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A response to the double-edged machete of tourism

14 December 2004

Responsible Tourism Code a response to the “double-edged machete” of tourism

Yesterday afternoon at 4.00pm, Luamanuvoa Winnie Laban, Parliamentary Private Secretary for Overseas Development Assistance and MP for Mana launched a seven point Responsible Tourism Code for the Pacific. The launch was attended by representatives of the tourism industry in New Zealand, non-governmental organisations, the development sector, and government and private sector representatives.

The Code makes a number of suggestions on how tourists to the Pacific Islands can behave responsibly, including protecting the coral, supporting local initiatives, and respecting local customs.

The Code was developed by Dev-Zone, a programme of the Development Resource Centre a non-governmental organisation that informs and educates New Zealanders about global and development issues. The development of the Code involved extensive consultation with the travel industry and Pacific NGOs, and is endorsed by the South Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO), and the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations (PIANGO).

“Tourism is a double-edged machete”, said Ms Laban, talking of how tourism poses both offers opportunities and poses threats to Pacific Island communities. Ms Laban noted the importance of the Code in minimising possible threats of tourism.

The Responsible Tourism website www.responsibletourism.org.nz was launched simultaneously. The website allows New Zealanders to explore a range of different ideas about the interface of tourism and development, with information and resources for both tourists and the tourism/travel industry.

It is anticipated that website users will include the tourism and travel industry, prospective tourists to the Pacific Islands and the general public. Website users are able to download and print the Code for free to use personally or in their promotional material.

ENDS

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