “The bible for all travel consultants selling New Zealand,” according to Melissa Watt, Newmans National Sales Manager Wholesale.

Low key but loved it

Nine victims of the Victoria Bushfires enjoyed a five-day holiday in Rotorua from July 9-14 thanks to funds raised by MORE FM radio station and the fantastic support of many local tourism operators. The group had a full but relaxed itinerary organised by DRTM and were able to experience a nice slice of Rotorua including a mayoral welcome. The response from the group was amazing; they were overwhelmed by Rotorua’s generosity and many felt that this precious time out will truly help set them on the road to recovery.

Jenny Dovaston said “We’ve had the most amazing time you could imagine. It’s been overwhelming. I can’t describe how much it’s meant to us to be here.” Jo and Emma McDowell said “No words could possibly be enough to express our thanks. Rotorua is amazing. The people are precious. We will be back.” MORE FM initiated the project (and raised funds to cover airfares) following extensive New Zealand coverage of the bush fires. DRTM got on board to liaise with local accommodation providers and activities to support the initiative. DRTM Assistant GM Ruth Crampton said “That we have had a small part to play in their recovery is humbling indeed.” 

Meeting the needs of clients

With her C & I Manager’s hat on, Ruth and C & I Co-ordinator Melissa Clarke spent time in Auckland last week representing Rotorua at the annual MEETINGS tradeshow, July 21/23. On the Wednesday night, clients were invited to the Vegas Lounge. In a bid to influence clients’ perceptions about Rotorua’s ability to host upmarket C & I events, the Rotorua group of nine C & I operators employed a softly lit bar, mocktails, chandeliers, tasteful furnishings, a resident crooner (Rotorua’s Craig Davson), cocktail outfits,  and a retro theme to wow potential clients and create a bit of a stir at the tradeshow. MEETINGS showcased 170 of New Zealand’s conference and incentive suppliers to overseas and local buyers. Inside Tourism (July 24) quoted CINZ CEO Alan Trotter as saying “More than $25m worth of business is usually booked during the two and a half day annual tradeshow, with a further $160m secured over the next year or so from leads established at the show.” As a cost cutting measure, the event will be held in Auckland again next year instead of Christchurch, the previously scheduled host city.

Driving business to Rotorua

An ongoing self famil for coach drivers from the InterCity Group, organised by Domestic Co-ordinator Craig Hammond, is proving a winner. So far 11 drivers have enjoyed a two-day stay in Rotorua to familiarise themselves with Rotorua product. Craig says the drivers are ideal ambassadors for the city. “They constantly get asked for recommendations so it makes sense for us to keep them updated,” he said. Driver Murray Overington said “We thoroughly enjoyed our weekend in Rotorua. The weather was cold, but we still had a great time! It was well worth the exercise as there are a lot of tourist places we have never enjoyed before. The hotel was very comfortable and everyone was very helpful and friendly.” Paul Devenport particularly enjoyed Agroventures, saying the team there were “fantastic”. “All the activities we attended were very good and very professionally run. Hotel was great and an awesome lunch at Skyline. Can definitely recommend destination Roto-Vegas.” James Ford-Hathaway reckons it was a fantastic weekend. “I’d like to thank all the operators and Destination Rotorua for an outstanding trip.”

New TVC coming together

In keeping with a long tradition of being resourceful to maximise our marketing budget, DRTM used staff, partners and family as the thirty-something ‘models’ in a new television commercial destined for viewing this spring. The TVC focussed on a group of friends escaping from the big city to a bach on Lake Tarawera for a long weekend - and doing fun activities people of that age would do including mountain biking, fishing, kayaking, zorbing, eating out and enjoying a spa. The launch of the new domestic commercial will be timed to attract Labour Weekend and school holiday visitors.

Koru Lounge to have Rotorua theme

Domestic Co-ordinator Craig Hammond jumped at the chance to promote the Rotorua region to users of the Koru Club’s domestic lounge at Auckland Airport. For the month of August, users of the lounge will be exposed to Rotorua product via our destinational DVD, collateral (RVG, events and luxury brochure) and pop up banners complemented by a luge cart and a Zorb. Craig says the ‘Share Your New Zealand’ initiative is a new one and was a good ‘lead in’ to the launch of the new TV commercial.

