MBIE initiates review of International Visitor Survey

Acknowledging recent concerns raised by the tourism industry, MBIE has asked Stats NZ to conduct a review of the International Visitor Survey (IVS) to ensure confidence in the survey.

We are currently developing the terms of reference for this work and it will likely commence in early 2018.

Stats NZ last reviewed the IVS in 2015, confirming that it remains the best available source of data for comprehensively estimating the expenditure of visitors to New Zealand. The 2015 review concluded that the IVS is run efficiently and recommended no major improvements.

The IVS captures total international visitor expenditure, and this data is on Stats NZ's list of tier 1 statistics. Tier 1 statistics are characterised as relevant, authoritative and trustworthy, providing long-term continuity of statistical information, and enabling international comparability.

The IVS feeds into other key macro-economic statistics, such as the Tourism Satellite Account, and is important in that it captures a full picture of visitor spending, which card data alone cannot provide.

Stats NZ has done some very early stage analysis of the IVS, including looking at a recent divergence between the IVS figures and spending data from electronic or card transactions. This is very much preliminary work, it has not been peer reviewed and does not provide sufficient evidence to conclude there are issues with the survey.

Read the International Visitor Survey (IVS)