09 October 2008
Tasmania's tourism industry urged to address sustainability
A tourism expert has warned Tasmania that if it does not increase its sustainable approaches to tourism it will suffer a significant drop in the number of people choosing to holiday in the state.
Sustainable tourism expert Kim McKay told ABC News Tasmania’s unique draw-card for international tourism, much like New Zealand, is its pristine environment and stunning scenery, and therefore tourism operators and the government must work together to maintain world-class environmental performance.
Ms McKay also added it is vital for Tasmania’s economy and environment that the local industry understands sustainability, so that it can effectively manage the increasing number of people who travel to Australia on an Australian visa.
"We're seeing in research from Tourism Australia and other organisations that sustainability and environmental performance is becoming a criterion when people are selecting a destination," said Ms McKay.
"So if Australia is to be competitive in the global market place and indeed in the domestic market we've got to appeal to all travellers."
Tasmania could do well from following in the footsteps of the New Zealand tourism industry, which is well underway for developing sustainable approaches.
For example, according to research spearheaded by Tourism New Zealand, international tourists in New Zealand are mostly concerned with conserving the environment, and because of its world-wide reputation for a pristine environment, they notice litter and a lack of recycling facilities around the country.
"This isn't just about climate change or resource management. Our visitors are looking for ways to recycle their waste while they are out enjoying our country. And they notice the small things like litter," George Hickton, Tourism NZ Chief Executive said.
The New Zealand Government has provided extra funding for a tourism recycling initiative branded "Love NZ – Recycle with care" and it is hoped it sends a strong message to international tourists and backpackers that New Zealand is serious about environmental protection and tourism sustainability.
"Many backpackers are environmentally conscious. Having recycling facilities in backpacker accommodation around the country will meet their expectations to do the right thing for the environment," Trevor Mallard said.
A report from New Zealand’s Labour Department showed that around 10,000 British residents took advantage of the working holiday visa to New Zealand during 2007. British nationals on a New Zealand working holiday visa can work and holiday in the country for up to 12 months, and then apply for an 11 month extension.
The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.
Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.