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First Green Globe Sustainable Tourism Conference

Kaikoura to stage world’s first Green Globe Sustainable Tourism Conference

Kaikoura is to stage the world’s first international Green Globe sustainable tourism conference next March.

The conference will be held in Kaikoura on March 3-5.

``We’re expecting large numbers of experts, lecturers, specialists and environmental people involved in sustainable tourism from overseas and from New Zealand to attend,’’ Kaikoura District Council chief executive Stuart Grant said.

``The world's first Green Globe conference will enable people to exchange ideas about sustainable tourism and to hear what is involved in becoming a Green Globe company and community.’’

Local government officials, community representatives, tourism and sustainable operators, researchers, business people from New Zealand, Australia and other countries will attend the conference.

Mr Grant said people would gain more understanding of achieving sustainable tourism and could learn more about the Green Globe process.

He hoped the conference will lead to the establishment of a worldwide sustainable tourism network.

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

The town demonstrated a zero waste policy as part of that plan.

A total of 1.4 million people visited the whale-watching town of Kaikoura last year. The town has just 3483 residents and tourist numbers are expected to rise.

Green Globe is the world’s only global tourism certification programme. It aims to set a system responding to major environmental problems facing the planet as well as seeking to achieve environmental, social and cultural improvements at global, national and local level.

``For Kaikoura it has provided a marketing advantage as it tells tourists that people of Kaikoura are not only concerned about their environment but they are also taking steps to improve it,’’ Kaikoura District Council environmental development officer Ian Challenger said today.

``We have the potential to not only become the eco-tourism capital of New Zealand but also a truly sustainable future and such a future is one that will benefit everyone.’’

Green Globe benefits were economic, in reducing costs and it also improved efficiencies in using less energy.

Kaikoura is in a unique situation where we can lead the way in New Zealand and other countries in creating a sustainable environment for future generations to enjoy.

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