Taranaki’s regional tourism organisation Venture Taranaki has expressed its dismay at the announcement that a primary source of tourism performance and benchmarking data is to be discontinued, just weeks after the Government committed to better research for the industry.

Statistics New Zealand has announced that the Commercial Accommodation Monitor (CAM), will be stopped from September.

The CAM measures the number of guest nights spent in the region each month, whether they were by domestic or international visitors, variations in occupancy, capacity and length of stay, and benchmarks this data against the national average and performance in other regions.

“The CAM has been the mainstay of our monitoring of the region’s tourism performance over the last decade,” says Venture Taranaki Chief Executive Justine Gilliland.

“We acknowledge that CAM had some imperfections, but its value as a long-term trend and benchmarking tool was significant to both our work as the regional tourism organisation and to businesses across Taranaki’s visitor industry, both emerging and established.”

“Taranaki’s economic development strategy, Tapuae Roa, identified tourism as one of the four futures for the region’s growth. It is imperative that any effort to sustainably grow this sector, and the enterprises within it, is supported by robust, regionally comparative, long-term data.”

“At the very least, CAM should be continued until a suitable replacement can be developed.”

“Identifying trends and growth over time is critical in using any data to effectively assess current performance and future potential – and challenges.”