Please distribute to all staff

March 22, 2011

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

The last few months have certainly been a rollercoaster ride for the tourism industry, both here in Rotorua and New Zealand. There were positive indications of growth from key markets such as China, Japan and Korea. Other markets were tracking to expectations, and generally things were on the up. Then came the tragic Christchurch earthquake, followed several weeks later by the catastrophe in Japan, a disaster of epic proportions.

There have certainly been short term effects from the Christchurch situation, with significant cancellations or postponements of group and FIT travel for the month of March. There are mixed messages about April, with some businesses reporting that bookings, particularly from China and Korea, have resumed. Clearly the Japanese market will be severely affected for some time to come, and we can only hope and pray that the situation there does not escalate into a wider nuclear disaster.

I would like to thank industry members who offered their support to Christchurch people wanting a break. Through our i-SITE, we were able to offer a range of accommodation, attractions and activities to Christchurch residents. The uptake seemed to be predominantly in the area of activities and attractions, as many people had sourced accommodation through their own means or through the generous offers from our Rotorua Association of Motels and Rotary Clubs.

We have been very busy here at DRTM over the past couple of months, and apologies that this newsletter is well over due. We have had some key staff disruptions, with David Whorwood, our Marketing Manager, on jury service for a month and now, as previously communicated, David has resigned to pursue other interests. Jane Hope, our Media Advisor, has been on extended leave but will soon be back with us on a full-time basis - she is currently working part-time.

Key areas that we have been focusing on are:

  • working with the newly established Rotorua Tourism Committee on the development of a three-year strategic plan and business plan for 2011/12. This has been a stimulating process as it has encouraged us to relook at our priorities and market focus, and we look forward to sharing this with you and seeking your feedback in the very near future.
  • development and launch of a comprehensive online joint venture (JV) campaign with Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) in the Australian market - predominantly targeting Sydney.
  • working with the Central Park collective to launch a winter/ski-focused online JV campaign with TNZ in the Australian market - once again predominantly targeting Sydney.
  • working with TNZ on a JV North Island ski-focused campaign.

We will be scheduling an industry meeting within the next few weeks to share these campaigns with you and opportunities for participation.

We have been exploring opportunities for a major Auckland-based initiative around RWC 2011 targeting the huge volume of "uncommitted" travellers that will be in Auckland over this period and beyond.

We are preparing the winter edition of In Essence and are looking to review the format and production of this. However, please send us your latest news and product updates for potential inclusion in this. Remember it is free to be included and is distributed to a wide range of international travel wholesalers, inbound tour operators and i-SITEs throughout the country.

As many of you will be aware, the very important Conventions Incentives New Zealand trade show "Meetings" will now be held in Rotorua instead of Christchurch - obviously we feel for our Christchurch colleagues and thank them for their support for Meetings to come to Rotorua. Denise and her team have been working very hard to pull this together in a very short time frame, and we are confident that Rotorua will deliver a fantastic event.

Finally, congratulations to Adam Hughes, Team Leader from our i-SITE, who has just been appointed to the role of Trade Development Co-ordinator for Tourism New Zealand's Australia team. Great to have that Rotorua experience in this important market.

Please continue reading to get more detailed updates from the DRTM team.


Don Gunn
General Manager

In This Issue

International Update

2011 has seen a high number of famil/educational traffic through Rotorua, giving the region strong exposure to key wholesale and retail agents.

In the past two months, DRTM has co-coordinated and hosted in excess of 60 travel agents from the East Coast of Australia, China and the USA from multiple wholesalers, tour operators and retail chains.

These familiarisations continue to remain the key marketing tool for getting the Rotorua message distributed amongst the travel distribution chain. Below is some post famil feedback to the question, ‘Has your perception of Rotorua changed as a result of your visit':

“Now that I've seen it, I'm selling more of it.”

“Yes definitely, I did not realize there was so much to do there, both for adventure seekers and the older family market.”

“Rotorua has pleasantly surprised me; so much more to it than I ever imagined.”

This coming weekend, DRTM staff members will be at the Sydney Travel Expo where numbers are expected to be 15,000 – 20,000 people. This is an excellent opportunity to be in market, with TNZ activity strong in Australia at the moment. As well as having all information on hand to promote Rotorua, show deals will be available for those who want to book and come immediately.

