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Small Business Driver: Rotorua Rafting

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Self-starter Sam established Rotorua Rafting in 2011 at the age of 23, and in the past 8 years has watched his business turn into a highly popular, award-winning rafting operation. Although they are less than a decade old, Rotorua Rafting have well and truly proven the quality of the experiences they provide, being voted Trip Advisor’s Traveller’s Choice Experience for New Zealand in 2019. Sam says that it is his and his team’s passion for what they do that sets them apart from others in a saturated tourism market, ensuring that every individual gets the best experience possible from their trip – although he admits that the highly photogenic nature of the experience they provide helps, too!

It’s not news to say that Covid-19 has devastated the tourism industry, and Rotorua Rafting has felt the effects of the health crisis in every corner of their business. With 70% of their business typically coming from the international tourism market, Rotorua Rafting have pivoted to offer incentivised deals to the domestic market to stay afloat. Sam is also working hard to develop a NCEA P.E. resource for teachers to encourage domestic school attendance and inspire the younger generation to pursue careers in outdoor recreation. 

As a recipient of the Small Business Driver initiative, the Toyota Highlander now allows Sam and his team to get around and promote Rotorua Rafting to Aotearoa, with domestic tourism being the businesses’ key focus in the short term. “I am personally optimistic about the situation we find ourselves in – this is merely a wave we must ride out to diversify to come out with a stronger, better product,” Sam says.

Rotorua Rafting offers spectacular white water rafting adventures on the Kaituna River, book your spot now! Check out their website: https://www.rotorua-rafting.co.nz/