Rotorua Lakes mayor Tania Tapsell says the community and businesses are feeling confident about their future in tourism.
Last week Booking.com included the sulphur city on its list of top 10 trending destinations – alongside another geothermal tourism hotspot, Beppu in Japan.
The top 1000 most-booked places were ranked by year-over-year increase.
Tapsell says council’s investment in adventure tourism to complement the city’s natural resources has paid dividends.
“Whether it’s booking.com’s trending destinations, or actually, the international events, we do attract for mountain biking, like Crankworx, where people are actually acknowledging that some of our natural assets here in Rotorua are uniquely Rotorua. You can’t find it anywhere else in the world where you have geothermal forests and 16 lakes,” she says.
Tapsell says the booking.com survey noted 74 per cent of people agreed being close to water made them instantly feel more relaxed.
She said she was stoked to see Rotorua named a top trending destination.
“This is a huge boost of confidence that Rotorua continues to be a world-class destination.
Tapsell congratulated Beppu, a fellow geothermal destination, on its rating.
When her visit there was approved last month Tapsell told Local Democracy Reporting it was an opportunity to remind potential visitors Rotorua was “back in business” for tourists.
Booking.com Oceania regional manager Todd Lacey said with an array of fantastic accommodation, attractions and experiences, Rotorua was hitting the global stage as international travel continued to return to Aotearoa.
Tourism and economic development agency RotoruaNZ brand and marketing manager Haydn Marriner was thrilled by the international recognition.
He said it was a result of hard work by local tourism operators.
Among international awards received in the past year were Trip Advisor Award recipients, such as world’s best nature tour Rotorua Canopy Tours - visited this month by superstar Sam Smith - and Polynesian Spa, which secured three awards at the World Luxury Spa Awards 2023.
He said the accolades reflected operators’ “relentless positivity and drive”.
Marriner said The Business Pulse Survey results mirrored this positivity, indicating a strong belief within the business community the tourism sector is on the rise.
“Rotorua invites all of New Zealand to come and experience the best attractions, activities and people for the best summer ever.”
Waatea.News.Com & Local Democracy Reporting.