Rotorua visitor industry delivers a record breaking July
13 September 2016:
A record July for Rotorua’s visitor industry has continued a great winter for the local tourism sector.
Latest data released by Statistics New Zealand reported a record July for visitor nights spent in Rotorua’s commercial
accommodation. Hotels, motels, backpacker hostels and holiday parks collectively hosted 159,400 visitor nights for the
month, a 6 per cent increase (up 8600 nights) over last July.
The Rotorua Attractions and Activities Monitor also reported a record July with 237,600 visits, up 43,800 (or 23 per
cent) over July 2015. Visits to attractions were up 24 per cent and visits to activities up 7 per cent.
Growth in Rotorua’s visitor activity is being driven by both the domestic and international markets, with the Famously
Rotorua marketing campaign pitched at raising the district’s profile with domestic visitors and improved air
connectivity into New Zealand opening up and reinvigorating Rotorua’s international markets.
Destination Rotorua acting chief executive Andrew Wilson says there is an opportunity for high end hotel development in
Rotorua which would appeal to high value visitor segments such as incentive and luxury.
“Our focus is on attracting a five-star hotel investment development. We are committed to working with the accommodation
industry to sustain and grow occupancy throughout the whole year and across all accommodation types and star ratings.”
Rotorua hotels hosted 916,500 visitor nights for the year ending July 2016, which was an increase of 62,700 or 7 per
cent (versus a 6 per cent increase nationally) over the previous year. For the same period, Rotorua hotel occupancy
increased 4 per cent to 72 per cent, which was ahead of the 67 per cent occupancy nationally.
The New Zealand Trade and Enterprise-initiated Project Palace report published earlier this year identified Rotorua as a
key New Zealand tourism destination needing new hotel development to meet the increase in tourism projected to occur
within the next 10 years.
“The opportunity for new hotel capacity in Rotorua is being driven by the buoyant international tourism market. This is
being driven by the strong growth in Chinese visitors to New Zealand, but also a resurgence from the US market due to
the trans-Pacific direct air services that came back online late June 2016,” says Wilson.
Data released by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) illustrates how the direct flights into
North America have impacted Rotorua, with US visitor expenditure for the region having increased 9 per cent on last year
(versus 5 per cent nationally) for the month of July. Strong positive growth from the North American market was also
reported (by APR Consultants Rotorua monitors for the same period) with North American visits to Rotorua Attraction and
Activities Monitor sites up 49 per cent and North American visitor nights spent in the homes of Rotorua residents up 107