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Tourism Research 101

by Sheena Crawford, Consumer Marketing Executive, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism

9 April 2014

As Consumer Marketer at CCT my role includes pulling out key facts from the statistics that are publicly available and also looking after our own research projects. It may sound a little dull but monitoring the stats and conducting our own research is the foundation for all our work. Research projects help us to understand the visitor experience as it is (including identifying any issues), as well as understanding potential visitors and opportunities within a particular market. We can then develop effective strategies based on this research. Monitoring statistics and repeating research also allows us to test how effective these strategies have been and what needs to be changed in the future, all sounds pretty helpful really?

Research projects help us to understand the visitor experience as well as understanding potential visitors and opportunities within a particular market.

Sheena Crawford, Consumer Marketing Executive

I often get asked for various statistics, from the near impossible; ‘how many people drive the road from Lake Tekapo to Mt Cook each day during the winter months?’ To the very easy; ‘how many Australian holiday visitors arrived into Christchurch Airport in December 2013?’ So I thought I’d start with the easy stuff and statistics that are easily accessible to all:

  • International Travel Migrations - ITM (Statistics New Zealand) – This one is my fave! The ITM measures arrivals and departures into NZ. The most useful for us is being able to separate by purpose & country of residence and compare it to other ports of arrival (and scowl or smile when we compare CHC to ZQN).
  • Commercial Accommodation Monitor - CAM (MBIE) – The CAM monitors guest nights in commercial accommodation across NZ. Of use to us is that it’s separated into North and South Canterbury and Christchurch & Akaroa and then there’s also the option to combine them all. The CAM also separates domestic and international guests to allow monitoring of different trends.
  • Regional Tourism Indicators - RTIs (MBIE) -The RTIs measure the change in level of expenditure of both international and domestic travellers in NZ by region. Change is measured by an index based on the months in 2008 as well as the number of electronic transactions. RTIs can also be separated by North and South Canterbury and Christchurch City. This is a fairly recent addition to our toy box of research but is proving to be very handy!
  • International Visitor Survey – IVS (MBIE) - The IVS measures the travel patterns and expenditure of international visitors to New Zealand. Data includes expenditure, places visited, activities/attractions, accommodation and transport. This one’s great for showing the worth of tourism to the economy…if anyone is ever doubting your profession!

There we have it, the easily accessible stats that everyone can access. Now you can be that clever one throwing out key arrival stats at dinner parties…or perhaps the more appropriate business meetings.

If you need any help with these or have other research/statistics related questions just let me know. We have a few more research projects that CCT undertake and I’m sure I’ll be blogging about in the near future…keep your eyes peeled! 

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