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Regional Tourism Shocked Over Loss of Valuable Tourism Data

Regional Tourism Organisations are shocked at the news their main source of tourism numbers data is to be scrapped just weeks after the government announced a commitment to better research for the industry.

Statistics New Zealand has just announced that the Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM) will be stopped from September.

Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) says doing away with this data without an immediate replacement has serious implications for planning for the future of their growing industry.

RTNZ Executive Officer, Charlie Ives who represents 30 tourism regions in New Zealand says while the CAM was far from perfect, it has been the only information the industry has on the volume of both domestic and international visitors around the country.

“It is unbelievable that only weeks after Ministers Kelvin Davis and Eugene Sage announced a strong commitment to improving an understanding of the industry through data, MBIE is ditching a key source of information without offering an immediate replacement.”

The New Zealand Tourism Strategy, launched to the industry at tourism trade show TRENZ on 16 May, said that the Government would be investigating new data to deepen our understanding of regional visitation, flows, motivations and satisfaction.

“Instead they’ve done the opposite. And what is even more distressing is that a number of tourism industry organisations put considerable resource into supporting a comprehensive review of the CAM in 2015, which came up with some practical, sensible, achievable solutions to improving it.

The Government has done nothing to implement these recommendations, despite industry representations. Instead it’s sat on its hands for four years, and then announced it is getting rid of the research completely, without an immediate alternative.

It is essential that the industry needs more reliable data to help plan for the future – something we understood the government was on board with when it released its Tourism Strategy.

We cannot manage our growing industry without information that helps inform the future of New Zealand’s largest export earner, and we are calling for this important data set to be continued until a suitable replacement has been successfully implemented.”

About Regional Tourism New Zealand

Regional Tourism New Zealand (RTNZ) is the name for the incorporated trust of 30 existing Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs).

It was established as a Charitable Trust in 2005, with the objects being to represent the interests of the collective RTO sector in New Zealand.

As the peak body for RTO’s RTNZ aims to encourage better coordination amongst RTO’s as well as ensuring collective RTO’s are engaged and consulted with on issues critical to the development of the regional tourism sector in New Zealand.

The activities RTNZ engages in include:

· Developing RTNZ submissions on issues and draft plans that impact the collective

· Providing advice and assistance to members

· Developing and maintaining ongoing relationships with stakeholder agencies

· Negotiation and execution of project-based funding contracts

· Managing and implementation of projects on behalf of RTONZ

· Coordination of media enquiries

· Advocacy of the RTO sector and the important role it plays in the New Zealand tourism landscape

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