April 29, 2022
Typically, there is a process that a commercial property investor works through to identify and then act on development opportunities. This process might comprise of very well-defined stages for a large corporate, not dissimilar to new product development gate reviews, or fairly loose overlapping stages for smaller developers.
But for all stakeholders in the commercial property investment industry it is important to recognise that the stages exist and that relevant data and insights can help all participants to deliver better outcomes.
This is also the case for investment in the visitor economy and, in particular, for tourism.
In 2019 nem Australasia was awarded a grant by the Federal Government Department of Industry under its BRII program, sponsored by Tourism Research Australia (TRA), to conduct a feasibility study into more timely and granular data Integration and Innovation to identify insights that will drive better decision making.
During July to October 2019 nem undertook extensive consultations with a wide range of industry stakeholders to ascertain and validate the real needs and problems that they were encountering in identifying, evaluating and acting on development opportunities.
The key findings were focused on problems with the timing, format, accuracy, breadth and depth of the existing data sources, and also difficulty bringing the available data sources together in a flexible way that provided real value and insights to them. Comments included:
- ‘Better accommodation data - ABS no longer reports this’,
- ‘Current data is metro focused – is no reliable split for the regions’,
- ‘Regional data to support investor/ developer business case’,
- 'Data on local community benefits from tourism,’
- 'Bottlenecks in the planning process – which councils are better?’,
- ‘Is a site suitable for a hotel?’,
- ‘What is the customer profile?’,
- 'Regional transaction data would be gold – what and when people spend?’,
- 'Future projections and how to interrupt - not just current data’,
- '‘Link with other data sources’,
It was clear that just providing more data was not going to necessarily solve the problems that the industry was experiencing or provide them with new and useful insights.
The research also confirmed nem’s prior experience that a solution was needed to help investors along their decision journey, whilst also creating new insights using intelligent solutions.
The feedback from investors and industry associations regarding there being investment and development processes is consistent with the findings of a University of Pretoria study* the primary objective of which was to test the validity of the hotel property development framework, which included the following stages and components:
- Strategic analysis
- Development audit
- Development strategy and criteria
- Project objectives
- Hotel property development process, including macro environmental, market, physical and financial feasibility analyses.
That study suggests that developers first look at the macro-environment, in particular population growth, infrastructure development, existence and progress of a regional masterplan, community and council support for investment.
Once the macro environment is assessed as being supportive of investment, detailed market assessment is undertaken using the detailed demographics which impact the specific configuration of the development.
The investor will also engage locally to navigate economic, political, environmental and social factors that can impact the success or failure of a proposed development.
Research undertaken by nem during feasibility identified over 25 datasets that could be used to create an improved picture of the Australian tourism landscape. The data could be grouped and categorised as supply/ demand, movement, visitor needs, financial and performance, to align with the needs of data users during the various stages of the investor decision journey.
The result of this feasibility research was an identification by TRA to act on the findings via a further grant under the BRII program for nem and our collaborators, Victoria University and Sizztech, to develop an appropriate solution.
Further extensive industry consultation and testing was undertaken during the proof-of-concept process to further define and develop an appropriate solution - the VisScope tourism data and insights platform, structured to deliver data and insights to support the stages of the Investment Journey.
VisScope was completed in 2021 www.visscope.com.
Get in touch
If you would like to enquire on how VisScope can help speed up your decision making, please contact nem Australasia partners Mark Dalton at firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Griffiths at email@example.com, or email VisScope at firstname.lastname@example.org