Assistance pays off

Nice to receive a lovely ‘thank you’ letter from Murray Pearce, Western Heights High School’s International Student Director. Murray has recently returned from a “very successful” overseas marketing trip. He commented that our destinational DVD, posters and pop up banners added “colour and impact” to his stand. He went on to say DRTM’s Spanish website was particularly well received by the education agents he met with in Spain and South America. The website was so popular at the Expo Ingles 2009 Fair in Chile that Murray intends taking an extra laptop with him next time so more people get to see the site.

Bosnian result leads to Indian offer

Also great to hear back from Nick Chater, a member of the six-man National Men’s Rafting Teamwhich competed in the World Championships in Bosnia, May 17-24. DRTM branded the team’s gear as five of the six members were from Rotorua. Nick, who owns and operates Multi-Day Adventures, says although rafting isn’t a high profile sport in New Zealand, it’s taken very seriously in Europe and generates intense media interest equivalent to World Cup rugby coverage. He says 40,000 fans attended the opening ceremony and he was the centre of attention (with two dozen TV cameras trained on him) when he offered a traditional Maori mihi at an official function. The team didn’t get placed in the top 10 this time, but their strong performances and high profile at the event meant they were one of six international teams offered an all-expenses paid trip to India to compete for the Kashmir Cup against 15 local teams during the International Rafting Championships, August 2-9. The championships are a joint initiative by Jammu and Kashmir’s Department of Tourism and the White Water Rafting Association to promote the region. Nick says the team (Takarua Mutu, Troy Dolman, Wade Garmson, Tim Pickering, Bryce Irving and him) will be proud to seen to represent Rotorua again and promote the destination during the trip. DRTM are supplying additional branding for paddles as well as some branded giveaway including our destinational DVD, pens, Post It notes and posters.  

Clarifying DRTM newsletters

Operators and stakeholders who want to contribute to the range of DRTM newsletters are very welcome to do so where appropriate. The list should clarify who the target audience is, who to send info to (if required) and what the deadlines are. Past copies of these area-specific newsletters can be obtained by emailing .

General industry newsletter
Targets: Local stakeholders, tourism industry, local and national media, suppliers and contacts database (plus anyone who requests a copy).
Content: General local and national news, views, new product, job changes          
Out: The end of each month
Deadline: Material and photographs needed minimum of four days prior
Contact: Communications Manager Jill Marshall -

Marketing newsletter
Targets: Local operators
Content: Covers DRTM marketing activity and industry opportunities 
Out: Middle of each month
Deadline: No industry submissions required

Sustainable newsletter
Targets: Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter members plus those who opt in every issue plus marketing database every second issue
Content: Sustainable, green and Charter news and meeting dates 
Out: Around the 20th, every second month    
Deadline:  Submission from Charter Members only  
Contact: Research Co-ordinator Gina George –

Domestic newsletter
Targets: DRTM’s national domestic database
Content: What’s happening, upcoming events and seasonal offers
Out: Every quarter, at beginning of each new season  
Deadline: No industry submissions required
Contact: Domestic and Events Co-ordinator Craig Hammond – if interested in advertorial at a nominal fee.

International newsletter
Targets: DRTM’s international database
Content: New product, new imagery, new web pages etc
Out: Every three months
Deadline: Ongoing - international updates would be helpful
Contact: International Co-ordinator James Fitzgerald –

C & I newsletter
Targets: Conference organisers in NZ and Australia
Content: New products and redevelopments suitable for C & I market
Out: Every six months
Deadline: January 2010
Contact: C & I Co-ordinator Melissa Clarke –

Web listing renewals

All renewals for the 2009/2010 year on the rotoruaNZ.com and associated sites are nowcompleted and old listings removed. We will be going out to all advertisers who opted for any of the foreign language sites to request they supply new text and imagery in the coming week. Our web man Adrian Hodge, ,is the point of contact for this project.
Click here if you are keen to sign up for a premium full page listing on any of the sites.    

