NZx – November 26th: Sustainable tourism

Saturday, November 25, 2017
posted by malcolm

Naumai

It was heartening, if with a strong sense of deja vu, to see the tourism industry (re) start a process to ensure economic, environmental, host community, and visitor satisfaction and engagement, drive the future of sustainable tourism in New Zealand. 

We have of course been here before with initiatives such as Green Globe and Environmental Plans. These initiatives, while driven locally, had a global context and more importantly measured success towards publicly stated goals. Poor decision making and lack of integration resulted in a lost opportunity for the industry and the weakly positioned environmental initiative in the form of the original Qualmark.

You can read more about this current sustainable tourism initiative here: http://sustainabletourism.nz/assets/Uploads/FINAL-TIA-SUSTAINABILITY-BOOK-17.0-web-spreads.pdf

In a sense there’s nothing really new here. The approach is the industry’s response to rapid growth, increasing public concerns about international visitor numbers, effects of tourism on local communities and the environment and ensuring tourism businesses are economically successful. All sensible and admirable goals – if not a little overdue.

Over the years such initiatives have been met with initial support, particularly amongst the larger tourism entities – check out the current list of supporters here. Many other entities will undoubtedly sign up, driven by a mixture of opportunity, marketing push/pull, desire to stay ahead of the pack and some through genuine commitment.

As Fonterra has found their nearly tw0 year old public relations campaign has meet with mixed reaction. Some see through it as typical pr speak , while others believe it has a role to play in ensuring the dairy industries future in an increasingly skeptical New Zealand.

While not suggesting the campaign is no more than tourism’s version of pr speak it will take more than this initiative to make a difference.  More needs to be done with both Central Government and Local Government to ensure all parties commitments are in alignment.

Of course it is local communities that drive a lot of input into both forms of Government. We have previously commented on tourism social license to operate in previous blogs.

The 14 commitments are big on the right words but light on measuring and reporting on success, other than financial.

Hopefully this tourism initiative will be both sustainable, wide reaching and effective!

Ka kite ano

Future of NZ tourism

     Cruising Piopiotahi /Milford  Sound

 

 



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