Please distribute to all staff

December 21, 2011

Kia Ora !*FIRSTNAME*!,

The festive season is well underway and whilst we are all hoping for a busy and successful Christmas period, we should also take the opportunity to reflect on what has been a very big year all round.

The Rugby World Cup has been a mixed bag. For some operators the RWC has been a welcome reprieve in a challenging market whilst for others the lack of the 'bread and butter' domestic visitor and displaced travel timings around the event left them waiting in earnest for its end. Overall there is no doubt that the RWC was a success in terms of putting New Zealand on a media stage – front and centre. We can only hope that in a global theatre of economic stress and a high NZ dollar that this will come to bear positively in years to come.

For the team at DRM, we've tried some different things over the last 10 months and have focused much of our efforts in getting our house in order to face the global recession and increased competition head on. We have rebuilt the team and now have a great group of committed professionals who share your passion for Rotorua. We have a number of processes and systems in place that mean we can better communicate with you, share information and resources and take advantage of opportunities as they arise. The ASTW conference in October was one such opportunity under a new way of doing business. We have worked hard with tourism partners such as Tourism New Zealand and Air New Zealand to position Rotorua as a responsive and progressive region, keen to make things happen and we have had some great wins.

We understand and know that there is much we can do to improve processes and work closer with our industry, but we're up for it and ready to go – we hope that you will share our enthusiasm and commitment to work closer together.

It's been a privilege to work with such a wide and passionate group of individuals and businesses. I believe that there is something special in being able to market Rotorua as the beating heart of New Zealand tourism which is a rare and sometimes raw place of authenticity. There is a sea change and galvanization of intent underway in this region and that can only be good! I thank you for your patience and support and under the direction and guidance from Oscar Nathan, who takes over the reins in early January, I am sure that we will see Rotorua take its proper place as New Zealand's #1 destination.

Best wishes for the holiday season and here's to a great New Year.


Kindest regards

Tania Bui
Acting General Manager

Newsletter Feedback

We aim to provide a newsletter that is relevant to our readers and therefore need your feedback.  Please help us to best meet your needs in future newsletters by clicking here to complete the DRM newsletter survey.   

In This Issue

Domestic Update

Craig HammondCraig Hammond
Domestic Manager
- DDI: +64 7 351 7102

What’s happened?

‘Rediscover Rotorua’ campaign has immediate impact‘Rediscover Rotorua’ campaign has immediate impact

A specifically designed Rotorua brochure was recently delivered to our target domestic markets in Auckland, Waikato and Bay of Plenty encouraging them to Rediscover Rotorua.  Some early feedback of the campaign from industry so far includes:

“Initial uptake was quite a surprise.  In the first day we had 3 good bookings and there have been a number of enquiries since then too which is great – thank you!”

It’s fantastic to see such strong results early on in the campaign. We will continue to monitor feedback via the booking tracking codes into the New Year to ensure the momentum continues. The online component to this campaign is also live at and will help push the campaign through summer:

The opportunities to generate repeat visits from this campaign are also encouraging judging from this early feedback from a recent visitor as a direct result:

“Good morning, We just wanted to thank you for the privilege of staying in your wonderful motel we all had such an awesome time while in Rotorua, it will definitely be something we do on an annual basis.”  

DRM domestic media scheduleDRM domestic media schedule

In partnering with our agency Wag the Dog, the new domestic creative print and online media schedule is now in the market delivering a strong presence for Rotorua through until June 2012. Once again, a reminder that this schedule is available if you wish to view it and there is the opportunity to dovetail in with your promotions.

Domestic hot deals snapped up

To provide a bookable call to action for our advertising schedule, some accommodation and hot deal activity packages have been grouped together. We are pleased to see the targeting of key domestic markets gaining traction with the majority of bookings coming from the Auckland market via our online booking page. Rotorua i-SITE staff have also been busy confirming bookings with further allocation required by some accommodation providers to meet demand.

DRM + RAM push to secure Raggamuffin bookingsDRM + RAM push to secure Raggamuffin bookings

 DRM in conjunction with the Rotorua Association of Motels (RAM) is making a push towards encouraging early Raggamuffin bookings and influencing longer stays. A number of tickets at a special negotiated rate have been secured and these will be used by RAM to bundle up accommodation packages of minimum three night stays with tickets to the concert.

This is a fantastic opportunity to make contact with regular Raggamuffin guests and offer them a deal or to attract new guests via the advertising campaign.


