In 2009/10 Tourism New Zealand undertook research to understand
the perceptions of visitors and tourism operators of the i-SITE
Visitor Centre Network, and their satisfaction with services
provided by the Network.
About the research
The findings of this research (summarised below) will be used to
help ensure the i-SITE Network is adding value to
local communities, and offering services aligned with international
and domestic customer needs and industry expectations.
The research included more than 2,000 online surveys with
international and domestic visitors and tourism businesses, and 18
face-to-face interviews with international visitors. The research
was undertaken from late November 2009 through to January 2010.
International visitors surveyed came from a range of
nationalities, ages and travel types. Online surveys were completed
with around 500 New Zealanders who had travelled overnight away
from home for non-work purposes within six months of the
To gain an industry view, 961 online surveys were completed with
The research found that i-SITEs are adding value to the tourism
industry, ensuring international visitors spend more money in the
communities they visit, and enhancing their holiday experience.
International visitors - perceptions and usage of i-SITE
- 57 per cent of international visitors say they would have
missed out on a holiday highlight if they hadn't visited an i-SITE.
As a result of their visit, almost 90 per cent of these visitors
used a paid service.
- One-third of international visitors are aware of i-SITEs prior
to their arrival in New Zealand.
- Visitors who use i-SITE Centres are more likely to be aged
between 16 and 34, and be in New Zealand for one month or
- Getting access to local knowledge is the primary reason for
visiting i-SITE Centres. Travellers want to experience the local
flavour of the region they are visiting, find out the best places
to visit/stay, and get ideas on things to do.
- About half of the travellers visiting i-SITE Centres also want
to know about other regions in New Zealand, including transport and
accommodation options and suggested itineraries.
- Visitors expect to be able to speak face-to-face with i-SITE
staff. Those surveyed said they considered this important to
meeting their needs, particularly when language was a barrier.
- Most visitors believe that i-SITE staff give unbiased,
independent advice. This perception is critical to the satisfaction
visitors have with the service.
- The i-SITE Network is seen as just that - a network - by
visitors, who assume each i-SITE will provide a similar service and
that i-SITES share information with each other, while offering
- 92 per cent of international visitors surveyed were satisfied
or very satisfied with the service provided by i-SITE Centres.
Domestic visitors - perceptions and usage of i-SITE
- 72 per cent of domestic travellers are aware of the i-SITE
Network and half have visited an i-SITE Centre in the past six
- Access to local knowledge is the primary reason domestic
travellers visit i-SITE Centres, including things to do in the area
where they live.
- Only 20 per cent of domestic travellers surveyed had booked
something in an i-SITE in the past six months. This highlights that
domestic travellers primarily use i-SITEs to gather information,
rather than to make bookings.
- 89 per cent of domestic visitors surveyed were satisfied or
very satisfied with the service provided by i-SITE Centres.
Tourism businesses - perceptions of i-SITE
- 85 per cent of tourism businesses surveyed said they were
working with their local i-SITE.
- Of these, 75 per cent said they considered the i-SITE Network
to be important to the success of their businesses.
- Tourism businesses consider i-SITE Centres to be important to
the New Zealand tourism industry. They perceive the enthusiasm of
i-SITE staff as a particular strength.
- Tourism businesses are very satisfied with the i-SITE Network's
booking and sales system. i-SITEs take bookings by phone for 79 per
cent of businesses working with them and book via an online system
for 9 per cent.
Find out more about the i-SITE
Visitor Centre Network