Still moving on up

In spite of swine flu, the economic recession and a long, cold winter, DRTM’s main website, rotoruaNZ.com, still saw some modest increases in traffic during the June/July period compared to the previous month. Visits were up 5%, pageviews were up 12% and the bounce rate was down by 2% - all good news as it means more people came, looked at more pages and more found what they were looking for faster. Compared to the same period last year, the news gets even better. Visits were up 84% and pageviews were up 33%. English remains the top language by a massive margin but Korean, German, Chinese (mainland and Taiwan), French and Japanese follow in that order, which closely follow the languages we feature on our stand-alone foreign languages sites. More than 3300 visitors looked at more than 20 pages on the site and more than 1800 visits were on the site in excess of 30 minutes long.    

Foreign languages

A Spanish website maravillage.com has asked to link to our Spanish language website and use some of our imagery to promote Rotorua. Director Pablo Navarro said the rotoruaNZ.es site, which has shown growth of 58% in visits and a 28% increase in pageviews for the YE June ‘09 was a good showcase for Rotorua. We have also linked our Spanish version of our promotional DVD to their site. Others sites showing healthy increases in the past 12 months are Chinese (73% and 48% respectively) and Korean (72% and 17% respectively) while French, which only launched in November 2008 is showing 10% and 8% increases this month over last month. The German and Japanese sites have both recorded decreases for June/July over May/June.    

Did you know?

Nine of the most commonly misspelled internet search terms for Rotorua are rotarua, rotoroa, roturua, roturoa, roterua, rutorua, rotaroa, ruturua and retorua. Perhaps it will be better during Maori Language Week.

Three month forecast of tourism demand

The Tourism Industry Monitor (TIM) provides individual tourism businesses with regular, up-to-date information on the performance of the tourism sector, including the outlook for the next three months. The information is designed to help individual businesses understand the current tourism environment, benchmark their performance against the wider market, and plan for the future with greater confidence. Click here to view the latest results. The ongoing success of the TIM will be determined by the willingness of tourism operators to complete the survey each month. Please play your part by bookmarking this link covec.co.nz/TIM and setting a task in your calendar to enter the requested information between the first and fifth of each 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.

Tena koutou - it’s Maori Language Week

This year’s Maori Language Week runs from July 27 to August 3, and Tourism New Zealand is urging all Kiwis to learn more about one of the most unique things about living in New Zealand – our Maori culture and language. TNZ Chief Executive George Hickton says he would like to see all tourism operators using Kia Ora to greet people. “It really does have an impact on visitors, and the more consistent we are, the more the visitors will appreciate the uniqueness this language brings to our country.” The DRTM team totally agree and have a dedicated Maori language area on our website including audio (we recorded for last year’s Maori Language Week) to help visitors and Kiwis to learn the correct pronunciation of at least a few basic Maori words. Click here to listen and learn.

Escapee is a bit late

Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park hatched the first chick of the season, 271 gram Pūrere, on July 20. According to Toni Thompson, the park’s sponsorship and promotions person, it’s actually more accurate to say the tiny chick, the offspring of the springs’ captive breeding pair Tahi and Braken, is a very late arrival from the 2008/09 season. The chick’s Maori name means ‘escape’ and was named by Escape Rentals, who is sponsoring two kiwi chicks this season. The next chick, the first ‘official’ chick of the 2009/10 season, is expected in about 30 days.

Future BMX Olympians?

Off Road NZ owner Carol and Ian Tew’s love of sport and adventure has obviously rubbed off on their boys, Matthew and Gregory. The pair was among 17 riders from Rotorua who are part of the New Zealand BMX team who travelled to Adelaide, South Australia, last week to complete in the UCI BMX World Championships, July 20-26. Matthew competed in the 14 years boys’ category while Gregory competed in the 12 years boys’ category. Ian said both the boys were buzzing to get through all three of their qualifying rounds (they needed to place fourth or better) to go forward to the eights but didn’t get through to the quarter finals. The event attracted 2000 riders from all over the world.