What’s coming up?

Summer domestic & local e-newsletter

The Domestic Summer e-newsletter has now been sent. It is targeting a database with a high interest in traveling to Rotorua and is well timed for summer holiday travel.

Rotorua GrabOne theme day

As a result of recent feedback from industry at our last forum, we have started some initial discussions with GrabOne around promoting Rotorua via a block out theme day across the GrabOne network. We absolutely understand that this opportunity may not suit everyone but it was something that a number of you expressed an interest in after the forum and we can see the value in a unified approach if there is enough support for it. If this is something you are interested in, please let me know so we can compile a list of businesses to approach in the New Year.

back to top

International Update

James FitzgeraldJames Fitzgerald
International Manager
- DDI: +64 7 351 7108


Planning is already underway for TRENZ 2012 and we are very excited that 18 Rotorua businesses have signed up to attend. We are currently presenting famil programmes to TRENZ buyers to try and encourage pre and post TRENZ visits by international delegates.

Newmans and Travelscene holidays World Rally

DRM recently took part in the Newmans and Travelscene Holiday World Rally New Zealand sales incentive in Australia. As part of the reward the 50 top selling agents visited New Zealand and competed in a rally around various regions. Thank you very much to the Rotorua operators who took part in making this initiative a success. At the events conclusion James went to Auckland and spent a morning training the 50 agents about all things Rotorua.

AOT Megafamil

DRM recently hosted 32 European, American and Australian travel agents as part of a sponsorship arrangement with AOT. The three day visit to Rotorua was a huge success and the agents were showcased 21 local businesses, exploring the region in small breakout groups to get a good sense of Rotorua and how it fits their client requirements.

Rotorua famil impresses Auckland i-SITE

As part of DRM’s strategy to start influencing FIT sales channels in New Zealand, DRM hosted a personalised famil for Auckland i-SITE staff during November over two days. The group included representation from Franklin, Auckland Airport, Waiheke Island, Princes Wharf and Warkworth i-SITES. The chance to personally experience Rotorua was valuable – here’s an example of the feedback received:

“In one week since my return I have already promoted mountain biking twice, the Museum, Buried Village, Hop on Hop Off bus, the Redwood Map, and Spa. I love the In Essence book which means something to me after your investment in my time and education.”

We will continue this programme over the coming 12 months to ensure all Auckland i-SITE  staff are refreshed and up to speed with what is happening in the region. If you have any new experiences suitable for one of these famils please let us know.

Famil Feedback

We have recently upgraded to using a digital online survey form to measure the success of famils to the region. The results since we have starting using the software have been extremely encouraging. From an international perspective 30% of famil participants as a result of their famil recommend at least two nights in Rotorua, 50% recommend at least three nights, 6% at least four nights and 13% at least five nights.

Helen van Beek
Famils Executive
- DDI: +64 7 351 7006

Backpacker Market

We recently held meetings with the backpacker and holiday park sector to brainstorm ways of engaging with this important visitor market to Rotorua. Thank you to all of those who attended the sessions. We will distribute a summary of the meetings and a plan of attack on how to address some of the issues.

Shelley in ChinaChina

Shelley Huang travelled to China for semi-FIT training last month and presented to over 250 Chinese travel agents. DRM and other Rotorua suppliers received a very positive response in Shanghai, Beijing, Hangzhou, Guangzhou and Hong Kong.

This road show has opened doors for Rotorua to develop its semi-FIT market and high-end / luxury market in China. However, there are a number of challenges ahead such as product development and the visa application process. DRM will work with relevant partners to reduce these challenges as quickly as possible.

To provide suppliers a market update about China, DRM is going to conduct an Asia Forum on January 31st, 2012. More information will be sent to you in the New Year.

We are also working on a VFR campaign to commence in Mid February with the dual goal of creating itineraries that will form some great collateral and product for the China market. We will been formalising details over the Xmas period and hope to have more information first thing in the New Year.

Shelley Huang
Asian Market Executive
- DDI: +64 7 351 7075

back to top

Rotorua Convention Bureau

Denise SiviterDenise Siviter
Rotorua Convention Bureau Manager
- DDI: +64 7 351 7106


The Conference Incentives NZ (CINZ) conference was held in Wellington in mid-November. It featured some great inspirational speakers, with Sandra Yap from Air New Zealand based in China, extremely interesting for those who are considering the Chinese MICE market. The panel discussion regarding the relationship between Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) and CINZ alongside Air NZ was again great to be witness to with strengthening by all these brands working together for the better of the industry. Prior to the conference a national bureau managers meeting was held, where discussions on activity in domestic and international destinations was discussed. TNZ presented the new MICE team to the national bureau managers with a short presentation on roles. 

