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NZ Tourism Must Embrace Sustainable Approach

Media release – January 26, 2004

NZ Tourism Must Embrace Sustainable Approach

All New Zealand tourist operators must join the Green Globe bandwagon to maintain their edge for a sustainable tourist industry, a leading environmental tourist leader said today.

Tourist operators in New Zealand must recognise the need to operate sustainability in a world facing increasing pressure on resources, Cathy Parsons, chief executive of Green Globe Asia Pacific, said today.

Green Globe is the only world-wide environmental certification programme designed for the travel and tourism industry. Kaikoura will host the first ever international green globe conference on March 3-5. Mrs Parsons will be one of the guest speakers.

``I can’t emphasise enough the importance of tourism operators and communities in New Zealand to embark on the Green Globe programme,’’ she said today.

``New Zealand led the way in adopting the revised Green Globe programme when benchmarking was introduced in late 2001.

``With support from the New Zealand Government and the Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand, the initial take-up by the tourism industry of the worldwide Green Globe environmental certification programme was enormously encouraging.

``Many operators in New Zealand became the first Green Globe benchmarked operations in the world. They included the first holiday park (Kaikoura Top 10,), the first tour operator (Action Stations), the first in the cruise boat category (Black Cat), the first bed and breakfast accommodation (Summer House), the first hotel, Sheraton Auckland, the first convention centre, (University of Canterbury) and the first vineyard (Kaikoura Wine Company).’

Mrs Parsons said the NZ tourism industry was conscious of the need to develop sustainably given its natural attractions are a major drawcard to tourists.

Over two million international tourists visited New Zealand last year, providing foreign exchange earnings of $1billion.

The conference will discuss and seek solutions on how to cope with the consumptive nature of tourism in terms of its energy, water, waste and impacts on communities and landscapes.

Kaikoura became the first tourist resort in New Zealand – and only the second community in the world - to earn Green Globe status in 2002.

Conference organisers are expecting national and international experts, lecturers and environmental specialists in sustainable tourism to attend the three day convention in Kaikoura.


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