Summary of the feedback provided on the TDLG report

A summary of the feedback to the report produced by the TDLG. The content is organised by the main themes that emerged from the various channels of feedback, including a Ministerial response to the report, feedback received from MBIE Tourism staff and other government agencies, and a review meeting between MBIE and TDLG Co-chairs.

TDLG progress

It was acknowledged that the TDLG had made good progress in producing the report within the project timeframes. The TDLG report contains substantial content and a number of recommendations that prompted wide-ranging consideration.

Ranking recommendations by order of priority

One of the strongest themes emerged from the feedback was a request for the large number of recommendations to be ranked in order of priority to the industry, with an affordability lens over the ranking.

The TDLG are encouraged to produce a plan to show what new data sets can be implemented over the next 1 to 3 years. The timing of the potential data implementations is important to the overall new data project.

Funding and financial sustainability

The TDLG need to narrow down their current data set options to take into consideration what can be achieved with the current available funding.

The TDLG need to consider how the acquisition of new data sets will be financially sustainable over time. As part of the prioritisation process, the capacity of being financially sustainable in the ongoing use of a data set is an important contextual consideration.

MBIE have advised that TDLG need to narrow down their current data set options to take into consideration what can be achieved with the current funding available.

The TDLG can capitalise on their regional tourism relationships to discuss with RTO’s the option of co-funding a regional tourism data set and agreeing on the desired outputs of the data set. This action is a priority for the TDLG in response to the issue of sustainable project funding.

Māori tourism data needs

The TDLG recommended that they design an engagement process with Māori tourism businesses and communities to better understand their tourism data needs and how these needs can be met. Consequently, MBIE will work with the TDLG to support this work.

The attention given to the International Visitor Survey (IVS) by the TDLG is noted and there has been some changes made to the IVS over the last year by MBIE and Stats NZ.  The TDLG’s suggestions on the IVS still need to be assessed by MBIE and Stats NZ to determine the practical aspects where changes can be considered.

The International Visitor Arrivals (IVA) data set was mentioned in the TDLG’s recommendations. MBIE acknowledge that the TDLG need to be included in the new digitisation component of the IVA development.  There is considerable development occurring across a number of government agencies with the new digital platform to be used to gather data on tourists coming to New Zealand.  MBIE will provide regular updates to the TDLG to ensure that they are well informed of the questionnaire changes and methodology.

The TDLG gave attention to Accommodation Data Programme (ADP) and in particular the inclusion of short stay (Airbnb-type) accommodation.  MBIE are currently working on this issue and are preparing a report investigating the options to source data on short stay accommodation.

The Monthly Regional Tourism Estimates (MRTE) were identified by the TDLG as having value to the tourism data requirements. MBIE are in the process of sourcing a new provider and methodology. MBIE will update the TDLG.

New data sets

A number of new data sets have been presented by the TDLG, however the critical component is the determination of the most important data requirements within the budget restraints.

The TDLG expressed an interest in some form of a Domestic Travel Measure, similar to the data available for international tourists. MBIE are currently working with Tourism NZ on the possibility of developing domestic tourism data sets. MBIE need to inform the TDLG of this process.

International Visitor Forecasts were given some attention by the TDLG. MBIE need to communicate to the TDLG that in 2023 MBIE will be restarting the international arrival forecasting project. The TDLG can contribute to this project by providing feedback on the methodology and the planned outputs. The TDLG have made clear that they would like to see a new innovative approach to forecasting.

The measurable impact of tourism

It is acknowledged that the TDLG made a number of recommendations that had a focus on providing impact assessments of New Zealand’s Tourism.

The impact of tourism was taken to a micro level with the TDLG wanting to measure the impact at the level of communities, which will need to be considered in the context of the data set prioritisation.

The TDLG advocated considering the possibility of measuring the net costs and benefits of tourism and the total value delivered by visitors in Aotearoa. This complex measurement would need to be addressed if it is considered a high-priority project.

Data accessibility

The breadth of the TDLG report is evident when the TDLG recommended commission advice on best practice for an improved accessibility to tourism data. This task could include an assessment of the MBIE’s Tourism Evidence and Insights Centre (TEIC’s) suitability of being the tourism data one-stop-solution.

It was acknowledged that MBIE will review the Sustainable Tourism Explorer with input from the TDLG. The purpose of the review is to determine whether the Sustainable Tourism Explorer can meet its stated purpose to “measure and monitor the sustainability of the tourism ecosystem in Aotearoa New Zealand”, or whether a new approach is needed.

Some questions arose from the TDLG recommendation to investigate the capacity for existing and future tourism data and insights held by government agencies, private organisations and data agencies to be centralised and shared. The information already exist in the public domain, although not in a centralised location. The question to consider is how would the centralisation and data management fit in the list of priorities?

Specific feedback from statistics New Zealand

Stats NZ retain a role in the consideration of any new data in NZ, albeit as a data collector or other capacities such as digital presentation and methodology advice. Stats NZ provided some feedback on the TDLG report as summarised below.

  1. A suggestion for TDLG to prioritise the importance of existing tourism statistics.
  2. Any new work or improvements to existing statistics to provide more information on things like:
    • How the information will be used?
    • What decisions would be able to be made using this new information that can’t be made now?
    • What the benefit to NZ as a whole would be with this new information?
    • If information was able to be produced quicker, what does this mean for the industry? What type of decisions will they be able to make with more timely information that they can’t make now?
    • Working to improve the tourism data needs of Māori aligns with one of Stats NZ strategic priorities?
  3. Stats NZ noted the IVA was never suspended and had been continued during Covid period.  (p.10 of the report)

Currently Stats NZ is starting a process of consulting with a wide range of customers on their current and future need of data. TDLG are welcome to input on this as part of the process.