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Tips for tourism

A recent guide by destination and local government specialists David Hammond and Lyn Cheyne identifies seven key performance indicators (KPIs) that all council and Regional Tourism Organisation (RTO) relationships should have in place.

The report, RTOs and Councils: Asking the right questions 2018, also provides recommendations on how to structure an RTO board, who should be on it and how they could be funded.

The guide’s seven core KPIs are:

• Increase domestic visitor nights spent in commercial accommodation;

• Increase international visitor nights spent in commercial accommodation;

• Increase visits to attractions and activities;

• Increase visitor expenditure per person per day;

• Increase average length of visitor stay;

• Increase the social media profile of the destination; and

• Measure the visitor perception of the area.

David and Lyn add that these should be developed considering each region’s relevance, strength and maturity within the tourism sector. They can also be supplemented with additional measures agreed between the RTO and the council.

David notes that councils involved in tourism can often be unrealistic in their expectations of funding and governance structures. He hopes the newly-released guide will help all parties focus on the right issues and not knee-jerk into short-term thinking.

“RTOs and councils are critical in the current and future success of tourism in New Zealand,” he says. “Are we getting the best value out of those relationships?

“This document is a guide for discussion, not a blueprint. Every situation is different. But we have put a stake in the ground for common themes which arise across the country. In the end, we want the conversations between RTOs and councils to be more informed.”

• Download the full report from:

This article was first published in the June 2018 issue of NZ Local Government Magazine.

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