Research and statistics


Rotorua experienced strong growth in the domestic visitor market for the month of July 2020 over the same month of the previous year. Domestic expenditure in Rotorua increased $22.3 million to $66.1 million, more than offsetting the $13.3 million decline in international expenditure. Rotorua's commercial accommodation recorded good occupancy levels for the month of July 2020, with most of Rotorua's accommodation sectors exceeding their respective national benchmarks. 

The decline in international expenditure was driven by the COVID-19 restrictions which occurred during the month of March: closing the New Zealand border to international visitors and placing New Zealand in lockdown.  COVID-19 travel restrictions on travellers from mainland China were first implemented at the New Zealand border on 2nd February and then over the following six weeks were broadened to include travellers from other countries and ultimately on 19th March, the New Zealand border was closed to all visitors and a week later New Zealand went into lockdown.

On 28th April the lockdown was lifted, on 14th May domestic travel was permitted and on 6th June businesses were permitted to resume trading at full capacity without social distancing requirements. On 12th August, the COVID alert level in Auckland was increased in response to a COVID community transmission cluster in Auckland. Auckland was at alert 3 restricting travel in/out of the city until 31st August.

The border remains closed to international visitors with no definitive date for reopening.  The New Zealand Government has made financial assistance available to businesses affected by the impacts of COVID-19. Find out more and/or apply for COVID-19 assistance at

While Rotorua is well known for its appeal to international visitors and well over half the visitors to the Rotorua Attractions and Activities Monitor sites are by international visitors, it is domestic visitors which contribute the largest proportion of visitor expenditure to the Rotorua economy. For the year ending July 2020, domestic visitor expenditure in Rotorua was $466 million versus $260 million by international visitors.
Rotorua has always actively promoted to its domestic visitor market, but while the New Zealand border remains closed is ramping up its domestic marketing activity further. Check out the increased focus on supporting local Rotorua businesses and getting New Zealanders to experience Rotorua’s world class tourism experiences at
Last updated 14 September 2020


Rotorua Tourism Key Facts
Compiled monthly by Destination Rotorua, the purpose of this factsheet is to assist in preparing speeches and presentations.


Rotorua Tourism Snapshot Infographic
Compiled monthly by Destination Rotorua, the snapshot provides an infographical illustration of visitor activity occuring in the Rotorua region.


New Zealand Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTE)Compiled monthly by MBIE, the MRTE quantifies the visitor expenditure in each of the Regional Tourism Organisation regions, including Rotorua.

New Zealand Regional Economic Activity Report (REAR)Compiled annually by MBIE, the REAR presents economic and visitor data on New Zealand’s regions, including Rotorua.

Rotorua Attraction & Activities Monitor (RAAM)

Compiled monthly by APR Consultants, the RAAM quantifies the collective visitor activity occuring at the businesses participating in the RAAM.



Rotorua Private Homes Monitor (PHM)

Compiled monthly by APR Consultants, the PHM quantifies the activity of visitors staying with friends and family in the private homes of Rotorua residents.

Rotorua Visitor Insights Programme (VIP)

VIP Infographic Snapshot                    VIP Full Report

Compiled quarterly by Angus and Associates, the VIP provides a profile of visitors to the region, consumer awareness of Rotorua communications, perceptions of the region, and appeal and propensity to visit Rotorua.


Domestic Growth in Tourism (DGiT)

DGiT is an innovative online tool to help tourism operators and Regional Tourism Organisations maximise the value they get out of domestic tourism.  Spearheaded by Tourism Industry Aotearoa, and funded by private and public sector industry representatives. Colmar Brunton was contracted to undertake research and develop the online tool, which included surveying 6000 Kiwis on their leisure travel habits to understand the different types of domestic travellers, including their motivations for travel. The online tool has many filters, including one to filter it to Rotorua.


New Zealand Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) Discontinued September 2019
Compiled monthly by Statistics New Zealand, the CAM quantifies the visitor demand and capacity of commercial accommodation in each of the regions, including Rotorua. Click here >> for a Rotorua specific analysis showing trends over the duration of the 20 year survey period.


New Zealand Business Events Activity Survey (BEAS) Discontinued June 2019
Compiled quarterly by MBIE, the BEAS quantifies business events activity occuring in each of the 14 participating regions, including Rotorua.


New Zealand International Visitor Arrivals (IVA)

Compiled monthly by Statistics NZ, the IVA quantifies the international visitor arrivals to each New Zealand airport, including Rotorua for the period when direct flights operated between Sydney and Rotorua (ie. December 2009 thru April 2015).


Visit the MBIE website to access freely available New Zealand and regional tourism research and statistics.

Visit the Tourism New Zealand website to access freely available international market profiles and insights.

Liability Disclaimer:  While all care and diligence has been exercised in reporting the material on this page and its links, Destination Rotorua and Rotorua Lakes Council gives no warranty it is error free and will not be liable for any loss or damage suffered by the use directly, or indirectly, of the information reported herewith.  Any decisions based on information reported this page and its links are made entirely at the reader's risk.  Before committing to significant business decisions, organisations/individuals are advised to seek professional assistance.