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Northland Sustainable Tourism Charter Project

6 April, 2005

Northland Sustainable Tourism Charter Project to be launched

Northland businesses will now have the opportunity to focus on sustainability with the launch of the Northland Sustainable Tourism Charter Project on Friday.

Developed by Enterprise Northland and the tourism industry, the project aims to assist Northland Tourism businesses to work together towards protecting and enhancing their social, cultural, economic, and natural environments.

Tourism businesses joining the project will initially commit to the principles of the Charter. They can then work with a sustainability assessor to improve their business practices in alignment with the principles. A thorough assessment of their current sustainability performance will be prepared, followed up with an action plan, complete with support resources.

“The Charter offers value to tourism businesses by recognizing any and all progress towards sustainability, and providing practical hands-on support. This project is a real opportunity for Northland operators committed to the long term future of their businesses and Northland tourism.”, says Ria Woollams, sustainability assessor for the project.

Businesses will be supported to make small changes that can lead to improved energy efficiency, improved staff capability, increased community support, improved water efficiency and subsequently improved marketing opportunities. Businesses may also be able to use their achievements as a spring board onto existing accreditation schemes available in New Zealand.
Fullers Bay of Islands CEO Kit Nixon said visitors and wholesalers alike are increasingly looking for businesses that can show their commitment to good environmental behaviour.

"Signing up to the charter and working on our environmental action plan strengthens our position for future growth," Mr. Nixon said.

Sustainability is one of the five key principles under the Northland Tourism Strategy developed in 2003. The Charter was developed last year by Enterprise Northland and the Tourism Development Group, in response to that Strategy.

Assistance from the Ministry for the Environment allowed six Northland tourism businesses to road-test the Charter in a pilot project during 2004. Following the success of that, the Ministry of Tourism has committed resources for full implementation of it in Northland. In a recent development a joint-initiative between the two Ministries has rolled out the project to four new regions.

The launch on April 8th celebrates the creation of the Northland Sustainable Tourism Charter Society Inc to implement the project, and is an opportunity for businesses to meet those currently involved, network with others interested in sustainability, and to explore the benefits of becoming involved in the project.


ENDS

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