We have a new partner, and a new suite of questions exploring personal ‘felt benefits and impacts’ of tourism activity.
Fáilte Ireland, Ireland’s National Tourism Development Authority has partnered with Angus & Associates to gain an understanding of the Irish public’s disposition towards tourism, as part of the Views on Tourism research programme.
Angus & Associates is delighted to welcome Fáilte Ireland to its Views on Tourism research programme, following the announcement of Tourism Research Australia’s involvement last year. “This new partnership strengthens the international benchmarking opportunities offered by the programme” Managing Director Cristine Angus says.
The new partnership coincides with the introduction of a new suite of questions exploring the personal ‘felt benefits and impacts’ of tourism activity within local communities; questions that will provide very actionable insights for research partners. For example, “two in every five New Zealanders agree that more local businesses have opened, or been able to stay open, because of tourism activity in their local area” Angus says “and more than one third of New Zealanders agree that they benefit from tourism by having a more vibrant and friendly place to live”.
In terms of the personally felt negative impacts of tourism activity, research respondents are asked if they feel enough action is being taken to address these, and if not, what more they feel could be done. For the most part New Zealanders agree that enough is being done, but some feel that there remains scope to do more – for example in protecting the natural environment, and in reducing tourism’s impact on the availability of housing. Collecting this new information ensures that the issues driving and/or undermining support at a regional level can be identified, better understood and addressed on an ongoing basis.
While weaker in New Zealand than it is in other countries, there has been little real deterioration in New Zealand tourism’s social licence to operate (when considered at a national level) over the past two years. There have however been some significant changes by region, with residents of some regions increasingly becoming advocates for tourism activity, whilst residents in other regions have become more critical.
“Our latest findings suggest that the North Island currently has relatively more capacity for growth in tourism activity” Angus continues. In the past year, thirty percent of South Islanders agreed that tourism activity in their local area was placing too much pressure on local infrastructure, compared to less than one fifth of North Island residents. A higher proportion of South Island residents than North Island residents also said that they felt less safe driving, that damage to the natural environment is occurring, and that they have observed an increase in waste generation, as a result of tourism activity in their local area.
The research also shows that younger New Zealanders (18-34 year olds) are more critical of tourism activity in New Zealand than their older counterparts. Future analysis of the research findings will explore the factors driving this difference in attitudes.
“With more than 215,000 people directly employed in tourism and average daily tourism expenditure at $107 million per day, tourism continues to be a critically important sector of our economy” Angus says. “Our research underpins the need to continue advocating the benefits of tourism, while engaging with communities to manage and reduce any adverse impacts so that public support for tourism is retained.”
Angus & Associates’ Views on Tourism research programme was launched in 2017 and to date has canvassed opinions from a representative sample of more than 11,000 New Zealand and Australian residents. Angus & Associates is actively seeking national and regional partners in New Zealand, and is also pursuing opportunities to partner with other international stakeholders.
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