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Tourism Encouraged to Improve Environmentally

MEDIA RELEASE
8 February 2001

Tourism Businesses Encouraged to Improve Environmental Performance

The official launch of the world wide tourism environmental programme Green Globe 21 (GG21) in New Zealand today is aimed at encouraging tourism operators to recognise the benefits for the tourism industry of being environmentally aware and responsive, Tourism Industry Association Chief Executive Glenys Coughlan said today.

“We are encouraging all tourism operators to consider writing an Environmental Plan as the first step on the way to Green Globe 21 accreditation.

“Green Globe is an internationally recognised environmental accreditation programme for travel and tourism companies. The aim is to give tourism a guarantee that Green Globe 21 accredited companies are meeting certain objectives and are environmentally responsible.

“New Zealand trades very much on our clean and green image, but we can never take this for granted. Visitors today are much more aware of the environment and are strongly motivated by green issues in tourism. Put simply, tourists are more likely to support companies, and countries, that are environmentally responsible and back up their words with actions.

“New Zealand has an advantage already over some other destinations we compete with, but we must not lose the momentum. There is already some evidence that in some areas we are losing the edge, and letting standards slip. …/more
The Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, in his report into the management of the environmental effects of tourism in 1997, identified the loss of quality. He has since commented that he is encouraged by tourism’s commitment to clean up its act. The GG initiative is another step towards making tourism environmentally friendly as possible.

“The aim of the Environmental Plan initiative, and GG21, is to ensure we keep our eye on the environmental ball – it is after all one of New Zealand’s key competitive advantages,” Ms Coughlan said.

The Top Ten Holiday Parks group has already signed up all 50 of its parks for the first stage of Green Globe 21 accreditation. Top Ten Managing Director Kevin Gough says it makes good business sense.

“Visitors are now expecting a higher standard of environmental performance from tourism operators here. We need to meet that expectation, in the same way as we fulfil any other customer requirements. To ignore what the customer wants is just bad business,” Mr Gough said.

Top Ten Holiday Parks now has quality-recycling depots at all of its holiday parks. Mr Gough says that visitors get quite irate these days if they can not recycle.

“It is just one example of what visitors expect from their New Zealand tourist experience. The Green Globe 21 programme will encourage operators to see the potential benefits of running environmental friendly businesses,” Mr Gough said

The Environmental Plan initiative is funded jointly by the Tourism Industry Association, the Ministry for the Environment’s ‘Sustainable Management Fund’ and the Office of Tourism and Sport.

ENDS

The Tourism Industry Association represents
3,500 businesses and organisations within the tourism industry

Members include airlines, airport companies, and regional tourism organisations, rental car, coach and taxi companies, inbound tour operators, travel agents, adventure tourism operators, accommodation providers, tourism attractions, researchers, training organisations and tourism services providers


Tourism is New Zealand’s largest export earner – accounting for 16 % of this country’s export earnings


The Tourism Industry Association organises the New Zealand Tourism Conference, TRENZ and the New Zealand Tourism Awards

More information:
Simon King,
(04) 494 1845,
(025) 807 252

For a photo opportunity at a Top Ten Holiday Park, contact Kevin Gough, 0800 TOPTEN or 021 631 323. Tourism Businesses Encouraged to Improve Environmental Performance

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