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Canterbury tourism operators challenged

News release
March 19, 2008

Canterbury tourism operators challenged to join global energy saving initiative

Earth Hour represents a golden opportunity for Canterbury’s tourism operators to demonstrate their commitment to environmental sustainability, says Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism chief executive Christine Prince.

She is challenging all of Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism’s 800-plus business partners to take part in next week’s global hour of action at 8pm on Saturday, March 29 to save energy in the fight against climate change.

“Ideally we want their commitment to extend far beyond 60 minutes; we want everyone involved in our industry to use Earth Hour as a catalyst for further long-term change,’’ says Christine Prince.

“As a region there is competitive advantage to be gained from leading the charge towards sustainability; we can be the stand-out region in a stand-out country. We can put ourselves in the position where we truly are the region that is leading the way.’’

Christine Prince says there is already evidence to suggest this is happening. “Christchurch International Airport is the first airport in the Southern Hemisphere to earn CarboNZero certification, while the Kaikoura District Council was the first local authority in the world to achieve Green Globe certification in recognition of its commitment to protecting the environment and working towards sustainability for residents and visitors,” she says.

Other local examples abound, including Christchurch’s iconic tourism operation, the Tram which has achieved Green Globe Benchmarked status and Canterbury tour company, Hassle-Free Tours, which has successfully made the switch to bio-diesel produced in Canterbury from recycled canola oil.

In a leadership role, Christchurch & Canterbury Tourism is the first regional tourism organisation in New Zealand to be carbon-zero and Green Globe bench-marked.

“Tourism New Zealand has gone out and created the brand promise of 100% Pure and it is absolutely fundamental that we deliver against that promise. It’s vital from a marketing perspective but it also just makes good sense – the bottom line is that many of the businesses in our industry will affect greater efficiency cost-wise by reducing their wastage.’’

Earth Hour is on March 29 from 8 to 9pm. Christchurch is the only New Zealand city participating. During those 60 minutes every one is encouraged to switch off their lights and appliances.


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