Rotorua had a 3 per cent increase in visitor nights during April helped by a surge of international visitors.

Domestic numbers were down though which was likely due to the four-day Easter break occurring in March this year versus April last year.

Destination Rotorua chief executive Mark Rawson said his team expected the Easter timing to result in negative growth for April but latest statistics proved otherwise.

"The increased activity from markets not influenced by the timing of Easter more than offset the March Easter and demonstrated the resilience of Rotorua's market mix towards smoothing this seasonal effect," said Mr Rawson.


According to the Statistics New Zealand Commercial Accommodation Monitor, there was a 3 per cent increase in visitor nights spent in Rotorua's commercial accommodation for the month of April 2016 over the previous year.

A 13 per cent increase by international visitors was partly offset by a five per cent decline in the domestic market, but overall resulted in positive growth in Rotorua's commercial accommodation.

The APR Consultants Rotorua Private Homes Monitor showed that Rotorua residents do their share of hosting friends and family in their homes.

There were 94,000 domestic visitor nights spent in Rotorua homes during the month of April 2016 (up 1100 nights over last year).

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment recorded a 2 per cent increase in the value of electronic spending by domestic visitors in Rotorua for the month of April over last year (versus a 1 per cent decline nationally) and a 5 per cent increase in value of electronic spending on accommodation by domestic visitors (versus static growth nationally).

The New Zealand Trade & Enterprise initiated Project Palace report focusing on regional hotel market analysis published last month identified key peak pressure on hotel room availability during high demand periods in five regions of New Zealand, including Rotorua.

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Rotorua hotels were reported to have a 10 per cent increase in the average daily rate for the 2015 year over the previous year, an 87 per cent quarterly occupancy rate in its peak summer quarter and were expected to reach an annual occupancy of 85% by 2025.

Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said there was an opportunity at that high end of Rotorua's hotel offering which would help to lift the market and profile the region as well as providing an opportunity to get into the higher value visitor segments such as incentive and luxury.

"Our focus will be to try and attract a five-star hotel investment development," said Mayor Chadwick.

"Clearly our challenge with any new hotel capacity coming on stream will be to work with the industry to sustain and grow existing demand to meet this increased capacity across the entire year.

"This growth opportunity is driven by the buoyant international tourism market and in particular the strong growth in Chinese visitors to New Zealand."

The strong growth in the Rotorua visitor industry puts it well on track to achieving the goal of doubling the value of this industry from $500 million in 2013 to $1 billion by 2030.