Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s (TIA) latest report found that most operators expect business to improve in 2018.
The latest State of the New Zealand Tourism Industry report, authored by Wellington Institute of Technology research and tourism lecturer Jamie Smiler, was released on Tuesday (30 Jan) and includes the results of a survey of 354 tourism operators from around the country, as well as reviewing the industry’s performance over the last 12 months. It also provides a Scorecard on how the industry is tracking to reach its Tourism 2025 goal of achieving $41 billion total annual tourism revenue.
The survey found that 62 per cent of tourism businesses believe their performance will improve over the next 12 months, with 74 per cent wanting to attract more high value visitors.
“International visitor arrivals have increased in each of the last five years and we know the industry has been booming. It’s pleasing to see that operators are expecting to build on the current positive business conditions. Even in Kaikōura, where operators suffered major business downturns following the November 2016 earthquake, they are optimistic about their future,” says TIA chief executive Chris Roberts.
However, the survey reveals that tourism operators share the New Zealand public’s concerns about the ability of our infrastructure to cope with growing visitor arrivals. The Mood of the Nation survey, released by TIA and Tourism New Zealand earlier this month, found that New Zealanders were worried about the pressures tourism is placing on our infrastructure.
“In a highly competitive global tourism market, travellers have many destination options. Infrastructure is of strategic importance to our international competitiveness. Quality infrastructure is necessary for the industry to deliver a quality visitor experience,” said Roberts.
Infrastructure improvements would also support the industry to grow sustainably, survey respondents suggested. Increased regional dispersal of visitors and an increase in off-peak visitation were other key ways to grow sustainably.
Difficulties in finding skilled staff for tourism businesses were also highlighted by survey respondents.
“82 per cent agreed that staffing is becoming a significant issue for New Zealand tourism businesses, compounded by uncertainty over immigration policies. As well as limiting business growth, this also constrains the wider industry’s ability to meet our Tourism 2025 goals.
“As the peak private sector organisation for the New Zealand tourism industry, TIA is actively working to address the challenges created by tourism’s growth. We have a number of projects underway that bring tourism representatives together with central and local government to find solutions,” said Roberts.
To read the State of the Tourism Industry 2017, click here.