December 2, 2009

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

Promoting trans-Tasman flights

The joint Air New Zealand/DRTM consumer campaign to promote direct trans-Tasman services in Australia was launched in early November.
Don Gunn and David Whorwood met with Air New Zealand and its Sydney advertising agency to discuss progress and were left in no doubt that the campaign had seen early success, with strong uptake through to mid-January 2010.
Don and David also met with TNZ in Sydney to discuss the next phase of the DRTM trans-Tasman strategy and to identify opportunities to augment the campaign through positioning with TNZ in early 2010.
"While there is potential for the campaign to gain added momentum by aligning with segments of TNZ's activity next year, involvement will largely depend on budget,” David says.
“However it is always encouraging to have TNZ's support and assistance.”

Showcasing Rotorua in Sydney

With the inaugural flight less than two weeks away, 18 Rotorua conference and incentive operators visited Sydney to showcase some of the region’s corporate offerings. More than 90 people attended the event, which was held at the IMAX Theatre in Darling Harbour on November 10.
The professional conference organisers, corporate and association decision makers and media personnel who attended were treated to a mini expo and given the chance to meet operators and discuss future business opportunities. DRTM general manager Don Gunn was the MC and Air New Zealand gave a presentation. The highlight of the evening was a presentation by renowned Rotorua chef Charles Royal, who spoke about the Maori herbs and spices before guests were invited to sample them.
The event also included a powerful performance by Mere Tokorahi Boynton, and ended with the draw of four prizes of return trips for two to Rotorua, including accommodation and activities.
The appointment of Debbie Wootton as Rotorua’s Sydney representative endorsed the region’s commitment to the Australian market.

Thank you for your support

There have been more than 1800 visits to our Air NZ Fare finder, for booking direct flights to Rotorua, since October 1. Thank you to all those operators who have put a web button on their website’s homepage. If you haven't got yours yet, visit

Website widget

Uptake of our two website widgets promoting Rotorua has been steady since their launch in February, with an almost 100 percent increase in page views from them since July. There have been almost 1000 views per month across the 80-plus websites they are on so far. Start promoting Rotorua as a destination and choose one for your website today.

Social media

It's great to see so many of you taking advantage of the power of social media to reach and interact with new and potential customers. Make sure you are following us (@rotoruaNZ) on Twitter so we can re-tweet your important news, and be sure to follow like-minded Rotorua operators from our Twitter list.
Operators can also become fans of Rotorua on Facebook and share their news on our Facebook wall. We now have more than 1900 fans of Rotorua.


We had two visits from a user in the US Virgin Islands who spent an average of 32 minutes and looked at 27.5 pages during each visit.

Air show celebrates trans-Tasman flight launch

A 'Let’s GO Rotorua! lakefront air show’ will be held on December 12 at the Rotorua city lakefront to celebrate the start of trans-Tasman air services.
The two-hour series of air displays, put on by the Rotorua District Council, will lead up to the 2.35pm arrival of Air New Zealand flight NZ978 from Sydney.
Rotorua residents are invited to bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a programme of free entertainment in a family friendly carnival atmosphere.
The full programme for the air show will be announced over the next few weeks but there will be at least 12 separate aerial displays and a range of fun ground activities.

KiaOraMai launch

A mayoral cocktail party will be held on December 9 to launch the KiaOraMai Essential Service Skills employee training programme.
Guest speakers will include Rotorua mayor Kevin Winters, local historian Don Stafford and Keith Iken of Maori in Tourism.
KiaOraMai aims to set New Zealand tourism up for the 2011 Rugby World Cup. It is designed for entry-level employees working in service industries, including hospitality, accommodation, travel, tourism and retail.
The Rotorua launch will run from 4.30-6.30pm in the Atrium at the Civic Centre. Anyone wishing to attend should register with the Rotorua Chamber of Commerce by December 7. Phone (07) 349-8365 or email

Visitor arrivals on the up

The Australian market is buoying visitor numbers to New Zealand as the industry starts to see some signs of recovery.
Figures released today by Statistics New Zealand show visitor arrivals have grown for a second consecutive month. Arrivals were up 7.7 per cent for the month of October; almost 13,500 more visitors than in October 2008.
“Australia continues to be the foundation of growth in visitor numbers, with the increase of 22.2 per cent in October continuing a year of record growth for this market,” Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said.
“Buoyed by consistent marketing, good value airfares, a strong Australian dollar and high consumer confidence, arrivals from Australia are up 9.7 per cent for the year to the end of October.” 

Top rating for Okareka

Lake Okareka Lodge was awarded a Qualmark exclusive rating on November 16.
An exclusive rating is the highest category Qualmark offers. Only nine accommodation properties in New Zealand currently have this accolade.
 Diana Moore, country manager for, owners and operators of Lake Okareka Lodge, is thrilled the lodge’s facilities, guest service, operations and sustainable tourism practices had culminated in Qualmark granting the lodge its top grading status.
“Qualmark undertakes a comprehensive and rigorous assessment of properties and use of their official exclusive brand is granted to a select few that reach the absolute highest possible standards.
“Our guests have an expectation that they will experience some of the world’s best service, dining experiences and facilities, and that is what we work hard to provide for them every day."

Top carver’s work recognised

Rotorua master carver Lyonel Grant has been named an Arts Foundation laureate this month.  The honour comes with a $50,000 award.
Lyonel, a graduate of the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute, works with stone, wood, bronze and various other materials. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Unitec this year and has been invited to contribute to the 2010 World Expo in Shanghai.
Laureates are selected by a panel of their peers.

