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The spatial pattern of tourism development in Rotorua Essay

Rotorua is one of the most popular tourist destinations in New Zealand. Tourism and tourism development has occurred in Rotorua due to geothermal activity, Maori culture, lake related activities and other cultural attractions. Tourism development has build up around these natural and cultural attractions and a specific spatial pattern of tourism development can be seen.

An agglomeration pattern of accommodation can be seen in Rotorua. The three main types of accommodation available in Rotorua are motels, hotels and lodges. Fenton Street is a mayor contributor to the development of accommodation, especially in motels and hotels, along upper Fenton Street. Agglomeration of motels and hotels along upper Fenton Street has developed, because Fenton Street is a central link to various attractions. Fenton Street links the central business district to Whakarewarewa and to Lake Rotorua. This is important as it allows tourists to move around the town with ease and efficiency.

Hotels along Fenton Street have developed along natural and cultural attractions, such as Whakarewarewa. This is also to allow for ease and efficiency, as tourists who stay in hotels normally come to visit these attractions close by and do not stay long. Motels are situated through out the town, as families, with family cars tend to stay in these. Therefore, along Fenton Street an agglomeration pattern of accommodation, especially in hotels along upper Fenton Street is seen.

Geothermal activity has been a mayor factor in the development of tourism in Rotorua. Geothermal activity is a natural occurring attraction that is fixed in one position, because of this tourism development builds up around certain attractions. This pattern was seen in the past with the pink and white terraces. The Maori pa sites that surrounded the terraces where developed into hotels for tourism who came from overseas. Even though the terraces were destroyed in the 1886 eruption, the development of accommodation and shops around geothermal activity is still evident today. This pattern has occurred to allow tourist to easily access goods and services, while allowing the shop and accommodation owners can make a profit.

One place where this is seen is the Polynesian spa pools and Whakarewarewa, where shops and hotel chains such as the Regel Palms have developed around the development of the geothermal activity. In contrast to this suburban development is away from highly active geothermal areas and from the busy central business district. Therefore, the development of geothermal areas trigged the development of hotels, shops and roads to cope with the demand from the increase in tourists.

Mountain Ngongotaha has been a prime natural feature for the development of cultural activities. The agglomeration of cultural attractions on Ngongotaha and along state highway 5 includes; the Gondola, Luge, Rainbow springs, Argodome and swoop. These attractions are geographically close together allowing for the economically efficient tourism, as the tourists can move fast and efficiently from one attraction to the next. However, accommodation is not present near or on Mountain Ngongotaha. One reason for this is that these cultural attractions are not the main reason why tourists visit Rotorua, geothermal activity, lake activities and Maori are. Therefore, the cultural attractions near or on Mountain Ngongotaha have developed and grouped together to allow for efficient tourism.

Therefore, tourism development in Rotorua has concentrated around natural attractions, especially around the lake and central business district, while accommodation has concentration along Fenton Street and these natural attractions.

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