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No international tourists shadows Rotorua projects’ futures

May 12, 2020

No international tourists shadows Rotorua projects’ futures

Site preparation has resumed but new Rotorua hotel schedule is uncertain. Photo: Gordon Preece

No international tourists could delay construction of a $80 million Rotorua hotel which aimed to revitalise the CBD.

Plans to build the new hotel on Arawa Street with a unique Maori focus were announced by Rotoma No.1 Inc last year.

Now it says while contractors have resumed the original building’s demolition it is unsure if construction will start as scheduled for next year with completion late 2022.

“We’re still yet to discuss that at board level but obviously that’s some of the thinking based on the discourse in international travel at the moment,” said CEO Neville King.

The new hotel will be ‘hugely’ reliant on international tourists, he said.

“It was a big part of our strategy because there was a big gap in the market where a lot of international tourists were coming into the city but weren’t many staying”.

King said it could be three years until Rotorua is at similar international tourist numbers again.

Last month Rotorua’s Sudima Hotel announced their closure for three to 18 months as guests are largely international tourists.

Another Rotorua project being developed is Wai Ariki Hot Springs & Spa which was set to open on Rotorua’s lakefront late next year.

In a statement the developers Pukeroa Oruawhata Trust said they’ve complied with the Covid-19 restrictions and have stopped work on the project but wouldn’t comment further.

New Zealand closed its borders to international visitors in March for protection from Covid-19.

Rotorua i-SITE manager Graham Brownrigg and Destination Rotorua CEO Michelle Templer were also contacted for comment about the hotel plans.

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