Kiwi Indian resident from Rotorua, former media person and tourism enthusiast Vishal Sharma is leaving no stone unturned on his mission to promote the geothermal city of culture, lakes and spa.
Vishal Sharma lost his full-time tourism job during the first wave of Covid lockdown in the country, but it did not dampen his spirit to try something new and follow his passion for promoting the city Rotorua.
“Rotorua is the most beautiful city in New Zealand, and we need more people from across the country visiting here with family and friends and explore the magnificence offered by this place,” Vishal told the Indian Weekender.
In his untiring mission to promote local tourism in Rotorua, Vishal bought a business of mini brochures stands, earlier called Stay & Play which Vishal changed it to ‘I Love Rotorua’. One important aspect of Vishal’s work is distribute the stands and brochures in Rotorua and several other places in North Island, attracting visitors to the geothermal city.
“In the last few months, I have placed 45 stands across Rotorua with brochures that mention about places where people can do activities, go sightseeing, have great cuisine, cafés, have fun and an amazing holiday time,” Vishal added.
The pamphlet mentions about Gondola, Skyline, Geothermal regions and lakes, River Rats Rafting, Totally Tarawera, Drift Kartz, Amazeme, Adventure Playground, Rotorua Attractions and much more. The brochure also lists the not so famous locations but are worth visiting, the lesser-visited attractions, cafés, restaurants, bars, motels, spa places etc.
Apart from distributing and placing stands and brochures, Vishal has dedicated the free hours of the last few months driving in and around the city, and some outskirts with his iconic ‘I Love Rotorua’ photo frame and branded sports cars to promote the city and its tourism.
“In my free time, or on weekends I just venture out in my ‘I Love Rotorua’ branded cars and publicise Rotorua as a city- I get lots of people taking pictures with the frame, and the car, talk more about Rotorua, and my passion for making the city the most renowned place in NZ and the world,” Vishal said.
“People also give gold coin donations which earlier last month was donated to Wairaki Women’s Refuge in Rotorua.”
Vishal in the next six weeks will be travelling to South Waikato region and place the at least 25 stands and hundreds of brochures in Otorohanga, Cambridge, Te Awamutu, Morrinsville, Hamilton and more.
Vishal is also known as the author and publisher of coffee table book ‘Places of Pride Rotorua Rotovegas of New Zealand’, the third edition of which named ‘I Love Rotorua’ will be published later in 2021.
The book is divided into sections on Rotorua which include tourism, hospitality, lifestyle, Maori culture, the story of Hinemoa and Tutanekai, and insider tips on places to enjoy in Rotorua city.
Vishal is also launching his website ‘iloverotorua.com’ that will serve as a guide for tourists, local, domestic and international (when the border opens) to enjoy places in the Rotorua city.
“As I lost my job last year, there was barely work for me as lockdown, and border closures obstructed tourist flow in Rotorua, but I took some courage and started a new enterprise, named it ‘I Love Rotorua’ and aim to make it a national and global brand someday soon.
“I am currently back in the media space and make time for both my job and the growing stands and brochures business.
“I request and encourage New Zealanders across the two islands to come to our Rotorua city- it’s an amazing place and there are tons of activities to do here and by visiting our little city- you are not only contributing to NZ’s economy but will also revive hundreds of small and medium businesses that depend on tourist traffic,” Vishal concluded.