Tourism Data Leadership Group

The Tourism Data Leadership Group (TDLG) was established to facilitate the provision of consistent, reliable, and trusted tourism data and insights that enables improved understanding to support better decision making, long-term value gains and sustainability for the benefit of all New Zealanders.

Purposes and objectives

The purpose of the Group is to create a collaborative forum to identify information needs of the diverse set of tourism data user (industry, central and local government, communities, iwi, interest groups, academics, and commentators), communicate those needs to the wide range of stakeholders, and support the implementation of possible solutions, including the provision of data and insights to users.

The core purpose and key objectives of the Group are outlined in the Terms of Reference.

Refreshed Terms of Reference

Tourism Data Leadership Group establishment and implementation phase

The TDLG was established in June 2022 following the 2019 Hui to facilitate the provision of consistent, reliable, and trusted tourism data and insights that enables better decision-making and understanding of long-term value gains and sustainability of the tourism sector. The Group in its first year (the establishment phase) focused on how it would operate and understanding sector context and needs. The phase has concluded at the end of May 2023.

As of May 2023, the Group is transitioning into a 2-year implementation phase, which includes the allocation of the funding.  A business plan is in development and will be a priority for the group.

The Terms of Reference (TOR, refreshed) require appointments to be made again for the second phase. Download the refreshed Terms of Refences.

Refreshed Terms of Reference

An appointment committee made up of one representative from Tourism Industry Aotearoa, New Zealand Māori Tourism, Regional Tourism Organisations New Zealand and the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, selected 2 co-chairs and 7 members. The committee made their decision based on a mix of skills, knowledge, experience and representation, as outlined in the Terms of Reference.


Steve Armitage (consultant and Chair of Business Events Industry Aotearoa and Trustee of the Te Pae Taurima o Te Tai Tokerau), was appointed co-chair of the Group. Mr Armitage, whose tribal affiliation is Ngāpuhi is joined by 7 members who are all highly regarded in their respective fields and have a wealth of experience across academia, government and the tourism industry. The full group consists of the following membership:

Member Current position(s)
Steve Armitage, Group co-chair Consultant, Chair of Business Events Industry Aotearoa; Trustee of the Te Pae Taurima o Te Tai Tokerau
Dr Susanne Becken Principal Science Investment Advisor at Department of Conservation; Professor of Sustainable Tourism at Griffith University, Australia
Dr Antony Kennedy Senior Manager for Spatial and Processing Services at Stats NZ/Tatauranga Aotearoa
Justin Kimberley Head of Business Growth, Insights and Innovation at Rotorua NZ
Graeme Osborne Senior Tourism Consultant for Stafford Strategy. Previously CEO and Deputy Chair for NZ Māori Arts & Craft Institute and CEO for Tourism Auckland
David Perks Chair of Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) and GM for 'Takina' Commercial Development of Wellington Convention and Exhibition Centre for Wellington City Council
Wiremu Stone
Tribal affiliation: Ngāi Tahu and Ngātiwai
Head of Shared Services, Company Secretary and Accountant for Whale Watch Kaikoura Limited
Bruce Bassett Chief Advisor at Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA)

Keeping up to date with the TDLG

If you're interested in following the progress of TDLG and its work programme, please email the secretariat at or subscribe to the tourism data alerts mailing list.

Subscribe to tourism data alerts

TDLG Publications

The Tourism Data Leadership Group (TDLG) meet bi-monthly in Wellington, and online as needed to discuss on the strategic direction of tourism data & insight. All meeting minutes are available on request at

The following documents have been published by the TDLG.

Draft Strategic Business Plan

The Tourism Data Leadership Group (TDLG) released its draft 2-year Strategic Business Plan for public feedback on January 17, 2024. The feedback period closed 5pm, Sunday 4 February 2024.

The Group considers the Plan (and roadmap) a blueprint for the future of the tourism data system. The Plan provides direction for the next 2 years not only around data itself, but its oversight and ongoing sector investment.

The Strategic Business Plan is expected to be finalised following Ministerial endorsement by the end of March 2024.

Interim Action Plan 2023

The Interim Action Plan presents the TDLG’s near term initiatives from the initial report (see below), while developing its strategy and investment approach that will be consulted in early 2024. 

The Interim Action Plan signals to stakeholders the importance of delivering quality data in relation to Māori and tourism and regenerative tourism, and addressing key regional and domestic data gaps.

Interim Action Plan: July to December 2023

TDLG initial report

The initial report delivered in December 2022 outlines the key milestones the Group achieved in the first 6 months. The report also covers the state of the current tourism data system for context and an initial package of recommendations for the implementation phase of TDLG.

Read the Tourism Data Leadership Group Initial Report

The report was delivered to MBIE, and then to the Minister of Tourism in December 2022. It was also circulated to other government agencies for further feedback.

Read the summary of feedback for the TDLG report

MBIE has published this report to allow the industry to read the evaluation and recommendations produced by the TDLG. Subsequent feedback from industry will be updated here.


In October 2022, the TDLG conducted a short industry survey. Some of the key survey fundings were:

  • Internal company systems are the most common primary source of data and insight (36%).
  • Tourism New Zealand is the most common secondary source (56%).
  • Combining primary and secondary data sources, internal systems, Tourism New Zealand, and Tourism Industry Aotearoa were all used by over 50% of respondents.
  • On average, people were 6.1 out of 10 satisfied with the publicly available tourism data and insights, with timeliness getting the lowest score of 5.7 out of 10.
  • Not surprisingly, larger businesses are more confident about their ability to interpret the data.
  • Four suggested areas for improvement stood out.
  • When asked what one change they could make to the tourism data system, the top choice was centralised data.

The 4 most notable areas for suggested improvement were:

  • Regional tourism volumes and flows
  • International arrivals and spend forecasts
  • Visitor profile modelling
  • Regional tourism forecasts

Read the full results of the survey:

The survey provides a useful input to the broader work programme of the Tourism Data Leadership Group which is now included in the TDLG's initial report.

Last updated: 05 February 2024