Emerging markets drive change in New Zealand tourism industry

Updated: 2012-06-21 16:40


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WELLINGTON - New Zealand tourism operators are taking greater responsibility for adapting their products and services for emerging markets such as China, according to a new report by a New Zealand university and the tourism industry.

Private sector tourism operators were doing more to improve their business outlooks in the face of continuing challenges, said the State of the Tourism Sector 2012 report by the Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) and Lincoln University published Tuesday.

Professor of Tourism at Lincoln University, David Simmons, said there had been a shift among respondents towards a more active stance over the last 12 months.

"This is resulting in more interest in networking and collaboration as a way to build the industry collectively," Simmons said in a statement.

TIA chief executive Martin Snedden said respondents interviewed for the report had identified a range of opportunities, including cruise tourism, the conference and incentive markets, and the government-backed New Zealand Cycle Trail.

There was also an acceptance that visitor markets were changing quickly with the greatest growth coming from new markets like China, and operators needed to adapt their products and marketing to meet the demands of new and niche markets, Snedden said in the statement.

"TIA members are facing a range of challenges, including the continuing impacts of the global financial crisis, recovery from the Christchurch earthquakes and the need to adapt to changing visitor markets," Snedden said.

"Working in partnership with government, we can ensure that tourism continues to grow its contribution to New Zealand's economy."

According to Statistics New Zealand, the government statistics agency, 2.61 million overseas visitor arrived in New Zealand in the year to the end of April, up 4 percent from the April 2011 year.

The largest increases were in visitors from Australia (up 41, 300), China (up 38,600) and Malaysia (up 14,600).