NZ Hotel Industry Conference & TNZ Roadshow Take Aways

A quick summary of the NZ Hotel Industry Conference & the Tourism New Zealand Roadshow.
Letitia Stevenson
July 5, 2019

I've had a very busy June attending some key industry conferences and roadshows. The ones I want to give you a quick summary of are the NZ Hotel Industry Conference & the Tourism New Zealand Roadshow.

My top 5 takeaways from the two events are:

  1. Finding, training & retaining staff is hard. On top of that, NZ immigration said there is a 79 day wait on visa applications. If you need staff for the 2019/20 season keep visa processing times in mind.
  2. Storytelling is increasingly important. Philip Poole from Whittakers Chocolate emphasised this and it was supported by Cas Carter from TIA. What is your business' story and how does this fit into your wider regions' story? You should be telling your story to get people emotionally vested in your business.  Think about all the methods that you can use to communicate this story, such as taglines like "Live more, fear less".
  3. Travellers want friction-less, personalised experiences. It was agreed by many panel discussions that technology plays a large role in giving every traveler "personalised" service with the challenge being to achieve that at scale. The use of Artificial Intelligence was identified by Sir John Key as one emerging technology that will help power this movement.
  4. The funding model for tourism needs change. A lot of discussion about bed taxes to generate funding for tourism related infrastructure.  Why is it only hotels and should a tax be extended to tourism operators? How does Air BnB fit into the model? What is central government going to do with the visitor levy and how will it be distributed throughout the regions? There are some very strong opinions around about tourism funding and definitely a topic worth keeping an eye on.
  5. Having and using data is so important. I challenge you to do a data audit and get to grips with what data you actually have and what you are doing/not doing with this data. The power of data will only increase, yet businesses don't currently use what they already have in the most effective ways.

Regards, Letitia

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