PCO Conference

The Professional Conference Organisers (PCO) Conference which has previously been held in Australia was for the first time hosted in New Zealand at the Langham Hotel. The Rotorua Convention Bureau along with other Rotorua operators took part in the exhibition area alongside other major destinations within New Zealand and Australia. The networking functions on the Sunday and Monday evenings were great opportunities to meet with a number of clients.

Following the conference Denise Siviter, Debbie Gee and Kathy Nicholls hosted 14 key decision makers on three and a half days of famils with the Conference and Incentive operators from Rotorua. Debbie is currently working on a couple of pieces of business following the clients time with us.

C & I Meeting Planner

The 2012 – 2013 C & I Meeting Planner is due out in January in hard copy form as well as an e-book, so keep an eye out for it.

Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) conference 2011

Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) conference 2011

As a follow up to the ASTW conference DRM and TNZ sent out feedback surveys to the delegates. This allowed us to recognise the value of their stay and track possible future media coverage. Recently noted on eGlobal Travel Media site;

"In 2011, Tourism New Zealand, Destination Rotorua Marketing and Air New Zealand reinforced their position as not only a key group, incentive and leisure destination, but their innovative pre/post tours created enormous buzz with even the most experienced travelers enthralled."

We are also continuing to receive incredibly positive feedback and great media coverage since the ASTW conference. This blog is a particularly good read.

Rotorua wins international congress bid for 2015Rotorua wins international congress bid for 2015

Rotorua is excited to have won its bid in Thailand at the end of November to host the 6th Asia Pacific Occupational Therapy Congress (APOTC) of around 600 delegates for 2015. It was the first time the Rotorua Convention Bureau had pitched a Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) conference assistance programme (CAP) bid, and it is estimated that the APOTC delegates will spend $1.6 million over the six days of conference, excluding their international flights, having a significant impact upon Rotorua business. Read more here.

Congratulations to Princes Gate

Princes Gate is the 2011 Corporate Events Guide Best Nationwide Hotel winner in the People’s Choice Awards. Congratulations on this fantastic result.

back to top

Marketing & Communications Update

Kelly StewartKelly Stewart
Marketing & Communications Manager
- DDI: +64 7 351 7103

Jenha WhiteJenha White
Trade Marketing Coordinator
- DDI: +64 7 351 7107

Media famils November 2011

Organisation Source Origin
West Australian News Print (IMP) Australia
Blaine Harrington (freelancer) Print (SATW) America
Mark Downey (freelancer) Print (SATW) America
Bernard Hoecker TV Europe
SATW – Pre11 Geothermal Mixed USA
SATW – Pre04 Adventure Mixed USA
Justin Brown (Classic Hits presenter) Radio NZ
SATW – Post11 Geothermal Mixed USA
June Naylor –SATW Online USA
Jetstar Media Print / Online Asia
Wienerin Magazine Print Europe
Weekend Life- Herald Print NZ


Media Results

Media results have been flooding in with over 50 in November and over 40 so far in December. Many are a direct result of PR campaigns, as well as hosting the Australian Society of Travel Writers (ASTW) and the Society of American Travel Writers (SATW). Check out the results here.

In EssenceIn Essence

In Essence was sent out in the first week of December with its refreshed new look and dynamic graphics – we hope you like it! You can view the e-magazine version here. If you’d like to receive a hard copy, please let Jenha know.

The next issue of In Essence will come out in March, so submissions need to be emailed to Jenha by 23 January, 2012. Stories have a limit of 300 words and need to be accompanied by a photo of at least 3MB in size. Please also send photos of any great events your company has for a new “Out and About” page to feature.

Industry News

Thanks for sending us your media releases and business news. It’s great to see the industry news page full with interesting developments each week.

Society of American Travel Writers

Around 40 American travel writers came to Rotorua for two pre and one post convention famils that were four days each in duration. SATW board member Bob Sehlinger said in the 20 years of being a member of SATW, Rotorua was the best pre/post tour he had ever been on. Read more in this story.

