Rotorua could be set for an influx of mobile home visitors with the district being accorded official Motorhome Friendly Town status

Acknowledgement of the district's support for motorhome travellers has come from the New Zealand Motor Caravan Association (NZMCA), which has more than 60,000 active members.

There will be a function at the council Civic Centre this week.

It follows Rotorua's recent development of a free, security camera-monitored dedicated parking area in Government Gardens, specifically for campervan and motorhome vehicles.

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The initiative is part of Rotorua Lakes Council's programme to encourage more foot traffic into the inner city and to bring new vitality.

The council's Sports and Recreation Portfolio lead, Councillor Charles Sturt, said the new dedicated parking site had been well received by motorhome users and, being just a few minutes' walk from the centre of town, was providing ready access to inner city shops, cafes and visitor attractions, and to the city's Green Corridor and cycling paths.

"It means Rotorua is catering for a wide cross-section of visitors, making it easy for them to enjoy our facilities and of course to contribute to our local economy while they're in town.

"NZMCA records show the association's members spend an average of 75 nights away from home each year. And with on-the-road motor home expenditure exceeding $650 million annually, this is a market that we're certainly keen to embrace," Mr Sturt said.

NZ Motor Caravan Association Rotorua area chairperson, Brian Stanley, described Rotorua's Motorhome Friendly Town status as a win-win situation.

"It gives our huge network of members a lot of confidence in the destination, and it's likely to mean more visits and longer stays in Rotorua."

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The Motor Home Friendly Town scheme was introduced into New Zealand in 2010 so mobile home users would know where to find superior amenities and services, and be assured of a warm welcome.

Rotorua's new motorhome friendly status also follows the official opening in April of the NZMCA Ngongotaha Park for motorhomes.

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The national association is currently setting up a nationwide network of motorhome park properties for members, of which Rotorua is an integral part.

Destination Rotorua general manager marketing, Oscar Nathan, said motorhome friendly accreditation was great for Rotorua.

"It will open the door for more visitors to experience the unique environment and attractions Rotorua has on offer," he said.

As part of its new status as a Motorhome Friendly Town, Rotorua will receive 'motorhome friendly' signage for city gateways, promotion on the NZMCA website, and will be the subject of a feature in the Motor Caravan Association's member magazine Caravanning.

Mayor Steve Chadwick is to be presented with an NZMCA citation formalising Rotorua's motorhome-friendly status, at a function on Wednesday.