The transfer of skills and knowledge lies at the heart of our work.
Many of our research programs and projects incorporate active training components and we have built capacity in managing, designing and analysing visitor and business surveys with the help of the World Bank Group and other donor agencies (Cook Islands, Vanuatu, Papua New Guinea). Our focus is on assisting local stakeholders to better understand tourism impacts and how they link to local economies.
We have built the capacity of communities around New Zealand to audit and map their tourism resources and use information and communication technologies to share their stories with potential visitors. In recent years we have also run workshops covering topics as diverse as bio-diversity and tourism in island states; sustainable urban development and human resource management and development. This work has taken place in countries ranging from Kenya, Vietnam to Chile and elsewhere and is funded through major international agencies including UNEP, UNIDO and the European Union and national governments.
All of our work actively supports the development of skills among our graduate students and interns. We attract a range of international and locally based PhD and MPhil students who are encouraged to link into and learn from our range of research programs. Our international internship program has supported well over 100 students from around the world and has enabled fantastic opportunities to benefit from cross-cultural experiences and perspectives.
Vanuatu and Capacity Building
The Vanuatu International Visitor Survey is in response to a request from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) to conduct research and get a clearer picture of the current value of tourism to Vanuatu, understand more about those who visit, and identify ways to improve the visitor experience. It collects direct data from visitors (French, English and Chinese language versions of the survey ensure we captures data from key markets). Comprehensive data insights demonstrates the growing value of the tourism industry in Vanuatu, tourists and their behaviours, and ways to improve the visitor experience. To strengthen and support research uptake, NZTRI researchers conduct in-country workshops to train local stakeholders in research methods, to disseminate key findings and support public agencies, businesses, and communities to translate insights into marketing and product development strategies. NZTRI is also taking a regional approach to understanding the impact of emerging markets on pacific island tourism – with a focus on the Chinese visitor.
Training and capacity building are integral components of the work that NZTRI does around the world. A key focus is on building local capacity so that decision support research can be sustained over periods of time. NZTRI have been running the IVS and related capacity building programs in Vanuatu for the past two years with IFC funding. The team leader makes regular visits to disseminate the research findings to stakeholders and to build capacity in the public sector. The data set is available for key government stakeholders to mine and the survey can be developed and re-developed on a regular basis. Ove the two-year period, key staff from Vanuatu Tourism Office, Vanuatu National Statistics Office, and Vanuatu Immigration Office have received several training sessions including survey design, implementation, data analysis, data mining, and report writing. One core goal of our training is to ensure that relevant staff from National Tourism Office, Statistics, and Immigration are involved and that they gain the skills and awareness to not only implement but also lobby for the ongoing decision support system process.
For nearly 20 years NZTRI has worked with donor agencies and national governments to provide deeper insight into tourism industry performance in the Small Island Developing States of the South Pacific.
Communities and Regions
Our 'Get Local' programme gathers information to inform local decision-making to generate greater benefits from tourism and advance the economic, social and environmental well-being of New Zealand's host communities and regions.