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Launch of the TRCNZ Website - Mark Burton Speech

Hon Mark Burton

19 February 2003


Launch of the Tourism Research Council New Zealand Website

Good evening, and welcome to you all.

It is a pleasure to be hosting you all this evening. It's a very important moment for New Zealand's entire tourism industry.

We are here tonight to launch a powerful tool that will offer strong support to the sector as a whole¡Xthe new website of the Tourism Research Council New Zealand.

It offers, for the first time, the full range of tourism sector data and research available on line.

One of its main features is the drawing together all of the elements of the core tourism dataset, in one place and in one format.

The other main feature is the establishment of a web-based index of tourism research, where the data is dynamic and users are not tied to a fixed data presentation.

This feature is particularly exciting. The software underpinning it¡Xdeveloped by three innovative New Zealand companies and the University of Waikato¡Xallows users to search databases in the way that is most useful to them.

For example, if the top-line data shown on the website is a graph of visitor arrivals for a three-year period, but the user really needs a ten-year period, a tailored search will allow the user to get the data they want.

By allowing businesses and other users to get directly to the particular information they need, this website will add value to the user's experience, and greatly increase the quality of tourism-related decision-making processes.

[But I'll leave it to Sean to tell you about the technology side in more detail later.]

Work on this website was undertaken as a direct result of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010.

When the Strategy was released in 2001, one of its recommendations was to establish a comprehensive process to improve the structures that support the sector.

In the period since, a great deal of effort has been placed on ensuring that the vision established by the Strategy was delivered and its recommendations implemented.

As Minister of Tourism, I have worked hard to deliver on those areas that lie within the responsibility of the public sector.

I have also worked in partnership with the industry to advance those recommendations in which both the public and private sector have an interest.

The Tourism Research Council New Zealand, with its public and private sector membership, has shown how the partnership approach can drive considerable change in the tourism research environment.

Indeed, the Strategy recommendations relating to tourism research and development are now well advanced.

In addition to the ongoing funding and consolidation of the core tourism data set, the Strategy recommended that:

- the quality and integration of the core date set be improved in order to support effective sector analysis

and that

- technology and other media be exploited to increase the accessibility of research, including private sector research , to users.

This TRCNZ website is a significant step towards the full implementation of these key recommendations.

So while tonight we are celebrating the launch of this exciting new website, we are also celebrating another milestone towards achieving the ambitious objectives of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy as a whole.

Ongoing research and development are crucial in building a long-term future for the tourism industry. Such work may be focused on business operation, sustainability issues, infrastructure provision, product development, quality improvement, or any of a number of industry issues.

But it is by applying new knowledge that we will be able to make the right decisions¡Xdecisions that will ensure the well-being of our tourism sector in the long term.

A well-informed tourism sector will be best placed to make these decisions, reach its full market potential, and make an ever more valuable contribution towards moving New Zealand back to the top half of the OECD.

That we have made such progress in this area thus far is evidence of the increasing maturity and sophistication of New Zealand's tourism industry.

I congratulate Sean Murray and the Tourism Research Council of New Zealand for their ongoing work to further the sector's success. I'd also like to acknowledge the significant commitment that Sean has shown over the past two years in his role of Chair of the Research Council.

Under Sean's focussed leadership, the Council has driven a challenging work program, implemented by the secretariat, based in the Ministry of Tourism, and led by Bruce Bassett (who has also shown an outstanding level of commitment to both the Research Council and the entire tourism sector).

Sean, I thank you and your entire team for the hard work and dedication that has led us to tonight's launch. I now invite you to tell us more about the website.


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