Rotorua looks set to add a mud festival to its events' schedule with the signing of an international event partnership agreement between Boryeong City and Rotorua.
Boryeong in South Korea runs an annual mud festival which attracts more than three million visitors a year. Rotorua Lakes Council wants to establish a similar event in Rotorua based on the city's 150-year history of using mud as both a therapy and treatment.
Rotorua and Boryeong mayors Steve Chadwick and Kim Dong-Il along with International Festival and Events Association president, Professor Gang Hoan Jeong and a director of the Boryeong Mud Festival will sign a partnership agreement.
"When we are looking at what events fit the Rotorua destination and what is missing, then a mud festival proposal is very exciting," said Mrs Chadwick.
"In Rotorua, culture, dirt and steam is what we are about and mud fits our proposition."
Rotorua mud is very high in minerals due to its contact with the volcanic gases and minerals from the earth's centre and it stores heat easily when it's warmed which makes it ideal for heat treatments.
A relationship with the Boryeong festival will allow Rotorua organisers to leverage some of the intellectual property around festival management as well as build both trade and tourism alliances between New Zealand and South Korea.
"This will be a very good cultural exchange and open another tourism market. It's adding diversity into the cultural mix here in Rotorua. It's quite delicious, the idea of a mud festival. There will be some other collateral. Mud as an art form, mud as an expression of this place," she said.
On a recent visit to China, where she spoke at an international tourism conference, Mayor Chadwick said she learned the gift they wanted from Rotorua was its mud because of its health and wellness properties.
Rotorua Lakes Council major events co-ordinator Jason Cameron said he hoped to confirm when the Rotorua mud festival would take place and other funding details at the Tuesday ceremony.
What: Signing of international event partnership agreement for collaboration between Boryeong Mud Festival and future Rotorua mud festival
When: Tuesday 21 June 12.30-2pm
Where: Rotorua Lakes Council chamber and Galleria
Who: Ngati Rangiwewehi to provide powhiri and Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick to provide welcome to Boryeong City mayor Kim Dong-Il and International Festival and Events Association president, Professor Gang Hoan Jeong.
Why: Create a playful and sensory experience that awakens the world to Rotorua and the world of mud and to become New Zealand's most loved and extraordinary festival.