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Environmental report card from travellers positive


Damien O'Connor

27 August, 2008

Environmental report card from travellers positive

The majority of international and domestic travellers say New Zealand’s six top tourist regions show sound environmental management, Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor said today.

Mr O’Connor today released the Ministry of Tourism’s Regional Visitor Monitor (RVM) which shows 46 percent of respondents thought the six regions’ environmental management was ahead of most other countries and 95 percent considered it to be at least as good as others.

“These outcomes show New Zealand is still considered by travellers to be world class environmentally. However, there is no room for complacency, there is still work to do to lift our game and match our 100% Pure New Zealand promise.

“As it is our environment that underpins our 100% Pure brand, we need to take credible and visible steps to reduce our environmental impact and improve our environmental management,” said Mr O’Connor.

The research also showed that 86 percent of those surveyed would choose an environmentally friendly option over an alternative, as long as other factors such as price and convenience were not compromised.

“The New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015 highlights the need for the tourism industry to take a leading role in protecting and enhancing the environment. This includes goals to understand the environmental aspirations of our current and future international visitors, and how they view our environmental management.

“This research provides a valuable baseline measure from which we can monitor changes in tourists’ environmental attitudes over time,” said Mr O’Connor.

“Monitoring tourists' environmental perceptions is part of a wider set of government initiatives designed to encourage operators to tangibly improve their environmental performance. The government has committed $840,000 under the Sustainable Tourism Advisor in Regions (STAR) project for nine regions to employ advisers who will work one on one with tourism operators to help reduce their business’ impact on the environment. Also, the new Qualmark Green criteria means licence holders now have to meet minimum environmental standards as part of their quality accreditation assessments,” said Mr O’Connor.

The RVM is a survey undertaken in six regions. It is done in partnership between the Ministry of Tourism, Tourism New Zealand and Regional Tourism Organisations in Auckland, Rotorua, Wellington, Canterbury, Queenstown and Dunedin.

The survey gathers information on visitor profiles, visitor motivations and expectations, travel planning and patterns of visitor activity, visitor satisfaction, and visitor expenditure, all at a regional level. See full report at www.tourismresearch.govt.nz

ENDS

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