04 August 2008
"Double reward" for NZ tourism operators
Last week, the Tourism Industry Association (TIA) and the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (ECCA) launched an energy efficiency programme designed for tourism operators, reports Fourcorners.co.nz. The Tourism Energy Efficiency Programme (TEEP) is hoped to help operators reduce carbon emissions, electricity consumption, and fuel consumption.
TEEP will aim to provide subsidised energy audits to tourism operators who have businesses in the accommodation and transport sectors. It is a six-month pilot programme that will involve 12 tourism businesses who will undergo assessments and receive reviews and recommendations for reducing energy and fuel consumption.
Jeanette Fitzsimmons, the Green Party co-leader, said TEEP is a step in the right direction to creating an environmentally sustainable environment in New Zealand, but will also appeal to the increasing market of energy-conscious international travellers who make tourism choices based on approaches to sustainability.
"I know of operators on the West Coast who installed solar panels on their roof and they had European travellers, in particular, stopping simply because they had seen the panels and that’s where they wanted to stay," she told reporters. "So there’s double reward."
"By improving the energy efficiency of our tourism sector, we are strengthening New Zealand’s global brand as a clean, green destination," Ms Fitzsimmons added.
TIA Chief Executive Tim Cossar said, "The environment is New Zealand’s key tourism product, one of the main reasons that international visitors come here."
After Australia, the largest tourism market to visit New Zealand comes from the United Kingdom and Europe. Being from the other side of the world, many UK residents are aware of the impact their journey to New Zealand will have on the environment. Ms Fitzsimmons believes this is even more of a reason to ensure tourism operators are creating a sustainable environment for long-haul travellers to the country.
The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people emigrate to New Zealand.
Article by Jessica Bird, New Zealand Visa Bureau.