If you have information that you would like shared or promoted to the Australian travel trade and Auckland-based inbound operator market, please email to Over the next three weeks, DRTM staff will be having meetings with a number of inbound operators and Australian travel trade.

Domestic Update

Rotorua promoted to over 10,000 at Hamilton Expo

The New Zealand Motorhome & Caravan Show in Hamilton was an excellent opportunity to show case Rotorua to the significant Waikato domestic market. More than 10,000 visitors plus a huge contingent of NZMCA members staying at another record rally enjoyed the show with good numbers of families coming through on the weekend.

Well positioned in the Destinations Court area the Rotorua stand generated good interest with discussions ranging from “we love holidaying in Rotorua” to “it's been ages since our last visit, we shouldn't have left it so long!” Along with Rotorua promotion banners, collateral, props, a 42” flat screen and DVD, the prize entry draw to win a family weekend generated over 300 entries.

Domestic e-newsletter

Domestic Autumn e-newsletter is due to go out before the end of the month so please feel free to send any news, developments etc to for inclusion.

Remember this is a database group of over 9,000 with an interest in visiting Rotorua so well worth the time to send in material. Due date for this is 24th March

Mindfood – Rotorua Prize Promotion

The winner of Rotorua's recent prize promotion within Mindfood magazine has now been announced – Leonie and her partner from Auckland are very much looking forward to their visit and it has been some time since they last enjoyed a holiday in Rotorua.

Rotorua What's On Visitor Guide

The autumn edition of the Rotorua visitor guide is due to arrive on shelves next week. There had been some delays due to the printer being located in Christchurch but expected delivery date is now 21st March.

Rotorua Locals Week - VFR Campaign

Our very first ‘Locals Week' campaign was held on the1st – 7th November 2010. The timing was designed to provide a boost during the shoulder season as well as leading up to the Christmas holiday period when VFR is at its peak

With 24 operators partnering DRTM and an effective local advertising campaign in support it was pleasing to see this resulted in the following:

  • Total attraction and activities visits by Rotorua locals increased 10% from November 2009
  • This 10% increase in Nov 2010 is the largest increase in visits by Rotorua locals in the past twelve months

If you would like further information about this or the 2011 campaign please contact

C&I Update

AIME Trade Show

AIME was attended by a selection of NZ operators in conjunction with CINZ (Conventions Incentives New Zealand) under the 100% pure New Zealand banner in Melbourne 15th and 16th February.

Debbie Gee, Australia MICE Business Development Manager and Denise Siviter Rotorua Convention Bureau Manager were present to welcome people to their stand. With a number of hosted buyers the Rotorua Convention Bureau had a good selection of hosted buyer appointments over the two day period.

There was discussions around conference business however it did appear that there were more enquires and discussions around Incentive business. Debbie has spent the past weeks following up on all leads from the show.

For the first time Rotorua Convention Bureau in conjunction with Events and Venues hosted a dinner at the Rock Pool a restaurant well known in Australia for its fine food, service and ambience.

The dinner was attended by key MICE decision makers of which several have just been on a familiarisation to Rotorua the weekend of 12th March.

Australia Familiarisation

From March 12-15, Rotorua welcomed nine fully hosted buyers from Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane to the first famil of the year. The famil was escorted by Debbie Gee, Rotorua Convention Bureau, and Jessie Skeen–Fisher of Air NZ. The guests got to witness first hand what a wonderful destination Rotorua is, and the diversity of facilities and the hospitality Rotorua is well renowned for in the MICE market. A special thanks to the host hotel Novotel and all the other operators who got behind this to ensure once again a successful few days. Here are a few comments from those who attended.

  • What was also really great to see was how the various venues, suppliers and tourism operators worked so well together – it came across as a group of people that would be really easy to work with and helpful in offering ideas and suggestions about the destination and other activities.

  • great to see everything that Rotorua has on offer, from small meetings to big conferences venues as well as activities in the area. When I say “everything” I know I am lying and that there are so many more… but impossible to add to those four very full days!

  • Apart from our clients going to Rotorua, I look forward to bringing my family one day soon. You have showcased Rotorua with an array of activities for all ages. (The big kid in all of us!)

  • I am sure all of us can't wait to come back and bring clients to experience Rotorua. I will be singing it from the rooftops and can confidently talk and sell the destination knowing so much about it now – even if we just scratched the surface. It definitely has something for everyone.

