10 September 2008

Tourism NZ encouraging "clean and green" values

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Tourism New Zealand is encouraging New Zealanders to step up their commitments to maintaining a clean and green environment, or they may suffer from a lack of interest from international travellers, reports Opodo News.

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, reports Queenstown.com, and it is hoped it sends a strong message to international tourists that New Zealand is serious about environmental protection and tourism sustainability.

New bins for tourists have been set up in Arrowtown and Wanaka.  The Government has had to donate $125,000 to install the 50 bins in the two towns situated near Queenstown.  The Ministry for the Environment is also subsidising the collection of recyclable material from the bins for the first two years of operation.

Backpackers have been included in the strategies for sustainability.  The Environment Minister, Trevor Mallard, and the Tourism Minister, Damien O’Connor, together have planned and implemented the recycling initiative, which is branded "Love NZ – Recycle with care".  Recycling bins have already been placed in tourist hot-spots including Kaikoura, Wellington, and Taupo, and are showing positive results.

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.

"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.

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.

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