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Declaration expected from sustainable tourism conf

Media release – March 3, 2004

Global declaration expected from first sustainable tourism conference

By Kip Brook, Word of Mouth Media NZ

Kaikoura, March 3 -- A global declaration is likely to be agreed on at the end of the first international Green Globe conference in Kaikoura this week.

One of the main thrusts of the conference will be to firm up on key sustainable tourism activities needed to be adopted by the New Zealand industry with strong support from government, Cathy Parsons, global manager of Green globe, said today.

Mrs Parsons is a key speaker at the conference which ends in Kaikoura on Friday.

``There needs to be more incentives provided by government to tourism operators that can contribute to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and lower environmental impacts overall,’’ she said.

The Green Globe conference has brought together operators, consultants and researchers from the tourism industry around the world to New Zealand, which saw a record 2.1 million visitors last year. The Lord of the Rings success has guaranteed more tourists than ever before will visit our shores.

“Businesses that have joined Green Globe should be recognised by governments,’’ she said today.

“Concessions such as extended permits to operate on public lands, or premium marketing by tourism boards should be offered as the norm,’’ Mrs Parsons said.

“These concessions are virtually no cost but can bring a range of benefits to government including reduced compliance costs.”

It is expected that on the last day of the conference, delegates will agree to a declaration that will need to be pursued in order to ensure sustainable tourism activities gain momentum.

``We want to make sure programmes such as Green Globe receive support from governments, the tourism industry, communities and environmental groups.’’

Green Globe is the only worldwide environmental certification programme for the travel and tourism industry.

She said in her opening address today that while support from a number of governments around the world had been encouraging, more needed to be done to provide incentives to tourism operators.

More than 130 local government officials, community representatives, tourism and sustainable operators, researchers and business people are attending the inaugural three-day conference. Delegates from England, Iceland, South Africa, Fiji, USA, Jamaica, Barbados, Peru, New Zealand, India, Hong Kong and Australia are taking part.

Kaikoura became the first tourist resort in New Zealand – and only the second community in the world - to earn Green Globe status in 2002. Green Globe is the world’s only global tourism certification programme.

Ends


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