Auckland mini sales blitz 22 -23 March

Over the past few weeks, Melissa Gray has been working with a group of operators to help with updating our domestic database. This has included making appointments in the Auckland corporate market to sell the destination and update those who have not been to Rotorua in some time. Melissa and a team of five head to Auckland March22 -23. A full update in the next newsletter.

MEETINGS 2011 to be held in Rotorua 22 -23 June

Due to the earthquake that shook Christchurch on the 22nd February, MEETINGS has been relocated to Rotorua. It has been a very difficult time for all our friends, families, colleagues and many of those with business based in Christchurch. As thrilled as we are for this premier event, our hearts are still with all and a tribute will be made to our fellow Canterbury colleagues at MEETINGS 2011.
The latest press release:

Rotorua excited by chance to host top business tourism expo

In just over three months Rotorua, the birthplace of tourism in New Zealand, will host the country's premier business tourism expo, MEETINGS 2011, for the first time ever.
“We're so excited,'' says Rotorua Convention Bureau Manager, Denise Siviter. “It's a great opportunity for us to showcase this exciting part of New Zealand to the decision-makers in the business tourism industry and to prove we are the ideal destination for conferences and incentives.''
MEETINGS 2011 was originally due to be held in Christchurch but it has been shifted to Rotorua because of last month's damaging earthquake. The expo will now be held at the Rotorua Energy Events Centre on June 22 and 23.
Conventions and Incentives New Zealand chief executive Alan Trotter says he is delighted Rotorua has agreed to host the expo and is confident they will do a fantastic job.
“This is a great chance for Rotorua to show just how far it has evolved as a business tourism destination. It has superb facilities for conferencing, a fantastic array of accommodation, and many unique attractions and activities so it has loads to offer corporate groups and conference organisers.
“Direct flights between Rotorua and Australia means it is also easily accessible to the Australian and international markets,'' Mr Trotter says.

Visitor Statistics

Commercial Accommodation

(Source: Statistics NZ - Commercial Accommodation Monitor)

Visitor nights spent in Rotorua commercial accommodation for the year ending December 2010 were up 2.6% over December 2009 (versus +0.7% nationally) - domestic visitor nights were down 0.7% (versus +0.5% nationally) and international visitor nights were up 6.5% (versus +1.0% nationally). For the same period, sectors of Rotorua commercial accommodation that had increased growth in visitor nights were hotels (+6.9% versus +5.7% nationally), motels (+1.4% versus -1.7% nationally) and holiday parks (+0.4% versus -1.5% nationally). Rotorua's only sector with decreased growth was backpackers (-6.5% versus -2.2% nationally). View the latest data from the Commercial Accommodation Monitor.

Delayed release - The Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) for period ending January 2011 was due to be released on 10 March. However the CAM is prepared in the Statistics NZ Christchurch office and consequently the earthquake has delayed its release until further notice.

Visiting Friends & Relatives

(Source: APR Consultants - Rotorua Private Homes Monitor)

Visitor nights spent in the private homes of Rotorua residents for the year ending December 2010 were up 0.7% over December 2009. Domestic visitor nights were up 2.7% while international visitor nights were down 4.7%. View the latest Rotorua Private Homes Monitor.

Attraction & Activities

(Source: APR Consultants - Rotorua Attraction & Activities Monitor)

Visits to Rotorua Attraction & Activities Monitor participant businesses for the year ending December 2010 were up 4.9% over December 2009. Domestic visits were down 4.1% while international visits were up 9.3%. The full Rotorua Attractions & Activities Monitor is only available to participant businesses, however summary data is available in the Rotorua Tourism in Focus report

Multi-Day Conventions

(Sources: Covec - Convention Activity Survey; Covec -Convention Delegate Survey)

Rotorua had a 10% market share of multi-day conferences held in New Zealand for the year ending December 2010. Rotorua's 10% market share ranked it fourth after Wellington (26%), Auckland (24%) and Canterbury (16%) and ahead of all resort destinations including Queenstown (8%) and Taupo (6%). The collective expenditure of delegates attending multi-day conferences in Rotorua for the year ending December 2010 is estimated at $38 million. View the latest data from the Convention Research Programme.

Visitor Profiling

(Source: Angus & Associates - Regional Visitor Monitor)

The Regional Visitor Monitor (RVM) collects a range of visitor information, including motivations, expectations, planning and booking, activities, transport, accommodation, and environmental perceptions. The RVM survey sites are in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown and Dunedin. Data is reported for each of the survey regions and also as a national benchmark. View the latest Rotorua RVM report and view the latest RVM benchmark report.

