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Aotearoa New Zealand tourism goes positive in the

17 June 2008

*Aotearoa New Zealand tourism goes positive in the Pacific*

Travel agents in New Zealand now have a fresh chance to add an ethical dimension to the holidays they sell, with the launch of the revamped Responsible Tourism Code for the Pacific.

Dev-Zone, a programme of the Development Resource Centre, has launched the revised and updated Code, providing tourists with six easy steps on how to make a positive difference whilst on holiday in the Pacific. In the coming months, Dev-Zone will be promoting the Code and its accompanying website to the outbound tourism industry.

Responsible Tourism aims to minimise the negative economic, environmental and social impacts and to encourage greater interaction between the tourist and the local community. The Code was developed by Dev-Zone, and is supported and endorsed by the Pacific Islands Association of Non-Governmental Organisations, and south-pacific.travel, the intergovernmental regional tourism body for the South Pacific.

“As one of the biggest industries in the world, the tourism industry can really help get the message out about how tourists can make a positive difference. By working with the tourism industry in promoting this code, we hope to pass on to tourists some of the advice we have received from people in the Pacific,” said the Director of the Development Resource Centre, Tim O’Donovan.

“Escaping the winter weather with a holiday in the Pacific appeals to a significant number of New Zealanders. By using the code tourists can enjoy the hospitality of the islands and maximise the benefits of their stay at the same time. The code gives tourists sound advice, from how best to shop to how they can help conserve the fragile environment of Pacific islands.” he said.

With mounting public interest in eco-friendly tourism, Mr O’Donovan says the launch has come at just the right time for the industry.

“The Code provides those in the tourism industry an easy way to promote responsible tourism to their customers. We hope this is a first step for tour operators who want to become more responsible in the way they operate in the Pacific.” said Mr O’Donovan.

ENDS

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