The New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at The Auckland University of Technology brings together experts from around the world to deliver innovative research solutions for the industry and those who depend on it. Our research enables business, community and government to develop profitable and sustainable industry outcomes. The institute is a recognised leader in graduate student research and education, with many alumni in key international academic and industry positions.

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Recent NZTRI work on value chains in tourism

Enhancing local economic linkages is critical for the development of more sustainable forms of tourism.NZTRI Director, Professor Simon Milne, recently worked on two different international projects on value chains and economic linkages in tourism. One project looked at local linkages and pro-poor tourism in Hue, Vietnam, while the other looked at economic linkages in the Tongan tourism industry. The project reports are available as attachments below.

100% pure image at risk from mining activities

"New Zealand should be prepared for international criticism for its plan to open conservation land to mining", said NZTRI  director Simon Milne to the New Zealand Herald. He said the plan was likely to be picked up on by international media, and tourist businesses should be prepared for the fallout. "My concern is that people who have an eagle eye on our global image ... are going to say 'isn't this another case of something going on that doesn't match up with the national marketing campaign?"' he said. "This is ... the juiciest of all ironies.

Global warming’s impact on workplaces under the microscope in joint AUT and York University study

AUT’s New Zealand Tourism Research Institute (NZTRI) is working with universities around the world, including York University in Canada, as part of an international project to study the impact of climate change on employment. The project, which has received $1 million in funding from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC), looks at the challenge climate change presents to Canadian employment and workplaces.

The New Zealand Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference: Adding Value Through Research:

 In 2011, New Zealand will host a significant international event in the Rugby World Cup. Furthermore, New Zealand and other nations are facing significant challenges from a tourism and hospitality management perspective. Research has an important role to play in meeting those challenges. The New Zealand Tourism and Hospitality Research Conference will take place on the 24th to the 26th of November 2010 at AUT University's campus in downtown Auckland.

Hotel rates plunge worldwide

Of 77 destinations surveyed by, only five had recorded increases in average room rates in 2009, compared with the previous year. Auckland, the only New Zealand city looked at, sat in 75th place. The average room rate in Auckland of $130 was down from $172 in 2008, a 24 per cent drop. NZTRI professor Simon Milne interviewed by the Dominion Post said the industry was globally driven and prices were difficult to raise without solid delivery of service and quality product. "The only way forward in the way of rates is to look at the quality being delivered to the consumer. And that's where New Zealand does lag behind the world."

NZTRI researcher co-authors EcoChic

 Pascal Languillon, a NZTRI Research Officer and PhD student, recently co-authored a book on luxury ecotravel, the first of its kind. This book, Ecochic, is part of the Chic Collection series. There’s no denying the power of environmentalism today— we live in green-conscious times. With eco-related issues rising into  higher prominence, a new breed of traveler has emerged— modern, stylish and ecologically aware.

Radio show on Whale Watching

Radio discussion (1 hour) on whale watching with Greg Kaufman (Pacific Whale Foundation), Mark Orams (AUT University), Michael Lück (AUT University) and Douglas Abram (author of "Eye of the Whale"). Wailuku, Maui, Hawai'i, 11th February, 2010. KAOI Radio (1110AM).


Listen to the radio show here

NZTRI researchers participated in symposium on Watching Whales, Saving Whales in Hawaii.

Dr Mark Orams and Dr Michael Lück were invited to be keynote speakers and moderators at the first annual Watching Whales, Saving Whales Symposium in Maui, Hawaii, which on February 13th and 14th 2010, brought together some of the world's leading whale experts, researchers and authors to discuss how to protect and save whales through the power of public awareness and scientific discovery.

NZTRI researcher says playful dolphin should be left alone

In recent months a sub-adult bottlenose dolphin has become increasingly interactive with visitors and locals off the coast of Gisborne.This interaction is popular but there are concerns about the risks involved, for people and for Moko, the dolphin. The bottlenose is one of several species of dolphin found in New Zealand waters.

2009 was a good year for the backpacker industry

New Zealand Tourism Research Institute director Prof Simon Milne was interviewed by the Otago Daily Times to talk about the transformation of the backpacker market in New Zealand. Backpackers are a subset of "free and independent travellers", which also include cyclists, and those touring in campervans. Traditionally, backpackers were viewed as young, hard-drinking travellers who did things on the cheap, but this was no longer the case. Backpackers today were technologically savvy, environmentally conscious, and often travelled cheap so they could spend money on adventure tourism in places like Queenstown.

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