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Increased funding for i-SITE visitor info centres

Increased funding for i-SITE visitor information centres

i-SITE Visitor Information Centres will receive extra funding to undertake research into visitor satisfaction and how quality expectations are being met, Tourism Minister Mark Burton announced today.

The Visitor Information Network (VIN) will receive $270,000 over the next three years to conduct the research into visitor satisfaction and booking and buying behaviour at i-SITE Visitor Information Centres throughout the country. An additional $135,000 over the same time period will go towards improving the way i-SITEs operate.

Mark Burton says that this funding will ensure that i-SITE Visitor Centres continue to be a high quality source of objective tourism information and travel services and will build on the strong gains made by Visitor Information Network. VIN is the officially recognised provider of reliable New Zealand information, with i-SITE Visitor Information Centres in 87 locations throughout New Zealand.

"It is vital that we understand how visitors get their information, and their booking and buying behaviour during their visit. This research will enable the i-SITE network to ensure it continues to deliver a quality service to visitors.

"With over half a million visitors using i-SITE Visitor Centres every year it is crucial that the network meet the needs of its customers. Satisfied visitors go on to recommend New Zealand to their friends and family, and are also more likely to do more while they are here,” said Mark Burton.

In 2001, the annual survey of VIN members found that from 2001 to 2004:

Total visits to i-SITEs have increased 26% from 7.8 million to 9.8 million; The total number of staff employed has increased 12% (part time) and 17% (fulltime); Gross sales of commissionable products have increased 78% from an estimated $44 million to an estimated $78 million; Sales of retail products have increased 35%.

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