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News Article

Little progress in New Zealand tourism sustainability

Performance Dashboard show much still to be achieved

Tourism Industry Aoterroa (TIA), an association of the New Zealand tourism industry, has released details of progress towards the associations’ Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC). A Performance Dashboard tracks progress against the TSC’s eight economic, host community, visitor and environmental sustainability goals. While the TIA press release heading is that the tourism industry is “becoming more sustainable”, in reality there is little change in the indexes measured since the previous year. In fact, for some of the eight goals, there has been negative movement against he targets set.

Based on existing data and a survey of tourism businesses carried out for TIA by Angus & Associates, the dashboard measures the industry’s first year of performance since the launch of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment in November 2017. The TSC has the ambitious vision of New Zealand leading the world in sustainable tourism by 2025.

The 2018 Sustainability Commitment score in the latest Performance dashboard shows just a +0.1 change over the last year, from 8.0 to 8.1. The target is to reach a score of 9.4 by 2025. Businesses which have signed up to the TSC achieved a mean sustainability score of 8.4, compared with 7.9 for other businesses.

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says the annual dashboard is a long-term tracking mechanism and TIA will be looking closely at trends over time. He notes the 2018 results are mixed across the eight industry sustainability goals.

“On the plus side, we saw a strong improvement in industry revenue in 2018. And when it comes to delivering a fantastic visitor experience, we have already exceeded the 2025 target, with over 95% of international and domestic visitors having their expectations of a New Zealand holiday met or exceeded.”

But among measures that are more genuinely related to sustainability rather than growth, there is one area of significant decline: a 7% decrease in the industry’s success in measuring, managing and minimising its environmental footprint, which includes carbon reduction and waste management.

“While there is no obvious reason for this drop in performance, it could be that businesses are now more conscious of what is required to meet this goal than when they were first surveyed in 2017” claimed Mr Roberts.

“There is some great work going on in the industry to reduce carbon emissions and minimise waste, however this can be a challenging area for the many small and medium-sized businesses that make up our tourism industry” he said.

TIA is putting a lot of effort into providing SMEs with tools and resources to help them achieve their sustainability goals, including case studies to highlight how other tourism businesses are taking action. Mr Roberts says the TSC is continuing to gain traction with tourism businesses and government agencies. Almost 800 businesses have now committed to the TSC, against a target of 1000 by March 2019.

Sustainability is a keyword used in Leisure Tourism database indexing. There are over 6500 database records on tourism and the hospitality industry indexed for sustainability. Some example records are listed below.

Article details

  • Author(s)
  • David Simpson
  • Date
  • 26 February 2019
  • Source
  • Tourism Industry Aoterroa
  • Subject(s)
  • Hospitality Sector
  • Tourism