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CCT takes steps to reduce impact on environment

News release
June 4, 2008

“Walk the talk” – Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism takes steps to reduce impact on environment

* Canterbury’s leading tourism organisation is marking World Environment Day by renewing its commitment to environmental sustainability and urging local tourism operators to follow its lead. Staff at CCT’s administration office and i-SITE Visitor Centre are leaving their cars at home for the day and using their own power to get to and from work, where possible. A hearty breakfast will be provided so everyone can re-fuel for the busy day ahead.

“As an industry we’ve taken some significant steps towards environmental sustainability in the last couple of years, but there is still a lot of work ahead of us,’’ says Christchurch &Canterbury Tourism (CCT) chief executive Christine Prince.

“It is clear from talking to overseas buyers that travellers, particularly from our key European markets, are very environmentally aware. Because of the distance people need to travel to come here we have to go the extra mile to prove our sustainability credentials and our clean green positioning.

“Bottom-line, New Zealand has to fulfill the promise of its 100% Pure branding,’’ Ms Prince says.

CCT has shown leadership in this area. It was the first regional tourism organisation in New Zealand to earn CarboNZero certification and both its administration office and i-SITE Visitor Centre in Cathedral Square are Green Globe 21 certified.

CCT is also working closely with the Christchurch City Council on enlisting tourism operators for a proposed new Target Sustainability tourism cluster project. Those who sign up to the project will be given help to reduce their waste and to become energy and water efficient.

Says Council resource efficiency team leader Kevin Crutchley: "To date there has been a good number of accommodation providers and a range of other tourism operators registering their interest in joining the cluster which is very encouraging.’’

CCT is also working with the hotel industry and other tourism providers to help them meet the new environmental standards which are being introduced as part of the Qualmark quality assurance system.

From August this year all Qualmark licence holders will have to meet minimum environmental standards as part of their quality accreditation assessments. In addition, environmental and social initiatives underway in a tourism business will be recognized in their overall score.

Ms Prince says the Qualmark Green initiative gave businesses involved in the tourism industry added motivation to improve their environmental management.

“At CCT we will be doing all we can to help tourism operators reduce their business’ impact on the environment,’’says Ms Prince.


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