No Kitchen Required to be filmed in Rotorua

A new American TV reality cooking series called No Kitchen Required will be filmed in Rotorua for the New Zealand segment of the programme in the New Year.  This is great for Rotorua with locations for filming currently being selected and confirmed by the producers of the show. Rotorua's very own indigenous cooking celebrity Charles Royal has been central to making this happen for our region -  BBC America will be screening the one hour show in the US and it will potentially be sold worldwide. 

PR Activity

DRM’s domestic PR activity has been all go with Locals Week, Wedding Week, the continuation of the Taste Rotorua messaging, the Raggamuffin promotion and the hosting of key influencers to Rotorua.  A big thank you is extended to those operators who have supported these initiatives by providing product for the many prize promotions we have been running over the past couple of months – it is very much appreciated and has most definitely assisted us in getting our messages out about our great city. 

New Zealand.comNew

It is really important that tourism operators actively update their free business listings on . Registered operators who publish articles and deals attributed to their business are seeing 10 times the click-through rate compared to having a business listing alone. Please take a moment to watch this video tutorial about what your business should be doing:

What’s coming up?

  • We are currently working with Mindfood Magazine and will be in touch with operators early in the New Year in regards to this promotion
  • Taste Rotorua – we have secured a spot on Breakfast TV in January
  • The Good Morning Show have offered us a competition slot for January
  • Trout season and the Rotorua lakes will feature in some of our media messaging in January and February
  • PR activity will kick in for Valentines Day In January
  • Amber Peebles – an influential blogger will come to Rotorua for a famil in February along with other key influencers yet to be confirmed.

Wedding SeasonWedding Season

DRM has been promoting Rotorua as a great place to get married, to have a romantic weekend and to host a fantastic stag or hen’s weekend.  Radio promotions were run with Classic Hits for a prize giveaway weekend to Rotorua for a hen and her friends and Radio Sport broadcasted the Stag promotion with a prize giveaway weekend to Rotorua for a stag and his friends. The Wedding Guy, Peter Duncan, talked about Rotorua as a wedding destination on Breakfast and is endorsing Rotorua a great place for a romantic getaway or honeymoon.

Package of delicious Rotorua products and recipes10 Ways to add a little flavour of Rotorua to your Xmas table

Wow, what a response we have had to a media release about Rotorua Christmas food offerings with a package of delicious Rotorua products and recipes. Stories have appeared on, NBR Food Industry Week,, in Press Zest and The editor of the Dominion Post Life Magazine even made the kawakawa shortbread from the supplied Charles Royal recipe and is featuring Rotorua products in a story.  Solid Gold gave away a Rotorua Christmas food pack last week to a listener and guest radio and TV chef Gerald Bryan will be mentioning it in live broadcasts. The editor of Restaurant and Catering News, Apparel Magazine and Supermarket News is also coming back in the New Year with some Rotorua ideas for his magazine.


DRM were offered the opportunity to leverage promotional activity in November / December for the up coming Raggamuffin event to be held in Rotorua 27 – 28 January 2012.   Promotional activity has included a prize draw competition with Juice TV and a prize competition with Rip it Up Magazine including editorial. We also hosted a two day visit from the Mai FM breakfast team to Rotorua – where the show was broadcast live featuring many Rotorua attractions.

Rotorua wins Trip Advisor Travelers Choice
Top 25 Destinations Award

Rotorua is excited to see it has won a Trip Advisor Travelers Choice Best Destination Award, featuring as #20 in the South Pacific category. See the Top 25

Christmas Opening Hours

DRM will close on Friday 23 December and re-open on Wednesday 4 January 2012.  There will however be people in office from the 28th through to the 30th December so for urgent enquiries please contact Nadine Faulkner on 07 348 4133.

Christmas and food imagery

If your business or street has been decorated for Christmas, please send photos to Jenha for the image library at DRM. We would also like photos of Restaurants/Bars/Cafes and their food and beverage offerings, as this is a section of the image library which needs some updating. Great photos lead to more exposure so it is a good idea to always send new photos to DRM.

back to top

Online Update

Adrian HodgeAdrian Hodge
Application Developer - DDI: +64 7 351 8695

The importance of having a mobile friendly websiteThe importance of having a mobile friendly website

With the dramatic increase in smart phone sales and with global usage increasing daily, having a website that displays quickly and effectively on mobile devices will be more and more important in the year ahead.

