Addressing more than 450 delegates at this week’s TRENZ Hui 2022 Online, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) Chief Executive, Rebecca Ingram said that even in the midst of its worst times, the industry had made real progress to ensure the New Zealand tourism experience is one that New Zealanders can be proud of.
Work, she said, has been going on behind the scenes for the past two years, from the launch of a sustainability pilot program and its growth into other regions, to continued support of the Tiaki Promise and the Tourism Sustainability Commitment.
“There is a strong desire to rebuild a tourism industry that delivers high quality experiences for both domestic and international visitors, while also having a positive impact on local communities, contributing to the restoration and protection of our natural environment and rebuilding the economic sustainability of the tourism industry,” Ms Ingram said.
“More than ever, all of us in New Zealand’s tourism industry will demonstrate that we are committed to caring for Aotearoa New Zealand.”
Ms Ingram also tabled early results from the first Tourism Sustainability Commitment annual return, which suggests that 100 percent of tourism operators feel sustainability is at least somewhat important to their business, with 92 percent feeling it was ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ important.
A total of 95 percent considers the impact of their business on the environment, and 85 percent consider long-term sustainability outcomes when making business investments.
“Overall, we’re getting a real sense of optimism in the future, with developments to improve the sustainability of our visitor sector being a high priority for most businesses,” Ms Ingram said, adding that TIA is looking forward to assisting more regions, sectors and organisations to move their commitments to sustainability or regenerative tourism into action.