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Commitment to environment key in tourism marketing

Commitment to the environment a key tourism marketing tool

Development of a New Zealand-based environmental accreditation programme to help tourism operators support our clean, green image is to begin shortly, Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor announced today.

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Development of a New Zealand-based environmental accreditation programme to help tourism operators support our clean, green image is to begin shortly, Tourism Minister Damien O'Connor announced today.

Damien O'Connor announced today funding of $300,000 over two years to investigate and then to develop the programme, which would form part of the Qualmark range of best-practice quality certifications.

An accreditation programme would give tourism operators a tool to be able to clearly demonstrate their commitment to the environment, Mr O'Connor said.

"This is not only vital for our own country's environmental sustainability, but an increasingly important marketing tool in international tourism.

"Businesses will be able to actively promote the way they care for the environment and at the same time provide a higher-quality visitor experience, making New Zealand more appealing to environmentally-aware visitors."

The decision to investigate the programme was prompted by the tourism industry, and is backed by research that consistently indicates international visitors are most highly satisfied with New Zealand's natural landscapes and our clean and unpolluted environment, Mr O'Connor said.

"It is also recognised by the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2010, which supports actively protecting, supporting and promoting the sustainability of our environment."

Development of a New Zealand-based programme will support the work already underway through the Ministry for the Environment and the Ministry of Tourism's Sustainable Tourism Charters.

"Qualmark accreditation already symbolises good environmental practice. But the new programme will demonstrate a broader commitment to running an environmentally sustainable business," Mr O'Connor said.

The funding comes from the New Zealand Tourism Strategy Implementation Fund.

ENDS

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