A significant research investment will help tourism keep ahead of fast-changing consumer demands and grow its position as one of the country’s biggest export earners.
Research, Science and Technology Minister Wayne Mapp and Associate Minister of Tourism Jonathan Coleman announced a $2 million package that will fund three major linked research streams.
“The requirements of today’s tourists have changed significantly,” said Dr Mapp. “They are concerned about climate change, carbon consumption and the impact of air travel. They want to know that New Zealand is meeting its ‘100% Pure’ image.”
The Ministry of Tourism will contribute $500,000 to the three-year programme, with the rest of the money coming from the Foundation for Research, Science and Technology.
“It is vital that New Zealand can compete effectively on the global tourism market. We also need solid research to help make the best possible decisions to shape the industry around future customer demands. Tourism has been a major success story for New Zealand and we want to keep it that way,” Dr Coleman said.
The new funding will go to projects investigating scenario planning, climate change and the factors around air travel.
Research grant details:
• Developing long-term scenarios to help better understand the potential options for New Zealand tourism (Victoria University of Wellington, $792,000 over three years)
• Identifying how the physical effects of climate change will impact on tourism in New Zealand regions, to help the sector adapt to and take advantage of these effects (Lincoln University, $617,000 over three years)
• Developing a deeper understanding of the key economic and political variables affecting international and domestic air travel, in recognition of how critical airlinks are for international tourism to New Zealand (University of Otago, $704,000).