Support for your tourism business

If you're thinking about setting up a tourism business, or already have an established one, there's plenty of industry information and support to help you along the way

Whether you are a new or existing tourism business, you'll quickly discover there are many key players that make up the New Zealand tourism industry.

Here's a few organisations you should be aware of that provide support:

  • Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) - TIA represents all sectors of New Zealand's tourism industry. It advocates for issues that impact the industry and works to build a sustainable industry that benefits Aotearoa and our people.
  • Tourism New Zealand (TNZ) - TNZ is responsible for marketing New Zealand to the world as a tourist destination, as well as domestically.
  • Tourism Export Council of New Zealand (TECNZ) - TECNZ is the industry association for tourism export. It works to connect tourism businesses (suppliers) with inbound tour operators.
  • Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) – There are 31 RTOs across New Zealand responsible for marketing their region and supporting their local tourism businesses. WellingtonNZ is the Wellington region's RTO and works closely with Destination Wairarapa, the Wairarapa's RTO.
  • Your local council – Get in touch with your local council to talk about specific context relevant for your area.
  • Chamber of Commerce – Speak to your local chamber about its range of advisory services and support for new businesses.

Once you understand these key players, you can ensure your business aligns to the New Zealand tourism context.

Tourism New Zealand campaigns and partnerships

Throughout your journey, there are many ways you can leverage marketing opportunities through TNZ:

  • Website listing - Promote your business at no cost by listing it on Tourism New Zealand's website, viewed by more than 100,000 domestic visitors each week.
  • Qualmark accreditation - This process allows you to evaluate your business and provides feedback to help strengthen the experience you offer. Once certified, you will have more opportunities to work with Tourism New Zealand.
  • Market research - TNZ conducts a range of research projects across target visitor markets to gain greater understanding of the markets, and the thinking and behaviour of potential travellers.
  • Tiaki Promise - The Tiaki Promise is a commitment to care for New Zealand while travelling, and has a set of guiding principles for visitors to follow to show them how to contribute to preserving and protecting our land.

We also work closely with Tourism New Zealand for domestic and international campaigns. If you are an established business and Qualmark accredited, there may be further opportunities to become involved.

Starting a tourism business

If you are about to establish a tourism business in New Zealand, be mindful of the relevant regulations and legislation you must comply with.

Speak to a professional if you are unsure which regulations may apply to your business, but here's a few that are relevant for tourism operators:

  • When you start a business, you become a PCBU (person conducting a business or undertaking) under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015. Check WorkSafe to find out what this means for you.
  • If your product has any aspect of adventure, check WorkSafe to see if your product is considered an “adventure activity” and whether you need to follow specific regulations.
  • If you are running a passenger service, look at the New Zealand Transport Agency website to find out what licenses you require.
  • If you plan to take visitors to public conservation land or interact with wildlife, you may need a Department of Conservation (DOC) permit.

Valuable insights

There are a range of tools available to tourism businesses that enable you to get the insights you need to succeed.

  • DGiT - The Domestic Growth Insight Tool is an online tool to help boost the value you get from domestic tourism by identifying which Kiwi leisure travellers to target.
  • Figure.NZ Tourism Hub - This is a user-friendly free resource. You can search data by sector and location, and it brings up a range of data that may fit the scope of your search.

Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment (MBIE) data

  • Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTE) – This provides an estimate of regional monthly expenditure on tourism from both international and domestic consumers.
  • International Visitor Survey (IVS) - This survey measures the expenditure, characteristics and behaviours of international visitors to New Zealand.
  • Accommodation Data Programme (ADP) - This provides information about short-term accommodation activity at national, regional and lower levels. It estimates the guest nights, occupancy rates and other measures relating to the accommodation industry.

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