With so much negativity surrounding the COVID pandemic, it is heartening to see at last one positive aspect.
And for New Zealand that is a program that supports tourism operators to become more sustainable which has won a prestigious 2021 Skål International Sustainable Tourism Award.
Developed by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), the Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC) encourages and supports every New Zealand tourism business to be genuinely committed to sustainability.
The program took out the award in the Educational Programs and Media category.
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts said one of the few positive impacts of the COVID pandemic is that some tourism businesses have found the time to develop their sustainability action plans and reimagine their businesses for the future.”
“We are really proud to win this international award, which highlights the growing interest in the Commitment at a time when the tourism industry is experiencing so many other challenges.”
Under the TSC framework, TIA has just launched the Tourism Carbon Challenge, urging every tourism business to measure its carbon footprint, to take action to significantly reduce carbon emissions by 2030, and contribute to a tourism industry that is net zero carbon ahead of New Zealand’s 2050 goal.
TIA is also collaborating with regions to set a regenerative tourism future. The regional program supports tourism businesses to provide stronger community and environmental connections in a sustainable, economically prudent manner.
“We believe every operator has a part to play in creating a tourism industry that is sustainable,” Mr Roberts said.
”We hope this award will re-inspire our members while showing the strength and credibility of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment to those who have not yet made the commitment.”
Tourism businesses can sign up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment for free and access support to work towards twelve commitments across four elements of tourism sustainability: Economic, Visitor, Community, and Environment.
The Skål International Sustainable Tourism Awards are geared towards enhancing the visibility and grant recognition to entities from the Travel and Tourism industry.
Based on the declaration of the United Nations in 2002, Skål International launched its own ‘Sustainable Tourism Awards’ in the same year to spotlight best practices globally.