Benchmark-beating growth in domestic visitor nights spent in Rotorua for March points to Rotorua being a favourite place for Kiwis over the Easter break, Destination Rotorua says.

Data released by Statistics New Zealand show domestic guest nights spent in Rotorua's commercial accommodation were up 17,900 nights to 116,300 in March, compared with the same time last year.

That's a 18.2 per cent increase, versus a 5.4 per cent North Island increase and a 7.5 per cent increase nationally.

Domestic visitor expenditure in Rotorua also continues to increase with $38.9m spent in Rotorua in March, a 16.3 per cent increase compared with March 2017.


On a yearly basis the domestic visitor spend is at $452.1m, a 9.2 per cent increase.

The underlying trend in continuous growth in domestic visitor nights and expenditure indicates Rotorua is an increasingly popular destination, according to a statement released by Destination Rotorua.

March marks the 13th consecutive month Rotorua outperformed both the national and North Island benchmarks for growth in domestic visitor nights spent in commercial accommodation.

"For Rotorua to have such a sustained run outperforming benchmarks points to Rotorua not resting on its laurels but continuing to offer new and exciting visitor experiences along with product innovation from established operators," the statement read.

Destination Rotorua consumer marketing manager Tom Worsp said the domestic consumer marketing campaign, Famously Rotorua, had undergone a brand refresh to help reinvigorate the campaign.

Rotorua Association of Motels committee member Martin Althuizen said March, generally speaking, was a good month.

"The increase in visitors helps fill our motels and a lot of other accommodation options, like Airbnb, are certainly picking up where we are running out of rooms.

"They are also making a mark of their own where they're actually encouraging people to stay there instead of motels."


Althuizen said April had been a pretty standard month but May was looking quieter than normal.

Rotorua tourism key facts
- Tourism in Rotorua is an $823.3 million per annum industry of which $452.1 million comes from domestic visitors and $371.2 million from international visitors

- 2.3 million visitor nights were spent in Rotorua's commercial accommodation while an additional 1.6 million visitor nights were spent in the homes of Rotorua friends and families

- There were 3.365 million visits to Rotorua's Activities and Attraction Monitor sites.