The vision for New Zealand to have the world’s most sustainable tourism industry has reached a significant milestone.
The Tourism Sustainability Commitment challenges individual businesses to operate more sustainably, and now over 1000 tourism businesses have made the pledge.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa launched the TSC at the end of 2017, with the aim of seeing every New Zealand tourism business committed to sustainability by 2025.
To get some real impetus behind the initiative, an aspirational goal was set to sign up 1000 businesses by the end of March 2019. TIA is proud to announce the TSC community has now exceeded that target.
TIA Sustainability Advocates Megan Williams and Lynn Robinson have been promoting the Commitment across the industry, spearheading industry change and challenging tourism businesses to improve their operations.
“It’s been exciting talking about sustainability with tourism operators and we’ve been heartened by the huge amount of interest and enthusiasm from the industry,” says Lynn Robinson.
“Operators throughout the industry are really keen to find out how they can become more sustainable. With a large number of businesses now signed up to the TSC we’re starting to focus on the ‘enablement’ phase – developing sustainability tools and resources and initiating conversations to get networks of operators talking and sharing ideas.”
Megan Williams says, “We’re excited about working with regional and sector groups to assist businesses in making meaningful changes. These can be at an individual business level or within a group where working together can create other opportunities for change.”
The TSC asks supporters to join the effort to achieve ambitious economic goals for the industry while sharing the overwhelming benefits with their host communities and contributing to restoring, protecting and enhancing our natural environment. This ensures that New Zealand continues to be a high quality destination of choice for domestic and international travellers.
The 1000th business to sign up to the TSC was Amber Kiwi Holiday Park, Christchurch. Owners Braden and Sharon Lee say their team is excited to be a part of TIA’s initiative on sustainability within tourism.
“This is something that we actively participate in and enable, and we encourage our guests to join us in our sustainability efforts at our holiday park.”
Holiday Parks New Zealand Chief Executive Fergus Brown says it’s an achievement that one third of HPNZ members are now signed up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment.
“We have been committed to the TSC since its launch, and also committed to getting 100% of our 300 members signed up,” says Mr Brown.
“We see the TSC as an essential business tool for our members to address the key four areas of sustainability embedded in the TSC, and to make a difference for New Zealand by addressing sustainability in the long term.”
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says reaching 1,000 TSC supporters is a sign that the tourism industry is serious about making sustainability a priority.
“Our national vision and goals for sustainability are important, but without the support of individual business owners and operators we can achieve nothing.
“A huge thank you to our tourism community for saying ‘yes’ to making industry-wide change. Together we can create a truly sustainable industry making a positive long-term contribution to New Zealand.”
The Tourism Sustainability Commitment has 8 industry goals and 14 business-level commitments, across four elements of sustainability – economic, visitor, host community and environment. It is guided by the values of Kaitiakitanga, Manaakitanga and Whanaungatanga, with a vision of ‘Leading the World in Sustainable Tourism’.