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Wellington Leads The Way On Regenerative Tourism

When tourism makes a full-scale return to New Zealand, international visitors will find Wellington businesses leading the charge to carbon neutrality thanks to a new programme that’s ready to go nationwide.

The three-month Wellington Tourism Sustainability Pilot Programme, a collaboration led by WellingtonNZ with Tourism Industry Aotearoa and Wellington City Council, was designed to make it easier for tourism businesses to embark on a meaningful sustainability journey.

All 12 businesses* that completed the programme will be recognised by Tourism Minister Stuart Nash at an event at Te Wharewaka-o-Poneke Function Centre on Wednesday 10 November.

WellingtonNZ Chief Executive John Allen says the project was designed with input from local tourism operators and WellingtonNZ-owned Creative HQ.

“It involved collaboration and thought leadership that the city is known for and, importantly, its sustainability underpins the Destination Management process. This will see Destination Plans created for Wellington City and the Wellington region which will both set a regenerative tourism future.”

Mr Allen says WellingtonNZ and TIA will continue to work with the 12 tourism businesses which took part to showcase their journey and what they can offer visitors.

“We all know the world is facing a climate crisis and we are excited that other New Zealand regions and business sectors are interested in the Sustainability Programme as part of the solution.

“Ultimately, the programme is designed so tourism businesses can provide stronger community connections in a sustainable, economically prudent manner. It’s fantastic that Wellington is leading the way in this regard.

Wellington Mayor Andy Foster said many of the city’s tourism businesses have already taken leadership roles in supporting community and environmental resilience and, the city’s recent membership of the Milan Urban Food Policy Pact.

“The Pilot strengthens that work and the city’s ambition to be a carbon neutral capital city by 2050. To do that we need a city packed with sustainable businesses collaboratively implementing the practice of regenerative tourism - a holistic approach giving back to the land and its people.

“The Wellington Tourism Sustainability Programme is a great platform to achieve goals that are important not just for Wellington but the rest of New Zealand and the world.”

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says that every operator has a part to play in creating a tourism industry that is sustainable across Economic, Visitor, Community and Environment outcomes.

“With more than 1600 operators around the country having signed up to TIA’s Tourism Sustainability Commitment, we know that there is a strong desire to rebuild an improved tourism industry that delivers benefits for New Zealanders and Aotearoa. This programme has shown what can be achieved by offering support to individual businesses and is a great example of what we can do in other regions,” Mr Roberts says.

Total cost of the pilot programme was $60,000, partly funded by the MBIE’s Strategic Tourism Assets Protection Programme (STAPP) and Wellington City Council’s recovery fund Tipu Toa.


*Businesses on the pilot programme:

Kapiti Island Nature Tours

Craft Beer Tours NZ

Weta Workshop

Switched on Bikes

Manaaki Management Ltd

East by West Company Ltd

Village Accommodation Group

Wellington Helicopters

Capital Personalised Tours

Kaewa Tours

Zozo Travel Ltd

Xplor Tours

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