Image credit: Camilla Rutherford
New Zealanders see a vital role for tourism on the road to post-Covid economic recovery with jobs top of mind.
Tourism’s potential to create employment and enrich local communities has been strongly endorsed in a new survey of how Kiwis view tourism.
As tourism returns post-pandemic, the local tourism industry should focus on job creation, according to more than 30 percent of respondents in the on-going Views on Tourism research programme, conducted by Wellington-based research and strategy specialists Angus & Associates.
This result underlined the critical role that tourism could play in the country’s economic recovery, Angus & Associates Managing Director, Cristine Angus said.
“Few sectors, if any, can create jobs at scale in every community across New Zealand while also supporting other sectors, for example by providing a seasonal labour force for fruit picking or harvesting. So, it seems vital that we get the tourism industry back on its feet as quickly as possible and just as soon as it’s safe to do so,” she said.
It was also significant, Ms. Angus said, that the potential for job creation was equally important to Kiwis from both North and South Island centres.
At the same time, the survey clearly showed that post-recovery, New Zealanders were not expecting ‘business as usual’, she said. They wanted more investment in community infrastructure used by visitors, a greater focus on domestic tourism development and increased emphasis on sustainable tourism development.
The latter is especially important to younger Kiwis who would like to see additional focus on reducing visitor impact on their local environment, and helping visitors to reduce their carbon footprint and adopt more sustainable travel practices.
This was in line with the current industry discussion on “reimagining tourism” and the new Tourism Futures Taskforce, an independent public private partnership established by the government to lead thinking on the future of tourism in New Zealand, she said.
Consumer sentiment also supported the view that, as tourism returns, infrastructure investment will be essential to realising the economic benefits and effectively managing visitor growth.
Until recently, community sentiment about tourism had been largely unknown, Ms. Angus said, as there had been a lack of in-depth research into how Kiwis perceived an industry that played such a huge part in New Zealand’s economy.
“It’s crucial that industry, local and central government consult with communities about what they want from tourism. Resetting and reimagining tourism via an industry and ministerial focus group without meaningful community research and engagement could be a path to poor policy decision making,” Ms. Angus said.
Angus & Associates plan to release a series of insights around community views on tourism over the coming months. This will come as the industry and government begin work on resetting the levers that influence the performance of the sector which, until year end March 2019, was New Zealand’s biggest export industry contributing 20.4 percent of total exports.
Launched in 2017, Angus and Associates’ Views on Tourism research programme seeks insights from people in New Zealand, Australia and Ireland about their opinions on tourism, its benefits and its costs to them and their local communities. The survey data is building a valuable research resource for the tourism sector.
The latest data was collected between June 2020 and September 2020, and these findings are based on a sample of 770 New Zealanders aged 18 years or over. The sample is population representative as per the last census data.
The survey asked respondents what they would like their local tourism industry to most focus on in the future. Options included environmental themes such as reducing the carbon footprint of visitors, visitor impact on the local environment, safety, employment and infrastructure, increasing tourism’s value, attracting domestic vs. international visitors, promoting authentic experiences, and consultation with communities.A high res copy of the infographic for publication with this story is available here.
NOTES ON TOURISM
Source: YE March 2019, Statistics NZ Tourism Satellite Account
- $17.2 billion annual international tourism expenditure ($47 million a day)
- $23.7 billion domestic expenditure ($65 million a day)
- 14.4 percent of New Zealanders employed directly or indirectly in tourism in almost every corner of the country
- Tourism was New Zealand’s biggest export industry contributing to 20.4 percent of total exports
ABOUT: ANGUS & ASSOCIATES
Angus & Associates is a Wellington-based research and strategy company established in 2002.
Angus & Associates collaborates with many private, public and government organisations in New Zealand, Australia, Europe, North America, and the Middle East providing research and strategic planning services. We provide the specialist tools and knowledge so our clients can do business better and gain their competitive advantage.
Angus & Associates has won awards and accolades, including the coveted TIA (Tourism Industry Aotearoa) Industry Enabler Award (twice) recognising our valued contribution to New Zealand’s tourism industry.
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