For immediate release
Wednesday November 16, 2011

Rotorua leaves the Society of American Travel Writers spellbound

Rotorua left the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW) spellbound after they experienced the city's world famous adventure and geothermal attractions last week.

Around 450 North American Travel Writers and PR professionals were in New Zealand for the SATW annual convention which was held in Wellington. They were given the opportunity to choose pre and post convention tours in 27 different regions with 60 tours on offer. The opportunity came just one week after Rotorua had hosted the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW).

Fifteen North American Travel Writers embarked on the pre convention Rotorua Adventure Tour excited about the opportunity to experience world first adventure activities such as the Schweeb at Agroventures and the world famous Zorb.

Other adventure activities they engaged in included luging down Mt Ngongotaha at Skyline Rotorua, high speeds and 360º spins on Lake Rotorua with Kawarau Jet, mountain biking with Multi Day Adventures, Off Road NZ kart racing, white water rafting the seven metre drop on the Kaituna River with River Rats and then finally relaxing with a hot soak at Polynesian Spa.

SATW board member Bob Sehlinger said he really enjoyed the Adventure tour which was organised like clockwork by Destination Rotorua Marketing and Tourism New Zealand.

"In the 20 years of being a member of SATW, this has been the best pre/post tour I have ever been on," he said.

The pre convention Rotorua Geothermal Tour had 17 writers taking part and the post Geothermal Tour showed seven writers around.

They felt the wonder of the billowing steam, bubbling mud pools and spectacular geysers of the city visiting the Whakerewarewa Thermal Village, Rotorua Museum, Polynesian Spa, White Island, Te Urerewa Treks, the Buried Village, Te Puia and Waimangu Volcanic Valley.

Destination Rotorua Marketing acting general manager Tania Bui says the exposure and coverage of Rotorua through hosting pre and post famils for the SATW delegates is invaluable.

"It would have taken considerable time and resources to attract such influential writers to New Zealand and to our region independently and the feedback that we have received has been exceptionally positive, some of which we know has already been posted on global travel blogs, social media and travel websites," she says.

"This alone is fantastic given the importance of web search in decision making for travel choices."

Almost 65,000 visitors arrived in Rotorua from the United States in the year to end of December 2011 which was an estimated 34% of all United States visitor arrivals to New Zealand.

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Media contact:

Tania Bui
Destination Rotorua Marketing acting general manager
Ph: 0272444155


Pre geothermal quotes

  • It's one thing to walk through a museum and learn about a culture, but the stay at Te Puia allowed me to have a much deeper experience with Maori culture. Jill Robinson, Freelance journalist.
  • A unique experience for an American – seeing a steaming volcano, thermal baths, learning the Maori culture and sleeping at Te Puia. David Molyneaux,, U.S Newspapers and
  • Even with a little pre-trip research, I was unprepared for what I found here… the beauty of the surroundings and the friendliness of the people left a great impression. Al Bonowitz, Auto Club of Southern California.
  • What a great intro to Maori culture, Rotorua went all out for us and it showed – Rotorua is now a favourite for me. Sally MacDonald, Freelance writer Philadelphia Enquirer
  • It was amazing to walk through the origins of the earth on White Island and to experience the power, chemistry and peculiar geothermal beauty. I also enjoyed connecting and learning about the intrinsic values, pride and joy of the Maori culture. A terrific combination. Chris McBeath,,

Post geothermal tour quotes

  • The Maori experiences were exceptional especially sleeping overnight in Te Puia's Marae and listening to the storyteller tell the tales of long ago and I've never smelled such fresh, pure air as at Whirinaki during the walk through its pristine forest. Patricia Alisau, North Star Travel Media
  • Rotorua has such a wealth of surprises. By visiting the various attractions we were able to get a fuller picture of Maori culture and the wonders of your geothermal and natural resources. I want to come back and experience more of the wonders of this area. Kathy Hagood,

This media release was issued by Destination Rotorua Marketing

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