05 June 2008
NZ shows the world its tourist-friendly future
Environmental sustainability has been the hot topic this week for New Zealanders, who are hosting the World Environment Day in Wellington today. The international spotlight on the tourist-friendly country has provided an international platform for many New Zealand businesses to showcase their world-first eco-friendly initiatives.
Air New Zealand, the country’s biggest airline, has announced their fleet has reduced carbon emissions by 91,000 tonnes over the past three years. The airline’s goal to decrease carbon emissions by 100,000 tonnes over five years is looking more than promising.
According to the New Zealand Herald, Air New Zealand has also released plans to run 10 per cent of their aeroplanes on nut oil. The jatropha nut, grown in India and Africa, will provide Air New Zealand with enough oil to fill 1 million barrels by 2013. Few other airlines have invested in developing biofuel technology for responsible and sustainable practice.
A New Zealand bus-tour company, Stray, has joined the growing number of companies providing sustainable tourism. Using 100 per cent recycled fish and chip oil, the specifically engineered buses conform to Euro III emission standards and run more efficiently than many other diesels on the road.
Secretary to the Treasury, John Whitehead, said yesterday, "I believe New Zealand is up to the challenge of tackling big environmental issues like climate change and sustainable water use, and I believe New Zealand businesses are up to the challenge of thriving in a resource-constrained world. There are still enormous commercial opportunities within an environment of limited and increasingly scarce opportunities."
"Environmental sustainability is an increasingly important factor in people’s decisions to travel internationally", said the Acting Chief Executive of the Tourism Industry Association, Oscar Nathan. If New Zealand can prove that its tourism industry is capable of providing sustainable practices, then it will continue to generate large numbers of immigrants and those on working holidays or short visits, who expect to see the internationally-reputed clean and green environment.