Impact of Mountain Biking in Rotorua

Mountain biking contributes $139.8m to the Rotorua Lakes economy

A report commissioned by RotoruaNZ in August 2022, shows that $103.4m was spent in Rotorua in 2021 by visitors who came for the sole purpose of mountain biking. Other visitors who mountain biked while staying in Rotorua for other reasons spent a further $36.4m, a total contribution of $139.8m to the local economy.

The report, written by economist Benje Patterson, also highlights the impact mountain biking in Rotorua has on jobs. Approximately 1,153 jobs in 2021 could have been supported by mountain bike visitors’ spending, and of these jobs 853 were supported by people whose primary purpose of visiting was to go mountain biking.

Download the report

The report is available to download below.


This report uses a more comprehensive methodology than previous estimates conducted in 2018 and 2020. At the time of previous estimates, accurate visitation data was unavailable but in 2020, mobile phone-based visitation data was made accessible by Data Ventures. This has enabled us to gain a much more accurate view of total visitation (and thus mountain bikers) to Rotorua instead of previous estimates which were based solely on counter data in Whakarewarewa Forest. This total view, alongside increases in the popularity of biking, inflation and forest investments (Forest Loop, Te Putake o Tawa), has led to a significantly higher figure, reflective of the value that mountain biking brings into the Rotorua community. 

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