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Rotorua MP Todd McClay says a large increase in tourism spending in Rotorua is fantastic news for the region and will continue to support job creation, growth and infrastructure upgrades.

“This is a real win for Rotorua and it shows just how important tourism is for our local economy,” Mr McClay says.

“Events like Crankworx, the mud festival and the Tarawera Ultra Marathon all add to Rotorua's appeal, showcasing us on the world stage.

$773 million was spent in the Rotorua area alone in the last year which equates to a 4 per cent increase. However, in January spending was up 5 percent to more than $102 million compared with the same month a year ago.

“I’m very optimistic that 2017 will be another record year for tourism spending if the numbers continue to track this way,” Mr McClay says.

“Those of us who are lucky enough to live here know why Rotorua is such a highly desirable location to visit. We have beautiful scenery, exciting attractions and an unparalleled visitor experience. I am delighted that the variety and diversity on offer in Rotorua is providing benefit to many.”

Domestic and international tourism creates immense value for working New Zealanders, with tourism employing over 180,000 people in 2016.

“As international visitor spending is booming, we must also invest to sustain the supporting infrastructure,” Mr McClay says.

“The Government is investing in infrastructure across the board to support visitors including roading and mobile service infrastructure."

“Through the 2015-2018 National Land Transport Programme, total government investment in improving Bay of Plenty roads is forecast at $591 million.

“Additionally, a number of popular tourist spots in Rotorua have been included in latest Rural Broadband Initiative which will provide mobile coverage to black spots on state highways in tourist areas. The improved connectivity will help grow regional economies and boost tourism in key destinations.

“As part of the ultra-fast broadband programme, the Government will invest $17 million in the Bay of Plenty to further the rollout of UFB. 80.7% of the people in the Bay of Plenty will be able to access fibre by the middle of 2024.

““Increasing numbers of tourists from so many counties is proof that New Zealand offers a world class experience for its visitors, from near and far,” said Mr McClay.

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