Hobbiton rebuild prepares for movie shoot

Work is under way on a famous Matamata farm rebuilding the magical village of Hobbiton that Peter Jackson created for his Lord of the Rings trilogy. Wellington’s Dominion Post reports that fruit trees have been planted, hedgerows trimmed, the country lane reformed and building sites prepared for more hobbit homes in preparation for the filming of two prequel movies next March. Red Carpet Tours owner Vic James told the Dom Post that work had begun a few weeks ago, but his tours were still operating because the project is not being kept secret.

Guest security part of upgrade

A contact-less room ‘key’ operated by a radio frequency now in place at the Heritage Rotorua offers leading-edge technology security to guests. The hotel’s metal keys have been replaced with an electronic system that is an advance on magnetic strip style locking. Hotel GM Marcus Keenan says “The new Kaba Electronic Locking System will help Heritage Rotorua future-proof locking capabilities with technology. Overseas this system even allows the hotel to send unique locking codes to guests’ mobile phones for them to access their rooms.” Replacing window joinery and ranch sliders in all rooms with balconies with new aluminium joinery and ranch-sliders not only supports the security upgrade but also reduces external noise and increases heating efficiency with thicker (tinted) glass and more effective seals. The hotel recently completed a major upgrade of its Tower wing including soft furnishings, new bedding and a bathroom upgrade.

Take tea with forest fanatic

We reported in last month’s newsletter that Dr David Bellamy would be in Rotorua in September as part of the Whirinaki Forest Park’s 25th anniversary celebrations. As part of his visit to the Rotorua region, the world-renowned botanist and television presenter will also visit Rainbow Springs. Marketing Co-ordinator Shelley Burnett says they’re “very excited” that Dr Bellamy will be with them for four hours on September 3. One lucky local family will also get a chance to have a guided tour of Rainbow Springs and morning tea with the great man. The family is being chosen via Rainbow Springs Locals Card competition being run throughout July and August.

Train excursions

hanks to the Railway Enthusiasts’ Society, Rotorua will play host to passengers from two planned railway excursions in October. The first train (with up to seven carriages) will travel from Auckland to Te Puke on October 3. Passengers will be transferred to a coach for a 3-hour stopover in Rotorua before continuing to the Kinleith railhead to re-board the train for the return journey to Auckland. On October 17, a second outing will bring people from Hamilton to the Kawerau railhead, where they will transferred by coach for for a 3-hour stopover in Rotorua before continuing on to Kinleith railhead to re-board the train for the return journey to Hamilton. Interested? Contact Aaron Ripley of the Railway Enthusiasts’ Society office 0800 472 453 or 0274-901-216.

Hotel becomes a film ‘extra’

There was a bit of disruption in the centre of Rotorua for a few days earlier this month to accommodate filming for a television show, Spies and Lies. A 90-minute tele-feature due to screen on TV1 next year, the programme is based on the true story of conman Syd Ross. According to producer/director Simon Bennett, Spies and Lies is a ripping yarn based on a true story of conspiracy, incompetence and an extraordinary hoax that challenged the highest levels of New Zealand government in 1942.  It is based on the book ‘The Plot to Subvert Wartime New Zealand’ by Hugh Price. Brett Marvelly, owner of the Prince’s Gate Hotel, said they jumped at the chance for their historic hotel to be used as one of locations for the film.

Poetic justice wins out

Shannyn Gourley was named the winner of Tourism New Zealand’s ‘Thanks a Million Oz!’ competition last week. By using just 23 words in a creative way Shannyn, from Victoria, won a millionaire’s holiday to New Zealand with herself and her Kiwi partner. Launched in May, the competition was TNZ’s “thank you” to our trans-Tasman neighbours after New Zealand welcomed one million Australian visitors within a twelve month period for the first time. To enter, participants had only 25 words or less to describe New Zealand. The winning words were: “Spirits depleted, Boredom Chronic. New Zealand adventure, perfect tonic! Mixing one part adrenaline, scenery for good measure, stir in adventure, pour out PLEASURE!” TNZ Chief Executive George Hickton, said they chose Shannyn’s entry because of its creativity and originality. The prize includes accommodation in some of New Zealand’s top luxury lodges, including the Boatshed (Waiheke Island), Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Experience (Rotorua), Wharekauhau Country Estate (Martinborough) and Remarkables Lodge (Queenstown). Return business class flights are being provided by Air New Zealand. Shannyn reckons she hasn’t been able to wipe the smile off her face since learning of her win. “I am absolutely thrilled to have won, it’s a dream come true! I have been to New Zealand once . . . but I’ve never been to the North Island so I am very much looking forward to this,” she said.

