Internet Number 1

The ministry says 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 percent) had used the internet to plan their trip to their destination region for the last quarter of 2006, up from 38 percent in the first quarter of 2006.

 "We believe this is a definite trend emerging here," says 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 percent) of the international respondents said the web was a source of information for the last quarter of 2006, up from 37 percent 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 and 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."

Posted: Monday 24 December 2007