As New Zealand's premier visitor destination, it is imperative Rotorua shines as a beacon of top quality service and hospitality.
That's why it's fantastic to see a local group getting together to promote great service, raising the bar for local businesses.
I haven't had too many issues with bad service here (though there was a memorable exception last weekend which resulted in a free lunch) - but I have heard horror stories from visitors and locals alike, almost always accompanied by the words no business owner wants to hear - "never going back there again".
In general, service standards in New Zealand are pretty good compared with many of the places I've visited overseas. But that's no reason not to strive to build and maintain a reputation for excellence.
There are several reasons to offer great service - not least among them that customers deserve it - but also because in this day and age everyone can be a published critic.
Bad reviews are no longer confined to one's immediate circle of friends - in cyberspace everyone can hear you scream about poor service.
Our visitor and retail industries serve the needs of locals and tourists, putting in every effort to provide top service and make a good impression. Millions are spent promoting Rotorua and its attractions, bringing busloads, boatloads and planeloads of tourists, but one bad experience can undo the hard work.
Good on those behind the Raising the Bar campaign - we're backing it 100 per cent and looking forward to seeing the rest of Rotorua get behind it too.