The updated Qualmark Gold Award recognises tourism businesses of the highest performing sustainable standards in New Zealand, across four key categories: Economic, Environmental, People and Health and Safety.
In awarding Gold, Qualmark representatives acknowledge the holistic and broad approach adopted by Waitomo Glowworm Caves to protect the unique eco system existing within and around the Caves.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves employs a full time Environmental Officer to ensure the cave environment is protected and monitored at all times. Efforts include comprehensive and real time monitoring of carbon dioxide (CO2), water level and cave temperature and airflow.
Carl Fischer, Environmental Officer for Waitomo Glowworm Caves, says, “Everything we do at Waitomo Glowworm Caves centers around kaitiakitangi – responsible guardianship and upmost respect for our unique environment.”
Waitomo Glowworm Caves has taken a leadership position educating visitors and the wider community on the environment. Carl adds, “We have a great opportunity to educate others about responsible tourism and the unique precious facets of this natural attraction.”
There are real time CO2 measures displayed for visitors to the Waitomo Glowworm Caves to see. The environmental team is available for any members of the public interested in learning more about the unique natural environment and sustainability initiatives being undertaken in Waitomo.
The Waitomo Glowworm Caves maintains a strong focus on customer experience, whilst placing the protection of its unique natural assets at the forefront. Waitomo Glowworm Caves practices of Manaakitanga – meaning hospitality and kindness – was considered “Best of the Best” as part of the Qualmark process.
Waitomo Glowworm Caves was also a finalist in the Tourism Awards 2016 for Environmental Initiatives.