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Tourism Research Australia partners with Angus & Associates to monitor tourism’s social licence

Tourism Research Australia partners with Angus & Associates to monitor tourism’s social licence
August 13, 2018

Angus & Associates has announced that Tourism Research Australia (TRA) will be its lead country partner in Australia for its Views on Tourism research program.

Announcing the link, Angus & Associates Managing Director Cristine Angus advised “we welcome TRA’s involvement (as) it underlines the importance of the research program as it moves into its second year and means we can continue to provide trans-Tasman tourism social license benchmarking.”

Rod Battye, Manager Tourism Statistics at Tourism Research Australia, is also pleased with the link, noting that “this is an area of increasing interest and importance as tourism grows in Australia - we’re pleased to demonstrate leadership in monitoring tourism’s social license”.

The first year of research completed by Angus & Associates, shows that while Australians and New Zealanders recognise the value of tourism, there is widely-held concern that international visitors are putting too much pressure on infrastructure - particularly in New Zealand.

Half of New Zealanders surveyed hold this view about New Zealand compared to one quarter of Australians.

Despite this, 94% of both New Zealanders and Australians agree that international tourism is good for their countries. Pressure on built infrastructure and facilities (and the flow on impact of this to residents) is a key driver of the concern among New Zealanders, as is freedom camping behaviour. Work is underway to improve mechanisms for funding tourism infrastructure in New Zealand and to develop solutions to freedom camping issues. The announcement of these initiatives may have influenced the small improvement in views measured in the latest quarter.

Angus & Associates' Views on Tourism research canvassed opinions from a representative sample of almost 5,000 New Zealand and Australian residents between July 2017 and June 2018. Participants were asked about their views on the value of inbound and domestic tourism, the extent to which they agreed or disagreed that tourism is producing adverse impacts and, for those that agreed, what specific impacts concerned them.

The company plans to expand the research to explore and test ideas for solutions/destination management initiatives. There is scope to do this at state/region or sub-region levels if appropriate partnerships can be formed.

Angus adds “already we have interesting regional detail available and, increasingly, seasonal changes and trends over time can be identified.

“We can also isolate comments made by respondents concerned about tourism pressures by their region/state of residence.”

With the rapid growth of tourism having a significant impact on Social License to Operate internationally, it is increasingly important that industry bodies, local authorities, RTOs/EDAs, central government, and private operators understand the impact that tourism has on residents and stakeholders in their region in order that these impacts can be managed effectively.

Angus & Associates is actively seeking opportunities to partner with relevant stakeholders in order to support and drive the development of the Views on Tourism research so that changes over time can be measured, and the issues driving and/or undermining support can be identified.

The Views on Tourism summary of findings for Year Ending June 2018 is available from

Image: Freedom camping in New Zealand.

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