May 20, 2015
Spa project gets tourism growth boost
A Ngati Whakaue-led project to build a spa development on the Rotorua lakefront has secured a $350,000 investment from the Government’s Tourism Growth Partnership fund.
Prime Minister and Tourism Minister John Key told the TRENZ conference in the city yesterday that the World Spa project should help achieve the Rotorua Lakes Council’s goal of 1.5 million commercial spa visits a year.
Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick says the city wants to reclaim its title of ‘Spa Capital of the South Pacific’.
She says Rotorua has a hot springs heritage that dates back to its earliest Maori residents, and the potential for spa and spa-related developments is huge.
Lobby group Taxpayers’ Union claimed the grant to Ngati Whakaue’s commercial arm Pukeroa Lakefront Holdings Limited was corporate welfare that would pull tourists away from other regions.
But it was silent about Mr Key’s announcement $1.5 million would got to Blenheim’s Omaka Aviation Heritage Centre for a World War Two exhibition hangar and function centre.
The centre already houses Sir Peter Jackson’s World War One aviation collection.
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