Statistics, I love, hate and sometimes sceptical


Statistics/numbers – where do the boffins draw them from?


I have just viewed the just released Northland tourism figures for July. Now July was the period the British and Irish Lions rugby team were here. One game even played in Northland, although memory says that may have fallen in June, not July. But with the Lions in the country tourism figures were meant to show huge growth as their supporters descended upon us, but this was not the case in Northland.

I started by saying where do the research boffins draw their figures from? I am guessing a select sample of accommodation providers. Not us obviously but I guess in the accommodation market we are considered minor players.

Far North New Zealand stats show bed nights were down. Not significantly. About 4% by memory. Those figures do not surprise us as our own July figures remained on par with the previous year so 4% is neither here or there. But obviously we did not encourage enough of the ardent Lions supporters to spend enough time in the far north. A shame we missed on those potential customers.

Our own accommodation business we have not pushed for a long time. Probably should, in particular off season, but Xiaoli and I are just so stretched peak season we enjoy our quiet times. One day our property will sell beach front Ninety Mile Beach then the buyer should see huge growth off season if they promote.

Today I received our new transport licensing cards for display on our vehicles. Laws changed as of 1st October closing loop holes some used to try use. It didn’t really affect us except now we hold 2 licenses verses 1 to cover us for small and large passenger vehicles. The ‘P’ driving licenses we also hold for any size vehicle and as per a recent blog, first aid certification is up to date. I just hope we never have a call to use it.

Our DOC (Department of Conservation) license is all paid up. They gave us a 3 yearly reviewed and some rates have changed but we are good to go. Still I believe only 1 of 2 operators with the license for private 4wd tours up Ninety Mile Beach/Te Paki Stream to Cape Reinga. We had thought of cancelling that part of our DOC licensing as it is one of the most expensive areas for operation for people like us. But as long as we retain our accommodation this part of New Zealand we will retain the license.

For those overseas that are coming to New Zealand and want a tour up the very far north, the bus companies offer good tours up the beach but ours is superior only because it is just you or your group and we can travel at our own pace stopping as often as you like. We tell people to allow 5 hours but once we leave our time is yours so if we are away 7 hours, so be it. If you are happy with the beach bus, on booking do ask how much of the beach they travel. A very important question as only one company regularly travel the full length from Waipapakauri Ramp to Te Paki Stream at the top. And that is because all their buses are 4wd built specifically for the beach. So just be aware of that if booking a beach bus.

If you want a private tour then there is us and maybe one other. I have not heard if they renewed their license. I have already spelt out the benefit of a private tour versus the bus. You need choose which is best for you. I am unlikely to be our driver often through the summer season as I have multi day tours down country but we have a highly experienced local that drives for us in my absence. A great character and full of knowledge.

Our 12 seat van I booked in today for yet another new windscreen. It already had 3 significant chips but yesterday on a return trip to Auckland it scored a crack which was very rapidly growing. That’s 6 new windscreens in 18 months. The insurance company must love us! Yeah right!

I started this blog on stats so will finish on stats. Our website hits for September just gone almost reached a new high for us. They didn’t miss our record month by much but that record had been achieved when we marketed aggressively. This time of year our marketing activity is greatly reduced as by now those that are going to enquire about utilising our services through summer I believe we should have already reached. And our booking diary for tours and accommodation is looking good.

We hope you will visit us soon. ‘Peter and Xiaoli Tours’ a boutique tourism company steadily growing its own niche in the New Zealand market.



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