Saving face a national trait

The Japanese are the world’s best tourists. That’s according to the second annual global Best Tourist Survey, conducted by online travel company Expedia. The Japanese are not only the quietest and most polite but also the cleanest and least likely to complain. British tourists came in second place overall followed by Canadians. The French were considered the worst tourists of the 27 nationalities surveyed. The survey results showed although New Zealanders were the sixth most ‘stingy’ tourists, they rated 14th best overall due to their politeness and lack of complaints.

Work permit changes will help address skill shortage

New Zealand’s tourism and hospitality sectors welcomed an announcement earlier this month that officialdom will take a more streamlined approach to processing applications for renewal of temporary work permits. Immigration New Zealand and Work and Income have agreed on a more effective process to assist employers and employees when applying for a further temporary work permit. It sets out a step-by-step guide that begins three months before the applicant’s permit expires. Employers will work closely with Work and Income throughout the application process to ensure priority is given to suitably qualified and experienced New Zealanders. Immigration New Zealand has committed to advise the applicant whether their temporary work permit application will be approved or declined at least 30 days before their current permit expires. This will give them and their employer more certainty in advance of the permit expiring. “Many New Zealand tourism jobs require a unique skill set and it can be difficult to fill vacancies after work permits expire,” said Tourism Industry Association New Zealand Chief Executive Tim Cossar. “This can create real pressure for some employers.” He went on to say all parties had worked hard to reach agreement on the process and he’s confident that the changes will make a huge difference for both employers and employees. “We need people with the right skills and attitude to maintain New Zealand’s reputation as a world class destination.”

Reduced dining hours during winter

The Cableway Restaurant and Bar at Skyline Skyrides is currently closed to casual diners on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday nights unless there is a pre-booked function or group reservation.

Surf's Up in Gisborne

The 2009 ITOC Conference will be held at Gisborne’s Emerald Hotel, August 11-12. Organisers say 2008 was the biggest ITOC conference ever so they are keeping a similar format that blends business sessions with an opportunity to network.  Many of Tourism New Zealand’s overseas based regional managers will be present to give delegates firsthand impressions of what’s hot and what’s not across the markets. Registrations must be completed by 5pm, Friday, July 31.
Click here. Rotorua’s Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park is one of eight nominees in line for the prestigious ITOC Operator of the Year Award. Good luck!  

Annual Skal Congress

The Queenstown Skal International club are hosting this year’s National Assembly, AGM and tourism forum on September 18 and 19. The organising committee say due to the current economic climate, they have made the event as cost-effective as possible. The programme is shorter than usual, however additional options are available for those wishing to stay on and spend the whole weekend in Queenstown. Click here to register.


An e-tourism conference is being held at Wellington’s Te Papa, October 1-2.
Register at etourismnz.com before August 25 and save $100.

More praise for Treetops

Treetops Lodge & Wilderness Experience has been ranked 10th in the Top 10 Lodges and Resorts in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific category of the annual Travel + Leisure magazine’s World’s Best Awards. Two New Zealand lodges that ranked 1st and 2nd respectively in the Australia, New Zealand and South Pacific category also made the global top 100 - The Lodge at Kauri Cliffs (No.17) and The Farm at Cape Kidnappers (No. 21).

