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Company To Levy Tourists For Carbon Footprint


New Tourism Company To Levy Tourists For Carbon Footprint


Footprint Adventures is one of New Zealand's first tourism companies to put its hand up to be accountable for the carbon emissions that its business will generate. The new adventure tourism company, launched today, plans to support Landcare Research's carboNZero programme by adding a carbon emission surcharge to the cost of each of its boutique adventure tours. The surcharge paid by tourists will then be passed onto Landcare Research for investing in native forest regeneration and renewable energy projects.

Robert Thomas, Footprint Adventures Company Director, believes that there is a growing market of local and international tourists who have an environmental conscience and who will welcome the opportunity to enjoy an adventure experience that goes someway towards addressing the impact of their own carbon footprint. "There's an increasing awareness now of the impact of carbon emissions on climate change and I believe people want the chance to take some ownership of their own actions, particularly in the pursuit of pleasure."

Thomas also says his motivation has not only been driven by a personal commitment to environmental responsibility but also by witnessing in Europe a rising wave of scepticism of New Zealand's 'clean green image'. "The foreign press is milking New Zealand's own public debate over the high level of this country's carbon emissions and in the process is diluting our Pure NZ brand. I believe it is time to be seen to put our money where our mouth is."

The company's carbon neutral goal has been at the forefront of all its planning and development. Adventure activities, tour itineraries, transport and even accommodation options have all been selected using criteria to gauge the best choices in terms of keeping CO2 emissions to a minimum. Footprint Adventures, using carboNZero's travel and tourism calculator, say that in 2008 the maximum surcharge per customer will be around the ten dollar mark

The initiative is being undertaken in collaboration with Landcare Research, New Zealand's leading environmental research agency. carboNZero programme's technical manager, Ann Smith, says it's heartening to see a new business embracing the carbon neutral goal. "Footprint Adventures have impressed us with their proactive commitment to participate in the carboNZero programme and we hope that their example will encourage others in the tourism industry to follow suit."

Footprint Adventures is also working to identify opportunities to include the planting of native tree saplings as a regular feature of its tours. As the company grows it also plans to re-invest in technology that has the least impact on the environment, such as low emission petrol and hybrid or electric vehicles.

Footprint Adventures provide boutique adventures that coincide with New Zealand festivals. These can range from a short weekend away to two weeks, and are exclusively for 5 to 10 people. Footprint Adventures is an independent New Zealand owned and operated business. www.footprintadventures.co.nz

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