Some thought provoking stats

  • Over 72 million iPhones sold in the last 12 months
  • 500,000 Android powered devices activated daily
  • 20% of YouTube content is consumed on mobile devices
  • By 2013, more people will use their mobile phone than PC's to get online is a website by Google to educate you why mobile is so important and gives you best practices and tools to test and review your current site and any mobile versions.

We at Destination Rotorua Marketing realised this importance of the mobile platform and developed a mobile version of our website back in April 2011:

We are planning to further develop and fine-tune the functionality of the mobile site in the future.

Everyone who has a paid listing on automatically gets a listing on the mobile site included in their fee.

back to top

Visitor Statistics & Research

Gina George Gina George
Tourism Insight Analyst – DDI +64 7 351 7109

Email to subscribe to the monthly Rotorua Tourism In Focus report.

Rotorua Commercial Accommodation

(Source:  Statistics NZ - Commercial Accommodation Monitor)
Visitor nights spent in Rotorua commercial accommodation for the month ending October 2011 were down 10.6% over October 2010 (versus -1.5% nationally) - domestic visitor nights were down 15.4% (versus -6.5% nationally) and international visitor nights were down 3.9% (versus +7.1% nationally).  For the same period, Rotorua’s only sector with increased growth was the motel sector (up 1.8%).  Rotorua’s other sectors had decreased growth: holiday parks (down 3.7%), backpackers (down 17.8%) and hotels (down 20.5%).  View the latest Rotorua Commercial Accommodation Monitor.

Rotorua Visiting Friends & Relatives

(Source: APR Consultants - Rotorua Private Homes Monitor)
Visitor nights spent in the private homes of Rotorua residents for the month ending October 2011 were up 0.9% over October 2010 - domestic visitor nights were up 4.6% and international visitor nights were down 7.2%.  View the latest Rotorua Private Homes Monitor.

Rotorua Attractions & Activities

(Source: APR Consultants - Rotorua Attractions & Activities Monitor)
Visits to Rotorua Attraction & Activities Monitor participant businesses for the month ending October 2011 were down 7.1% over October 2010 - domestic visits were down 1.4% and international visits were down 10.0%. The full Rotorua Attractions & Activities Monitor is only available to participant businesses; however summary data is available in the Rotorua Tourism in Focus report

Rotorua Airport – Passenger Movements

(Source:  Rotorua International Airport)
For the month ending October 2011 over October 2010 passenger arrivals to Rotorua Airport from Auckland were down 15.1%, Wellington down 4.2%, Christchurch down 8.8%, and Sydney down 11.7%.  For the same period, passenger departures from Rotorua Airport to Auckland were down 17.8%, Wellington down 1.6%, Christchurch down 13.3%, and Sydney down 2.5%.

New Zealand Convention Activity Survey

(Source:  Ministry of Economic Development)
Rotorua had a 12.1% market share of multi-day conferences held in New Zealand for the year ending September 2011.  Rotorua's 12.1% market share ranked it third after Wellington (26.6%) and Auckland (26.1%) and ahead of all resort destinations including Queenstown (8.8%), Canterbury (7.9%) and Taupo (5.7%).  View the latest data from the New Zealand Convention Research Programme.

back to top

Upcoming Events

Speedy Signs New Zealand Stockcar Championship

TUE DEC 27, 2011 - WED DEC 28, 2011
Stockcar Racing fast and spectacular, where purpose built cars can legally hit each other and stop the opponent from winning by forcing him up the... More info

NZCT Rock the Lake 2011 - New Years Eve Mardi Gras

SAT DEC 31, 2011
NZCT ROCK THE LAKE. Rotorua's own New Years Eve Extravaganza! Welcome in the New Year at this family friendly alcohol free event featuring the... More info

NZ Welding School World Invitation Superstock Champs

FRI JAN 13, 2012 - SAT JAN 14, 2012
Stockcar Racing fast and spectacular,where purpose built cars can legally hit each other and stop the opponent from winning by forcing him up the... More info 

Raggamuffin 2012

SAT JAN 28, 2012
Circle your calendar for New Zealand's hottest event. McManus Entertainment proudly announces that Raggamuffin 2012 will be held on January... More info

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

back to top

Recipient and sender details

We have collected your contact details. Your info 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 won't disclose your contact details to third parties.

Destination Rotorua Marketing
Private Bag 3007, Rotorua

3rd Floor Library Building, 1136 Arawa Street │ Private Bag 3007 │ Rotorua 3046 │ New Zealand
To unsubscribe from this Marketing Bulletin, click here