Local trekking company an inspiration

Te Urewera Treks has gained a special recommendation in Rough Guides’ new book, Clean Breaks: 500 New Ways to See the World. Te Urewera Treks director Joe Doherty says it’s “absolutely brilliant” to be among the handful of companies to qualify for a special recommendation that highlights Te Urewera Treks as one of the authors’ favourites. Joe said “It was fantastic to be selected for the Clean Breaks guide book in the first place. To be one of the few to get a special recommendation is absolutely brilliant, as this guide book is going to be sold around the world, to people with a sustainable travel philosophy – exactly the kind of visitor we want to attract.” Te Urewera Treks offers one to three-day guided walks for small groups in the indigenous rainforests of Te Urewera and Whirinaki. The remote bush camp offers eco-travellers the opportunity to plant trees to offset their carbon miles and contribute to a local community forest restoration project. Operating since late 2007, Joe and Joanne Doherty have built a reputation for high quality experiences using knowledgeable and experienced local Maori guides. Treks give visitors an insight into contemporary Maori life in a remote community, and the opportunity to make a real and positive contribution. Clean Breaks highlights 500 fantastic places across the globe that will inspire people to see the world in a new light, selecting unusual holidays and alternative ways to travel which make a real difference to the lives of local people and the planet.

Innovation award

Well done to Waiteti Trout Stream Holiday Park. The park was awarded a Highly Commended certificate in the innovation category of the annual AA Spirit of Hospitality Awards. Their win was for a solar water heating and storage system we reported on in our October 2008 newsletter.

Cafés deserve wins in annual awards

Capers in Eruera Street were named Rotorua’s top café of 2009 in the annual Café magazine New Zealand Best Café Awards. Chief judge Michael Guy said Capers was “incredibly consistent” in all areas of product and service. Runner-up Third Place Café in Lake Road was praised for its excellent food and “exemplary service – the best in Rotorua.”

Use a guide and get more from visit

Ohinemutu Village Tours are to launch a guided tour option as of Saturday, August 1. Tours will leave on the hour between 9am and 5pm and are priced at $30 per adult. Unguided access (casual visitors and coach tour passengers) is still be available by gold coin donation.  An onsite infomation kiosk will operate. Alternatively contact Shaloh Mitchell on 021 337 708. 

Spreading wings

Geyser Link Shuttle offer half and full day single and combo options to Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Paradise Valley Springs, which can be a transport only option or include park entry. Ralph Davies, of Head First Travel who operates Geyser Link Shuttles, Waitomo Wanderer, East As and Bottom Bus, tells us they are in the process of developing an opportunity to visit the Wingspan Birds of Prey Trust property. Situated in Paradise Valley, the attraction features birds of prey including the rare NZ Falcon.

And baby makes three

The Rotorua Museum’s Marketing Manager, Catherine Donovan, and her husband, Adam Marshment, became first-time parents on July 13. Weighing in at 2.3kg (5lbs), little Novak wasn’t due until the end of August. Catherine says, “Although he jumped the gun by six weeks, he’s doing well.”   

Absorbed by US role

Jane Roberts, formerly the Sales and Marketing representative for ZORB Rotorua was seconded to ZORB Smoky Mountains site in the US. Her bosses say she is doing a great job up there and is super busy. Any Rotorua sales queries are being handled by Andy Havill, , ZORB’s Auckland-based Sales and Marketing Manager.

Tim’s back

Tim Stringer used to own and run the Spa Hotel backpackers in Amohau Street some years back. For the past three years he’s been driving for Sonia and Colin Bunn of Taylor’s Tours but as of July 1 Tim became the owner of the renamed Tim’s Taylor Tours following the Bunns’ move to New Plymouth.

Restructuring at Te Puia

Following a restructure of the senior management team at Te Puia two positions were dis-established – the Sales and Marketing Manager formerly held by Kelly Stewart and Manager Operations and Projects position formerly held by Iris Kirimaoa. Te Puia’s CEO Te Taru White says the work load from these two roles has been re-distributed amongst remaining senior managers including him. The Sales and Marketing staff, Serene Leong (Sales Manager Asia), Patrick Tamati (Sales Manager Western Markets/Korea), Jun Takemoto (Sales Manager Japan) and Polly Gotz (Sales and Marketing Co-ordinator), are reporting directly to Te Taru in the interim. He says he’s happy to field calls directly should there be any matters of concern during the transition process. Following her “amazing two-year journey at Te Puia” Kelly is now available for tourism consultancy work. Contact her on 021 357 242 or email .  

