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Press Release: Ministry of Tourism – Wednesday, 28 February 2007

The Internet is the number one information source for domestic tourists, latest Regional Visitor Monitor (RVM) research released by the Ministry of Tourism reveals.

The Internet has now surpassed family and friends, as a source of information for regional trip planning. Over half of all domestic travellers interviewed (51%) had used the Internet to plan their trip to their destination region for the last quarter of 2006, up from 38% in the first quarter of 2006.

“We believe this is a definite trend emerging here,” said Bruce Bassett, Ministry of Tourism Research Manager. “Information from family and friends and travel books are also highly important, but now the Internet is king for kiwis.”

International visitors surveyed were also increasing their use of the Internet to research their destination region. Nearly half (49%) of the international respondents said the web was a source of information for the last quarter of 2006, up from 37% in the first quarter.

However, for international travellers the Internet is still less significant than guide books and word of mouth.

Since January 2006, 6775 respondents have been surveyed, actual Internet booking of tourism related products by both international and domestic travellers has trended upwards for accommodation (38% to 42%) and activities and attractions (33% to 43%).

Internet bookings for transport over the period experienced softened (50% to 46%).

Mr Bassett said that the research implied that serious consideration needed to be put into web design and strategy by the tourism industry, particularly for those targeting the domestic market.

“We knew the Internet was a key tool for travel planning and booking, but to be seeing this growth over the period of one year sends a clear message to marketers and operators. Your website had better be up to scratch if you want to win a tourist’s business.”

The Regional Visitor Monitor (RVM) is a survey managed by the Ministry of Tourism in conjunction with Tourism New Zealand six participating regions, Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown. It provides seasonal ‘snapshots’ of visitors’ experiences in the regions of New Zealand. For more information contact Bruce Bassett,, tel 04 498 7448.