Billy Connolly fans living in Rotorua will have to travel at least to Hamilton to see the touring comedian in April-May.

Rotorua is not on the itinerary of his 12-stop tour of New Zealand, despite shows being held in smaller centres such as Invercargill and Blenheim.

Event promoter Ian Magan said lack of time rather than lack of demand was to blame for a show not being held in Rotorua. Tickets had sold out last time Connolly performed at the Energy Events Centre in 2009.

"He just doesn't have the time to perform there. The tour is shorter than usual this time around," he said.


Taupo and Tauranga were also off the tour this year, but Mr Magan hoped fans from the Bay of Plenty would travel to Hamilton to see Connolly.

"We've already seen a huge number of people in the region buying tickets. In fact, about a quarter of the people who have bought tickets are from the Bay of Plenty." He would have loved the show to be held in Rotorua and acknowledged the city's events and venues team was keen to host the show. "Rotorua staff always work really hard to get shows to be held there and the venues are fantastic. There's nothing wrong in that regard. It's just a time thing."

Rotorua District Council's events and venues general manager Peter McLeod said it was disappointing Connolly was not performing in Rotorua.

"We really wanted to see him come here. There was certainly a strong case to have him at the Events Centre, with tickets selling out last time and the venue being able to hold a large audience," he said. "It just seems that we've missed out this time, which is unfortunate."

But Connolly is not the only act to bypass Rotorua this year, opera singing trio Sol3 Mio also saying it would not be performing in the city as part of a nationwide tour. Last year a tour of the comedy show 7 Days also skipped Rotorua.

Mr McLeod said the Rotorua events industry was doing everything it could to ensure events came to Rotorua regularly. "We're aways looking for more events to come to the city and for events to grow here," he said. "I think Rotorua is valued as an events destination. We just need to continually keep in contact with organisers to make sure it stays this way ..."