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City of RotoruaA number of large, successful events in the area over summer resulted in Rotorua’s highest ever volume of domestic visitor nights in commercial accommodation for a February month. In contrast to the national figures, the Central North Island had very good growth in domestic visitor nights during February. Visitor nights rose 19.2 per cent to 80,500 during February 2013, in comparison with a national decrease of 4.0 per cent against the same period in 2012, as outlined in Statistics New Zealand’s February 2013 Commercial Accommodation Monitor released earlier last month (the full report can be read here).

Rotorua’s whopping 19.2 per cent boost was the key contributor to the region’s growth, but Bay of Plenty (up 7.1 per cent), Taupo (up 1.9 per cent) and Ruapehu (up 2.6 per cent) also benefited from more domestic visitor nights.

Oscar Nathan, Destination Rotorua Marketing general manager, says several key events drew big domestic crowds to Rotorua in February. “Te Matatini – the national kapa haka festival, was held at Rotorua International Stadium, which attracted thousands of participants and spectators. The inaugural Rotorua Bike Festival, the popular annual Raggamuffin music festival, and the Australasia IPSC Handgun Championships also contributed to strong demand for commercial accommodation.”

“We are very encouraged by the success of these events and as a result we have a renewed focus on attracting more high-quality national and international events to our city in the coming years,” says Nathan.

The city’s hotels and motels weren’t the only ones to benefit from Rotorua’s rise in popularity – tourism attraction sites also did a roaring trade. In February there was a 12.3 per cent increase in total visits to attractions that participate in the Rotorua Attraction and Activities Monitor, compared to the same time last year.

The change in timing of Chinese New Year from January last year to February this year was another key contributor to February’s growth, with Chinese visits to Rotorua attractions increasing from 34,200 to 63,000.

Nathan says Rotorua’s tourism leaders will take great heart from the encouraging results provided by the latest statistics, and will continue to focus on effective ways of marketing their businesses and the region as a whole.

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