Keeping ‘clean and green’ with DOC vital
Keeping ‘clean and green’ with DOC vital to the tourism industry
Visitors often come to New Zealand shores attracted by its clean, green environment – has this image got a future? That is one of the subjects the Department of Conservation (DOC) is exploring in a session at TRENZ, the tourism industry showcase event, today.
“DOC has a vital role in the management and conservation of New Zealand’s natural scenery and resources which is the key factor that attracts visitors to our country,” says Fiona Luhrs, Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Association (TIA) which organises TRENZ.
“DOC is therefore a very important partner for the tourism industry. Human impacts on the environment need to be jointly managed to protect our key tourism assets such as national and marine parks. DOC is mandated to do this for over a third of New Zealand’s land,” says Luhrs.
DOC is presenting a session to the media delegates at TRENZ on the interaction between tourism businesses and the department’s conservation objectives. DOC is also sponsoring a walkway at TRENZ with native plants and interpretation panels about its work.
“A key objective of the Tourism Strategy 2010 is to ‘actively promote the natural environment to ensure that tourism growth is sustainable’ and the industry takes seriously the challenge of balancing economic, social and environmental dimensions to achieve sustainable growth. DOC has identified many tourism operators who already operate in this way – many of whom are exhibiting at TRENZ this week,” says Luhrs.
Both TIA and DOC participate in an industry forum formed about 18 months ago. It includes senior representatives from the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism New Zealand, Ministry for the Environment and recreation groups such as Fish and Game, and Forest and Bird. This group recently undertook a ‘foresight’ or ‘futures’ exercise designed to look at what tourism on public conservation lands might look like in the year 2050. A valuable set of action points came out of this session which will add to TIA work programmes.