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Ziptrek shares its innovative sustainable tourism model

19 August 2011

Ziptrek shares its innovative sustainable tourism model

Queenstown tourism business Ziptrek Ecotours presented its story of creating an innovative adventure tourism operation to delegates at the Ecotourism New Zealand workshop currently underway in Greymouth.

The company has established an operation that combines the thrill of adventure with serious eco education that leaves a lasting impact on its guests.

Ziptrek director Trent Yeo shared with fellow tourism operators his company’s commitment to interpretative, sustainable adventure with a strong ecological focus and how this approach was valued by a wide variety of visitors to New Zealand.

“It’s been a massive undertaking setting up a new adventure ecotourism operation in the heart of Queenstown – the home of adventure tourism, but we believed we had something unique to offer that visitors would love.

“Nearly two years and 20,000 guests later, I think we’ve proved that ecology, awareness education and adventure are a successful mix. For us it’s about introducing sustainability into tourism and giving our guests an experience that resonates long after they’ve zipped down the last zipline.”

Hugh Canard, Chair Ecotourism NZ, said that the Ziptrek model was one of the ways tourism business in New Zealand could adapt to changing visitor expectations and demographics.

“Visitors are looking for a balance, a mix of connection with the landscape, education and natural adventure and it’s not just backpackers or young people, to be successful and have a point of difference now, operations need to offer visitors an emotional connection.”

“Some adventure tourism is like ‘empty calories’, all excitement and no commitment or connection. That’s not so good for New Zealand anymore because people can partake in that sort of adventure anywhere in the world. Why would you come to New Zealand to do the same thing you can do in Chile or Asia? We need to find differentiation and providing people with an emotional connection through adventure in our natural landscapes is a way of providing an experience that stays with them for a long time.”


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