14 Nov 17: Tourism industry aims for sustainability

Tourism Industry Aotearoa has today launched the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, establishing eight Goals for the tourism industry to attain by 2025.

Individual businesses are being invited to adopt 14 Commitments designed to support the industry to reach the Goals. A new website www.sustainabletourism.nz has also been launched today.

The New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment is a response to the boom times experienced by the industry in recent years, TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says.

“The Tourism 2025 aspirational goal to reach $41 billion a year in total tourism revenue is on track to be achieved a number of years earlier than 2025. This has generated many business and employment opportunities, as well as benefitting New Zealand’s economy and communities across the country,” Mr Roberts says.

“Now we are facing the challenges of managing and sustaining growth. Financially sustainable businesses are able to invest in environmental and social sustainability, maintaining and enhancing New Zealand for future generations of residents and visitors.

“We know some tourism businesses are already operating in line with the 14 Commitments, or exceeding them. That’s a good start. It is our goal that every tourism business in New Zealand will commit to operating sustainably. The greater the buy-in, the more powerful it will be.

“We want a New Zealand where our economy, people and the environment are better off because tourism exists. Together, we can create a world-leading example of a truly sustainable tourism industry that will make a positive long-term contribution to New Zealand.”

To track the tourism industry’s progress, TIA will measure and report annually against each of the eight Goals and also on the level of tourism business uptake of the 14 Commitments.

More than 40 leading tourism businesses have already agreed to sign up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment.

“As progress is achieved against the Commitments, the target levels will be raised to reflect higher expectations of industry performance. By 2025, we want every New Zealand tourism business to be adopting most, if not all, of the 14 Commitments within their business practices,” Mr Roberts says.

Visit www.sustainabletourism.nz for more details about the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment.

The New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment is supported by the Tourism Industry New Zealand Trust.

Thanks to our external Reference Group from Air New Zealand, the Department of Conservation, Discover Wanaka, Griffith University, Tourism Holdings Ltd, Tourism New Zealand, Real Journeys, Whale Watch Kaikoura and Ziptrek Ecotours.

New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment

Leading the World in Sustainable Tourism
To deliver on this vision, the tourism industry must achieve ambitious economic goals while sharing the overwhelming benefits with supportive host communities, contributing to restoring, protecting and enhancing our natural environment, and continuing to be a high quality destination of choice for international and domestic travellers.

Tourism is delivering prosperity across the New Zealand economy.

Industry Goals
1. $41 billion total annual tourism revenue by 2025.
2. Tourism businesses are experiencing sustainable growth through ongoing profitability, innovation, quality improvement and investment.

Business Commitments
1. Sustainable Businesses: Businesses focused on long term financial performance.
2. Capital Investment: Businesses invest capital to grow, and/or to improve quality and productivity.
3. Productivity: Businesses innovate and have effective strategies to mitigate the effects of seasonality.

New Zealand delivers world leading experiences for both international and domestic visitors.

Industry Goals
International and New Zealand’s tourism industry is aiming for long-term sustainability, with all tourism operators being encouraged to sign up to a new Tourism Sustainability Commitment.
3. domestic visitors’ experience of New Zealand overwhelmingly meets or exceeds their expectations.
4. Tourism businesses actively engage with their visitors to ensure that the visitor experience is enhanced and adverse impacts are reduced.

Business Commitments
4. Visitor Satisfaction: Businesses undertake customer satisfaction monitoring, evaluation and reporting.
5. Product and Market Development: Businesses innovate to improve or upgrade their offering to enhance visitor experience.
6. Visitor Engagement: Businesses educate visitors about New Zealand’s cultural and behavioural expectations.

New Zealanders strongly support and reap the benefit from tourism operating in their communities.

Industry Goals
7. New Zealanders are happy with the level of tourism activity and support growth.
8. Tourism businesses are desirable and responsible employers, and leaders in engaging and supporting vibrant communities.

Business Commitments
9. Sustainable Employment: Businesses pay a fair wage to all staff.
10. Quality Employment: Businesses support their workforce to flourish and succeed.
11. Community Engagement: Businesses actively engage with the communities in which they operate.
12. Sustainable Supply Chains: Businesses have socially and environmentally sustainable supply chains.

Tourism is recognised for its contribution to protecting, restoring and enhancing New Zealand’s natural environment and biodiversity.

Industry Goals
13. Tourism businesses actively support and champion ecological restoration initiatives.
14. Tourism businesses are measuring, managing and minimising their environmental footprint.

Business Commitments
15. Ecological Restoration: Businesses contribute to ecological restoration initiatives.
16. Carbon Reduction: Businesses have carbon reduction programmes towards carbon neutrality.
17. Waste Management: Businesses have waste reduction and management programmes.
18. Education: Businesses actively engage with their visitors and communities on the importance of restoring, protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s natural environment.

Endorsement for the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment

“Sustainability has to be a word, concept and a set of actions that are a part of every tourism business in New Zealand.”
Grant Webster, TIA Chair and thl Chief Executive
“As New Zealand unites behind a nature-based future, it is especially heartening to see the tourism industry making a Sustainability Commitment that has ecological restoration at its very heart. Many businesses are already making a great contribution, but this latest commitment signals the beginning of a much larger response to help tackle the environmental challenges we face. It’s an exciting and positive step.”
Lou Sanson, Department of Conservation Director General

“The Tourism Sustainability Commitment will help us all drive the change needed in New Zealand today to better welcome the future. We invite the industry to join us in making a difference.”
Gillian Millar, Senior Vice President Operations, New Zealand, Fiji & French Polynesia, AccorHotels

“This is the beginning of a long and meaningful journey. Whilst an intrinsic part of what many tourism businesses do today, this is an invitation for others to get involved.”
Pania Tyson-Nathan, Chief Executive, NZ Māori Tourism

“With visitors increasingly better informed and with higher expectations about what they want from every experience and product, the industry needs to sustainably evolve our offer while also leaving the world around us a better place than we found it.”
Stephen England-Hall, Chief Executive, Tourism New Zealand

“Sustainability is a new word for a traditional concept: Kaitiakitanga. We each have a great responsibility to protect and to sustain our host communities for future generations, whether that be sustainability of our unique culture, the natural environment, or our own organisations.”
Kristin Dunne, Chief Executive Officer, Tourism Bay of Plenty

“New Zealand’s enduring appeal as a tourism destination relies on the breath-taking beauty of its landscapes and the vibrancy of its people. We need our tourism industry to treasure them. The Sustainable Business Network enthusiastically backs the Tourism Sustainability Commitment and will do all it can to support it. We would urge all those in the tourism sector to sign up and take action immediately.”
Rachel Brown, Chief Executive, Sustainable Business Network