For more information and/or to subscribe to tourism monitors please contact Gina on (07) 351 7109 or

Destination Management

Motorhome Overnight Parking

Local government regulations for free overnight parking of motorhomes and campervans vary throughout New Zealand. In the Rotorua district there are no areas where motorhomes and campervans are permitted to freely park overnight. Recently, there have been some instances of staff at Rotorua attraction/activity businesses directing motorhome and campervan visitors to park overnight at the Rotorua Lakefront. These visitors are then understandably unhappy when Rotorua District Council (RDC) after hours security staff request them to relocate to a holiday park or campground.

Please help Rotorua motorhome and campervan visitors have a pleasant stay in Rotorua by having your frontline staff direct visitors to park overnight at a holiday park or campground. There are 16 full service holiday parks in the Rotorua district, some of which are within walking distance of the central business district while other holiday parks have scenic and/or lake edge locations. Additionally, there are four vehicle accessible Department of Conservation campgrounds in the Rotorua district where motorhomes and campervans may park overnight for a fee. The newest Department of Conservation campground opened only three months ago at Lake Okareka, which is only 10 kilometres from the Rotorua city centre. Camping for a fee is also permitted at the Rotorua District Council Guy Roe Reserve, 27 kilometres south of Rotorua at Lake Rerewhaakaitu. Click here for more information on motorhome and campervan facilities in the Rotorua district, or contact Gina on (07) 351 7109;

Sustainable Destination Rotorua

Rotorua is set for sustainability greatness after the Rotorua Sustainable Charter Inc. proposal to deliver the sustainability message to the Rotorua district was accepted by Rotorua District Councillors on 3rd of February 2011 at the Corporate and Customer Services Committee meeting. Originally launched back in 2001 the Rotorua Sustainable Tourism Charter has been modelled by other regions around New Zealand and in the past year has re-structured as the Rotorua Sustainable Charter to better embrace Rotorua's other industries and local community. The new Rotorua Sustainable Charter Inc has a stream for each of 'tourism' and 'business', and in the future may include a third stream for 'community'. APR Consultants will continue as the provider of sustainability assessor services to the 68 existing 'tourism' members and will also provide the same to the new 'business' members. Click here for more information on the Rotorua Sustainable Charter please contact either Gina on (07) 351 7109; or Eldad on (07) 349 8325;

Events - April 2011

Meridian Kids Bike Jams

SUN APR 3, 2011
Kids go wild in the Woods! The Meridian Kids Bike Jams are a unique opportunity for young kids to go wild on their bikes in 7 centres around NZ... More info

ELIXIR presented by Rotorua Music Federation

MON APR 4, 2011
A new ensemble featuring established New Zealand musicians will visit Rotorua in April as part of an extensive Chamber Music New Zealand tour.... More info

Waikato/BOP Magic vs. Canterbury Tactix

THU APR 14, 2011
The Waikato/Bay of Plenty Magic play the Canterbury Tactix in this game of the 2011 ANZ Championship Netball competition at the Energy Events Centre... More info

2011 Rotorua Wedding Show

SAT APR 16, 2011 - SUN APR 17, 2011
The 2011 Rotorua Wedding Show will be an event not to be missed! This exciting 2 day event hosted at the iconic Rotorua Convention Centre, boasts 57... More info

TWO X TWO - Presented by OPUS Orchestra

SAT APR 16, 2011
TWO X TWO Peter Walls - Conductor Lydon Johnston Taylor - Viola Lara Hall - Violin Ashley Hopkins - Clarinet More info

47th Rotorua Marathon

SAT APR 30, 2011
The Rotorua Marathon proves to be a hardy event that continues to draw experienced and fresh runners and walkers to its picturesque course. The... More info

2011 New Zealand Jet Sport Nationals

SAT APR 30, 2011 - SUN MAY 1, 2011
The 2010 Seadoo Woodbine Marine New Zealand Jet Sport Nationals is the pinnacle of personal watercraft racing in New Zealand. Held annually, this... More info

For more information or to check out the latest events, go to

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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.

Don Gunn
General Manager
Destination Rotorua Marketing
Private Bag 3007, Rotorua
Phone +64 7 351 7101