December 22, 2009

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

Rotorua to host five teams for RWC

Rotorua has been selected as a host venue for five teams during the Rugby World Cup 2011.
The region will host Fiji, Ireland, Namibia, Samoa and a yet-to-be-announced European team. Fiji and the European team will stay two nights each (September 9 and 10 and September 24 and 25 respectively), with Ireland here four nights (September 22-25), Namibia staying seven nights (September 8-14) and Samoa staying six (September 11-16). Training venues will be Rotorua Boys High School and Smallbone Cricket Oval.
DRTM general manager Don Gunn is delighted.
"The benefits of hosting these teams will be huge for Rotorua, and will be all encompassing for tourism, hospitality and retail. During the 2005 Lions tour Rotorua successfully hosted the welcome and opening match, proving it has the necessary infrastructure to cope with large numbers of visitors.
"Visitor numbers during the Rugby World Cup will be huge, and we're looking forward to showcasing Rotorua's extensive range of attractions and activities to the world," Don says.
"Giving these teams a memorable experience will see continuing benefits for Rotorua in the years after the Rugby World Cup."

New trans-Tasman flights

The famils hosted by DRTM as part of the trans-Tasman flight launch were highly successful, with our team receiving excellent feedback.
Comments from trade famils included:

“The trip was great and so well organised, thanks to everyone who had a part in it. Will be able to sell Rotorua to anyone.”

“Overall amazing experience and definitely educational to Rotorua as a destination. I can now sell the destination much more confidently.

“All the tour guides and shows were amazing and the itinerary was put together really well to ensure we made the most of Rotorua. I learnt so much and have so many experiences to pass on to clients.”

The four journalists who also participated in famils were also impressed with Rotorua and really enjoyed their time here. We look forward to some great results from the weekend.

Own business beckons

Justine Southwick is leaving DRTM early next year after three years as media advisor. She will be returning to journalism, to further develop her freelance writing/editing business. Justine says she has highly enjoyed her time with DRTM and will miss the team. Her last day is January 8.
A replacement has not yet been announced.

Office hours over Christmas

DRTM will be closed from 12pm December 24 till 8am December 5. We wish everyone a happy holiday season and look forward to seeing you all in the new year.

Click here to view our Christmas videos here

Visitor numbers up

Our percentage of new visits is 73.06 percent, up 8.68 percent from 2008. The website is becoming better known, with direct traffic up 138.48 percent over 2008.

Looking back over 2009

The April 1 Hugh Hefner campaign saw the most visits to our website in one day (4316) since we started Google Analytics web tracking in June 2007. We've had more than 3.2 million page views from more than 400,000 unique visitors in 2009, compared with 2.5 million page views from 225,000 unique visitors in 2008.

Birds keeping busy at Wingspan

Almost all the female moreporks and falcons at Wingspan have laid eggs. One falcon pair successfully reared two female chicks and these have since been released into the wild, as have three falcon chicks raised by Wingspan staff after their parents abandoned them.

New look travel site launched

Travellers to New Zealand can now plan and book their holiday more easily with the re-launch of travel website
The new-look website features a range of helpful tools including an easy-to-use trip planner that allows visitors to browse and book their accommodation, activity and transport choices online.
Users can read other visitors’ feedback on regions and products, view images and videos from around New Zealand and add videos and feedback from their own NZ adventures. The Four Corners site has been operating since 2005 and has proven to be one of New Zealand’s leading travel websites. Future planned additions to the site include a specialised booking section for visitors who have completed their holiday plans and want to book accommodation or activities online.

Okareka named best country house

Rotorua’s Lake Okareka Lodge has been named the world’s best Luxury Country House in the 2009 World Luxury Hotel Awards.
Diana Moore, country manager for lebua Hotels & Resorts, which owns the lodge, says she and her team are thrilled with the award.
“It’s an exciting independent confirmation of our position amongst the very cream of small luxury properties in the world.
“This international award, and the weekend’s start to direct trans-Tasman air services into our city, will give us new opportunities to market Rotorua and Lake Okareka Lodge to the wealthiest and most discerning of international travellers,” she says.

New Qualmark ratings

Sudima Hotel Lake Rotorua has been awarded a Qualmark Silver Enviro award, while Base Hot Rock has received a three-star plus Backpacker Qualmark rating.

Award for spa store

Congratulations to Polynesian Spa’s Spa Essentials store, which has come second equal in the Shop Rotorua Christmas Window display competition. It was the first time the shop has entered.
The second placing was shared with Finns Fashions.

Number Eight moves into town

Rural experience and team building provider Number Eight Farm Tours is expanding into the Rotorua tourism and corporate market. Directors Andy and Sarah Somerville will work with local farmers Tony and Jo Carr to offer a range of tours. Visitors can choose from a dawn 4WD tour, during which they can see the sun rise over Mt Tarawera, a 4WD tour around the farm and a mountain bike ride down the Omania Trail. This intermediate track is ideal for backpackers and families.  Tony and Jo’s Omania Farm has panoramic views of Rotorua and Mt Tarawera and more than 6km of winding farm tracks. The Number Eight Finishing School is ideal for corporate team building and conferences.

Cruise and Fish Lake Tarawera

John Hamill of Hamill Guiding is now offering cruising and fishing tours on Lake Tarawera. His launch, Elusive, can comfortably accommodate six to eight people and is based at Solitaire Lodge. Visitors can start their charter at the lodge or from their favourite jetty.  Elusive has a full complement of fishing gear as well as barbecue, entertainment and toilet facilities.

New assistant manager at Treetops  

Kris Shepherd started at Treetops Lodge and Wilderness Experience last month. She has extensive hospitality experience and spent the past five years with Poronui New Zealand. Kris replaces Lisa Ross as assistant manager. The Treetops team is delighted to have her on board.

Clearwater changes hands

Ian and Tangi Vautier have taken over Clearwater Cruises from Paul and Nicky Connell this month. Ian’s background is in aircraft engineering, with Tangi’s in nursing and teaching. She was born in Rotorua and is thrilled to be returning to her roots. Ian and Tangi say they are excited about the opportunity to work in such a special place and look forward to embarking on this new adventure.

Thoroughbred horse racing

January 8
Enjoy a day at the races, with eight races on the cards to watch. The day will feature free children’s entertainment as well as horse racing. There will be cafes on site or people can bring their own picnic.


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.


January 31
Bluesfeast is an annual celebration of blues music, gourmet foods, fine wines and boutique beers. This year there will be an exciting line-up of local, national and international blues acts. There will also be a fine selection of food, wine and beers on offer from some of the region's best restaurants, wineries and breweries. Gates open at 1pm. Tickets are $20 if pre-booked or $25 at the gate.

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