Create, illuminate, celebrate

After eight successful years, Rotorua-based Event Impressions expanded into full national operations with the opening of their office and warehouse in Christchurch in early July. Heading up the new office and warehouse in central Christchurch as South Island Manager is Lee Watkins. Lee was formerly Sales and Marketing Manager for Novotel and Ibis Tainui, Hamilton. Isobel Murray has joined Event Impressions in Rotorua as an event specialist responsible for key accounts. Isobel has been part of the conventions and incentives industry for the past 15 years working for Sheraton, Accor and Skyline Skyrides. The company has also released a fresh new brand. Director Jacqui Smith says eight years on they have developed a large talented team with lighting and creative décor skills, and a host of creative concepts to choose from. “It was time our brand moved with us to reflect our energy and creativity and we think our new tagline, Create, Illuminate, Celebrate, better describes the experience we encompass for our clients.”

Window of opportunity

Buildings with single glazed windows lose up to 40% of heating and cooling energy. Retrofitting existing buildings with double glazing has been a labour intensive task in the past, but thanks to Magnetite is now a simple process with minimal downtime. Magnetite is a small unobtrusive frame that attaches magnetically to the inside perimeter of existing windows, doors, skylights and glass areas. Because Magnetite does not require any changes to the original window it is a perfect solution for heritage listed buildings. A number of hotels, hospitals, schools, offices, universities and heritage listed buildings throughout Australasia are already enjoying up to 60% reduction in heating and cooling costs thanks to Magnetite. Check out magnetite.co.nz to learn how Magnetite could lower your energy costs. 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.

Conservation, Energy and Environmental Sustainability centre

Waiariki Institute of Technology has announced that it is to establish a National Centre of Excellence for Conservation, Energy and Environmental Sustainability targeting technical vocational education and training. A media release dated July 6 stated that the Waiariki region has enormous potential in utilisation of geothermal energy, our rich cultural heritage and vibrant tourism industry as well as water, agriculture and forestry resources. It went on to say there was an increasing and unsatisfied demand for technical vocational education and training to enable productive application of new technologies and sustainable practices to support these primary and secondary industries in the region. The National Centre of Excellence, driven from Waiariki’s Mokoia, Waipa and Taupo campuses, will serve the growing need for technicians and support staff for planned sustainable developments in conservation, energy and environmental sustainability.

NZ Breakers vs American College Team

Wednesday August 12, 2009
The NZ Breakers basketball team will be in Rotorua for a game against an American college team, Athletes in Action, at the Energy Events Centre. The Breakers are coming off their most successful season yet in the Australian National Basketball League competition, after leading the table for most of the competition.

Tough Guy and Gal Challenge

Saturday August 15, 2009
Get down and dirty while you tackle the course that includes water trails, a spider’s web net climb, mud slide, crawling under barbed wire, native bush trails, swamp crossings and more mud. The event is open to male and female competitors aged 14 years and older. The full course is 12km; however a social 6km option is also available.

BOP Steamers vs Wellington

Saturday August 15, 2009
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. They will play Wellington at the International Stadium at 7.30pm.

Rotorua Wearable Creations 'n Colour Awards 2009

Thursday August 20, 2009 - Friday August 21, 2009
A charitable wearable arts-style fashion show, the Rotorua Wearable Creations 'n Colour Awards showcase the talent within the Bay of Plenty region. Now in its fifth year, the event has become one of ‘the’ occasions on the Rotorua events calendar. Matinee and gala dinner show options.

International Netball

Wednesday August 26, 2009
The Silver Ferns will take on a world invitation team in the New World International Netball Series at the Energy Events Centre. Comprising predominantly Jamaican, English and Australian players, the invitation team is likely to mount a serious challenge against the Silver Ferns.

Rotorua Kennel Association Championship Dog Shows

Saturday August 29, 2009 - Sunday August 30, 2009
Hundreds of dogs showcasing some 100 different breeds will be exhibited at the International Stadium between 9am and 3pm during the show. There will be stalls featuring canine paraphernalia plus the discuss options with the country’s top breeders.

N-Duro Winter Mountain Bike Series: Race 3

Sunday August 30, 2009
The third and final race of the N-Duro Winter Duathlon Series. Race over challenging terrain on a one lap course of the Whakarewarewa Forest trail network. Two distances, 25km and 45km, cater for recreational and elite riders.

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

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