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By David Perks• 19 Oct 2015
Last week Regional Tourism Organisations NZ (RTONZ) organised a workshop with MBIE to help the industry better understand how to make the most of data that is available to us, as well as find out what improvements are on their way.
Data has long been a much debated topic in the industry; tourism marketers have a healthy hunger for regional and meaningful statistics! Since the establishment of the tourism data industry reference group four years ago, a number of improvements have been made – and there are more to come.
A key point made by the team was that there are different dataset products for different audiences for different purposes. They are keenly aware there are still gaps, and demonstrated an intent to plug these, while managing their resources and priorities. Key upcoming developments include an interactive dashboard and regional landing pages – both of which should make accessing and understanding the data exists easier for us all.
Here’s a few updates and upcoming releases to be aware of. You can find a full calendar of release dates on MBIE’s website and be sure to sign up for MBIE’s data alerts if you are keen to keep on top of the latest industry statistics.
A mainstay of the data family, the CAM probably needs no introduction. It’s your go-to for understanding monthly commercial guest nights in the city and region, as well as tracking growth and splits across the domestic and international markets. The latest results were again strong for Wellington, with almost 83,000 more domestic commercial guest nights spent in the 11 months since the launch of the It's Never Just a Weekend when it's in Wellington campaign last October.
The Regional Economic Activity Report presents comprehensive economic data on New Zealand’s 16 regions. It highlights the strengths and challenges each region faces and is a useful tool to support planning at all levels. The report is also accompanied by an easy-to-use web tool and app – the latter being pretty handy for calling up data when topics come up in conversation over coffee or in meetings. As well as insight into the Wellington economy, you may find this useful as a snapshot into what’s happening in your key source markets.
Statistics New Zealand’s annual Tourism Satellite Account brings together a range of data to provide a picture of the role tourism plays in New Zealand, including the changing levels and impact of tourism activity and the industry’s contribution to the economy. It may be useful in providing national context to your business plans or proposals.
Not to be confused with the monthly Regional Tourism Indicators, the annual RTEs provide absolute dollar estimates of tourism expenditure at a detailed regional level. It’s worth noting that this year’s release will be impacted by recent revisions to the International Visitor Survey methodology, which means earlier versions of the RTEs should be discarded and the new tables downloaded for any analysis against years prior. Further details on this on MBIE’s site.
The development we are most excited about is the launch of a new dashboard product that will offer an interactive, visual and easy way to access and analyse regional data. When this is live, users will be able to:
- Access regional summaries
- Filter data by their choice of territorial authority or regional council
- Analyse visitor night performance, comparing destinations and origins
- View global context data such as exchange rate graphs
From here you’ll be able to access graphs that may be of use for reports, strategies and presentations, as well as look at regional performance.
Additional to the above there is also monthly International Visitor Arrivals and International Travel & Migration releases. There is also new research being carried out on how to better drive and maximise regional spread in the China market, which is due to be launching around the time of the TIA Tourism Summit in November.
In the future there will also be an interactive web app on the Regional Tourism Estimates, modelled territorial authority GDP, Convention Activity Survey and Convention Delegate Survey. Sign up to those MBIE data alerts to hear about when this is released.
If you need assistance in building a business case for Wellington development or project funding, please don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I also recommend talking to Angus & Associates, Tourism Resource Consultants or Destination Planning, who all offer research and business planning services for the tourism and leisure industries.