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Learning To Make Tourism Sustainable


RUSSELL, NEW ZEALAND -- In Johannesburg they debate and legislate towards sustainability, but in New Zealand's Bay of Islands tourism operators are registering for a conference where they can learn how to reduce their environmental footprint and thus protect and enhance the beautiful landscape that made their country a top destination.

"I think nearly everyone is concerned with the effects that pollution and global warming will have," said Jacqui Knight, CEO of Enterprise Russell, the organiser of the Conference on Sustainable Tourism. "It's learning how to be more sustainable that can be the hard part."

Over three days (29 to 31 October) professionals will cover many practical tips on making business more sustainable including greening the fleet and kitchens, the office, household cleansers and landscapes.

"There are two particular sub-themes to the conference -- marine and cultural," continued Knight. "Local advocate for marine reserves, Bill Ballantine, will expand on their value, and a field trip to the Twin Lagoons underwater trail guided by the DOC personnel who worked on the concept of taking a natural masterpiece and turning it into a learning experience, will offer the opportunity to understand how to design trails with sensitivity and for maximum understanding of conservation issues."

The cultural theme will include a journey into the past as well as updates on local cultural history and authenticity.

International experts will be on hand at the conference. Jjournalist and author of "New Zealand: Adventures in Nature", Sally McKinney from the US will discuss marketing and international promotion. Fiona McNie, who hails from Scotland, will discuss best practice in the Dolphin Space Program, a topic of relevance to New Zealand - one of the few countries where visitors can swim freely with dolphins in their natural habitat.

The Conference on Sustainable Tourism underscores the importance of 2002, the UN International Year of Ecotourism. The event is co-sponsored by New Zealand's Ministry for the Environment and is receiving support from Planeta.com, the award-winning website that pioneered coverage of ecotourism in1994.


Registration is now open. The cost for tour operators is $NZ365.00. Students of recognised tourism study programmes should liaise directly with the organisers for information on discount packages.

Enterprise Russell is located at 1 York Street, Russell, Telephone +64 9 403 8843, Fax +64 9 403 8842, or phone the Conference Hotline +64 9 403 8862. For more information email conference@ernz.org or consult the Enterprise Russell website http://ernz.org.

Coaches to the Bay of Islands leave each day from Auckland (to Paihia), and then it is a 15 minute ride by passenger ferry across the bay. The nearest airport is Kerikeri, and Russell accommodation providers will often meet guests' flights there - alternatively there is a coach-ride to Paihia.


Enterprise Russell Charitable Trust Our website: http://ernz.org Promoting the Russell district as a place providing quality of life and employment opportunities for those living here.

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