NZTRI driving Niue Tourism economic sustainability
NZTRI research driving economic sustainability for Niue tourism
The New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) at AUT University is working with the government of Niue to make the most out of the beautiful tourist destination.
The NZTRI signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the Niuean government in order to develop a tourism research programme that assists Niue to increase the sustainable economic outcomes that stem from tourism development.
As part of the MOU an online survey was set up in June this year to gain a better understanding of who is visiting Niue and where they are spending their money.
NZTRI Director Simon Milne says developing this survey, which is running through to October and is then designed to continue into the future, is vital as it will provide important information needed to create better services and experiences.
"Visitors leaving the country are encouraged to complete the web-based survey, and their feedback will allow industry and government to evaluate changes in visitor satisfaction and expenditure in a cost-effective and ongoing process."
Another goal of the research programme centres is assisting Niuean communities to develop a greater set of online resources with which to market themselves.
"Our long term goal is to enable villages to construct and build their own web-based content, reflecting the stories and the culture of Niue. With such resources in place, visitors can be better prepared for what they may be able to experience in Niue before they arrive"
Milne says he hopes these resources will help to draw in more tourists, but also create closer links with Niueans who have left the country.
In addition to the research projects, the NZTRI has been involved with the Niue Tourism Office in coordinating hospitality training provided by AUT hospitality lecturer Gina Harrap and her husband, New Zealand Chefs' Association National Ambassador, Martin Harrop.
The training, held mid July, came just in time to up skill Niue's tourism and hospitality staff before the upcoming Pacific Island Forum held there later this month.
Mrs Harrop says the four-day course, which included catering, housekeeping, bar and beverage service and customer service, also had a focus on building awareness of the benefits involved in serving local Niuean produce instead of purely imported fare.
Research officer Carolyn Nodder says the NZTRI was thrilled to be a part of the training initiative.
"The Niue tourism office is focused on building the capabilities of tourism staff to offer an even better 'Niue experience' to visitors, this will help further develop Niue's tourism industry and maximise benefits for the broader population."