Adventure and sightseeing tours

Stroos Tours is the newest tour company to hit town. It offers Rotorua day tours that cover a range of activities, such as luging, rafting and scenic walks. The company also offers longer tours that venture to other North Island destinations including Waitomo, Tongariro National Park and Coromandel. For more information visit

Events manager now at Rainbow

Rainbow Springs Kiwi Wildlife Park has appointed Kat Hicks as events manager, a newly created position.
Kat was previously in Auckland, where she was an events co-ordinator with THE EDGE Performing Arts and Convention Centre. Her past experience also includes working as events manager for TVNZ.

New management for lodge

Koura Lodge begins its fifth summer with two new live-in managers.
Tom Hartley and Louise Harley are fresh from the UK and have 15 years’ combined hospitality experience. They have worked in boutique and luxury accommodation all over Europe including France, Spain, Italy and Croatia.
Tom holds a Bachelor of Science in International Tourism Management and Louise a Bachelor of Arts in Tourism Management.  They both speak French and Spanish and understand German. With more than 90 percent of Koura Lodge’s guests originating from Europe and North America, Tom and Louise are more than qualified.
David and Gina Wells are delighted to welcome Tom and Louise to the Koura Lodge team.

Ruth back on scene

Ruth Crampton, former assistant general manager with DRTM, is now working part-time at Rotorua Airport. Ruth says her one regret upon leaving DRTM was that she would not be involved in the inaugural trans-Tasman services, so she is delighted that is no longer the case.
Following a chance meeting with Air NZ's Rotorua Airport Manager recently, Ruth has been appointed a part-time customer services agent at the airport, focusing on the new trans-Tasman services. The role involves meeting and greeting people off the flights and handling any passenger inquiries.
“I felt my strong knowledge of the tourism industry could be useful for any visitors needing some information,” she says.
Ruth will undergo training before beginning her new role in time for the first flight on December 12.

New marketing and sales rep at Zorb

ZORB Rotorua is happy to announce the recent appointment of Kylie Gunn (no relation to Don) to the management team. Kylie is ZORB Rotorua's new sales and marketing representative. She is a Rotorua local, having lived in the region for the past 18 years. Following a stint travelling overseas, Kylie completed a degree in marketing and commercial law at Victoria University.
She is excited to be back in Rotorua and is looking forward to getting involved in the community.
Kylie started at ZORB Rotorua on November 16.

Duxton gets new sales director

Catharine Power has been appointed as director of sales at Duxton Hotel Rotorua and Auckland.  Catharine comes from a strong hotel sales background with more than 20 years’ experience in the inbound tourism, corporate and conference markets.  She is looking forward to working closely with the inbound tour operators.

Local woman joins MITR

Maori in Tourism Rotorua (MITR) has appointed Zella Morrison-Briars as its tourism support services manager. She will be responsible for broadening engagement and understanding of Maori tourism offerings in Rotorua and across the central North Island.
Born and educated in Rotorua, Zella has experience as a tour guide, inbound tourism operator and tourism tutor. She was most recently the community relations manager at Auckland International Airport.

Optimise your Qualmark Green score

The Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter is the perfect tool for optimising your Qualmark Green score. Charter members have the opportunity to have the Charter sustainability assessor perform a Qualmark Green pre-assessment on their business. 

The pre-assessment comprises a one-hour site visit, provision of a short report matching actions undertaken at the business with the Qualmark Green criteria, an estimate of the Enviro rating the business would likely be awarded given the status quo, and recommendations of the sustainability actions required to achieve a higher Enviro rating. 

The Qualmark Green pre-assessment is only available to charter members. It is subsidised by the Ministry of Tourism and costs charter members just $54 plus GST. 

For charter members to optimise their Qualmark Green score it is recommended the pre-assessment is undertaken at least 3-4 months ahead of the Qualmark assessment, to allow time to implement recommended sustainability actions.

To learn more about joining the Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter please contact Gina George by email or phone (07) 349 7289.

Carols by Candlelight

December 18
Carols by Candlelight will be on from 7pm in Kuirau Park. It will be an enjoyable celebration of Christmas for families and children. Song sheets will be published in the Rotorua Review on December 15. Candles and holders will be available at the venue for a gold coin donation, or you can bring your own.  Food and drink will be available. Local entertainers will lead the carol singing, and candles will be lit at 8.50pm.

Rotorua Half Ironman

December 19
New Zealand's best half ironman awaits you. Where to begin? The Blue Lake is without question the number one swim venue for any triathlon over any distance in the country, especially prior to Christmas.

Rerewhakaaitu Rodeo

December 26
This is a great day out for all the family. Witness the ultimate battle between man and beat with rank wild horses and the finest bucking bulls the North Island has to offer. Enjoy the speed and agility of talented cowgirls and their highly trained quarter horses, the accuracy of cowboy with his lariat and the unforgettable determination of local youth riders.
The event is on from 9am-3.30pm at the Rerewhakaaitu Domain, Ashpit Rd.

Rotorua Rock the Lake

December 31
A lakefront family concert to celebrate the New Year. There will be plenty of live music, food and fireworks for a great night out.


January 23
The hit reggae concert is in Rotorua for the third consecutive year. Featuring an all-star line-up that includes ex-Fugees front man Wyclef Jean, Julian Marley (Bob’s son), Shaggy, Sean Kingston and Katchafire the concert comprises 10 hours of funk, dub, hip-hop, soul and reggae. The concert will be at the Rotorua International Stadium.


For more information on these and other events, go to

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Justine Southwick
Media Advisor
Destination Rotorua Marketing
Private Bag 3007, Rotorua
Phone +64 7 349 7286
Fax +64 7 349 4133