Tourism Development in New Zealand

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Tourism Development in Rotorua

Rotorua is a city located in the North Island of New Zealand and is located 230km south of Auckland. It is a popular tourist destination and receives 1.5 million visitors a year from around the world. The development of the tourist industry in Rotorua is due to a sequence of events that have occurred over past 160 years. These events have been devised into 4 major stages which, include cultural and natural change and economic development.

Stage one in the process of tourism development in Rotorua is the beginning phase which made Rotorua a tourist destination. Before the Pink and White Terraces where discovered by the European settlers in the 1850’s, there was no tourism in the area and a large settlement of Maori called the Arawa Tribe. The Europeans claimed the terraces as a “thermal wonderland” to attract tourists which travelled down the Waihou River from Auckland by boat. This made an opportunity for local Maori to act as tour guides and make a profit from the increased activity in the area. This lead to the development of tourist infrastructure such as hotels and coach services in the nearby village in Te Wairoa. However, the terraces were destroyed by the Mt Tarawera eruption of 1886 which meant development had to be moved elsewhere.

The second stage was formed by the development of new attractions to prevent a decline in tourists in the the area. This meant the focus was moved to the township of Rotorua which lead to the development of health and spa resorts. An example of this is the introduction of the railway in 1894 which allowed for a faster means of travel for tourists wanting to visit Rotorua. The government wanted to encourage growth in the area and decided to invest in developing the famous ‘bath house’ in 1905. This was popular among wealthy tourists as it was touted as having ‘therapeutic’ facilities such as shock treatment. This further increase the demand for infrastructure in Rotorua and more roads...
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