Rotorua Weekender: More money and growth for Rotorua Tourism

Friday, May 22, 2015

This week the Prime Minister announced more money for Rotorua tourism projects with a $350,000 cash grant available to investigate a world class 5 star spa and hotel for our lakefront. This will be welcome news to many in the local industry and is likely to attract more high spending visitors to our district. Once built, it’s estimated that the spa and hotel will provide up to $48 million in economic benefits to New Zealand, with a large chunk of that staying in Rotorua.

Last year I announced $225,000 worth of funding to upgrade the mountain-bike tracks at Skyline to international standard so that we could attract world-class events like Crankworx. The Government also gave organisers of Crankworx $420,000 to run the event in Rotorua for the next three years.

In 2013 I also announced $300,000 to help promote the Tarawera Marathon and New Zealand bringing the Government's total investment in Rotorua tourism projects to $1.29 million over the last 18 months.

These funds are spent in Rotorua to support the local industry and to help boost New Zealand’s tourism sector. Tourism is very important to Rotorua and the country; it is our largest employer and is worth $500 million to our local economy each year. The more government support we can attract and deliver the more jobs will be created  in local tourism.

This announcement of more funding for Rotorua’s tourism industry comes after the Ministry of Business, Innovation & Employment produced figures that predict both arrivals of tourists and the amount they spend while here will grow over the next six years.

The figures show that international visitor spending will increase by 48 per cent to $11.1 billion by 2021, with visitor arrivals increase by a predicted four per cent to 3.8 million arrivals, compared with 2.9 million in 2014.

 Growth will also come in the key market of Asia. Already we are seeing Chinese people visit more regions, stay longer and spend more while in New Zealand. Over the next few years, China will cement itself as our largest market, in terms of expenditure with Chinese visitors expected to increased their spending to $2.6 million dollars during their stay. Emerging markets such as India and Indonesia will also provide strong growth.

We know how important tourism is to the Rotorua economy. By investing in events and high quality attractions, more overseas visitors will visit and spend their money in the local economy. In turn, this will boost the industry and create more jobs for local people.