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Research on international visitor experiences of our transport system

We’re underway with a research project on international visitors and their experiences with New Zealand’s land transport system. 

Over the next few months, the Insights team will be out and about in New Zealand’s major tourism hot spots, getting to know our international visitors - their needs, motivations and behaviours when it comes to transport. 

Shoulder season interviews are being carried in Matamata, Rotorua, and Queenstown and surrounds in October 2019. Summer season interviews are being carried out in Matamata, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Picton,and Queenstown and surrounds between December 2019-March 2020.

This is the final stage of the research project. Previous stages include:

  • the segmentation of visitor data from MBIE’s International Visitor Survey, based on common patterns of behaviour such as mode of transport, how far visitors travelled and how long they stayed.
  • the overlay of additional information based on Paymark data, collected any time an international visitor uses their credit card with a Paymark vendor. Mapping these transactions helps identify common journeys visitors are taking. 

In addition to these on-the-spot interviews, the Transport Agency will be inviting participants to share their journey via social media, either by direct online chat with researchers or by including a specific hashtag on social media updates.

The research will help inform future planning and investment into infrastructure and services that improve visitor experiences, such as improving facilities, making it easier for international visitors to make a decision about mode or route of travel, and feeding this information into the way we are helping to shape New Zealand’s transport system. 

The final report is expected to be available in the first half of 2020.

Frequently asked questions

  • Why is the NZ Transport Agency doing this research?

    Since 2014, the NZ Transport Agency has been the lead agency in co-delivering the Visiting Drivers Project – a collaborative project to ensure all visitors have a safe and enjoyable holiday experience. They include central and local government, the tourism and rental vehicle industries and others in New Zealand and overseas.

    The Transport Agency is now keen to better understand international visitor needs, motivations and behaviours as they use New Zealand’s land transport system.

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  • The research is being carried out in three stages – what is each stage all about?

    The first stage is the segmentation of visitor data from MBIE’s International Visitor Survey(external link), based on common patterns of behaviour, such as mode of transport, how far international visitors travelled, and how long they stayed in New Zealand.  

    This is overlaid with additional information based on Paymark data, collected any time an international visitor uses a credit card with Paymark vendors. Mapping these transactions helps identify common journeys visitors are taking.

    The third and final part of the international visitor insight research project are intercept interviews by our Insights team in tourism hot spots.

    This is being done in two waves – the shoulder season of October 2019, and peak season of December 2019 through to March 2020. In addition to on-the-spot interviews, we will be inviting participants to share their journey via social media, either by direct online chat with researchers or by including a specific hashtag on social media updates.

    This will help us better understand the needs, motivations and behaviour of international visitors as they experience the land transport system in New Zealand. 

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  • Whereabouts are the intercept interviews being carried out?

    In many of New Zealand’s tourism hot spots, based on MBIE data. 

    The first wave of interviews in October are being held in Matamata, Rotorua, and Queenstown and surrounds. The second wave of interviews from December 2019-March 2020 are being held in Matamata, Rotorua, Taupo, Wellington, Picton, and Queenstown and surrounds.

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