Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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Industry shocked over loss of valuable tourism data

Tourism organisations are shocked at the news their main source of tourism numbers data is to be scrapped just weeks after the government announced a commitment to better research for the industry.

Statistics New Zealand has just announced that the Commercial Accommodation Monitor will be stopped from September.

Regional Tourism New Zealand says doing away with this data without an immediate replacement has serious implications for planning for the future of their growing industry.

RTNZ executive officer Charlie Ives, who represents 30 tourism regions in New Zealand, says while the CAM was far from perfect, it has been the only information the industry has on the volume of both domestic and international visitors around the  country.

“It is unbelievable that only weeks after Ministers Kelvin Davis and Eugene Sage announced a strong commitment to improving an understanding of the industry through data, MBIE is ditching a key source of information without offering an immediate replacement,” he says.

“The budget allocation reflects the significant contribution that international tourism continues to make to our communities and economy as New Zealand’s top export earner,” says Tourism New Zealand CEO Stephen England-Hall.

“Tourism is the beating heart of New Zealand’s economy and it’s important that the visitor economy gives back more than it takes, enriching our country and people.

“Tourism New Zealand’s funding will be invested to directly shape visitation, working to ensure we play an active role in attracting high value visitors and encouraging them into regional New Zealand to spread the benefits of tourism across Aotearoa.”

The New Zealand Tourism Strategy, launched to the industry at tourism trade show TRENZ on May 16, says that the Government would be investigating new data to deepen our understanding of regional visitation, flows, motivations and satisfaction.

“Instead they’ve done the opposite,” says Charlie. “And what is even more distressing is that a number of tourism industry organisations put considerable resource into supporting a comprehensive review of the CAM in 2015, which came up with some practical, sensible, achievable solutions to improving it.

“The Government has done nothing to implement these recommendations, despite industry representations. Instead it’s sat on its hands for four years and then announced it is getting rid of the research completely, without an immediate alternative. It is essential that the industry needs more reliable data to help plan for the future – something we understood the government was on board with when it released its Tourism Strategy,” he says.

“We cannot manage our growing industry without information that helps inform the future of New Zealand’s largest export earner, and we are calling for this important.

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