Having a sustainable tourism industry that backs itself and prioritises our communities and environment to everyone’s long-term benefit is incredibly important, and that’s why TIA developed the TSC to make it easy for tourism organisations to become more sustainable. It aims to ensure economic, environmental and social sustainability becomes a genuine ethical underpinning of our industry, and by 2025 we want to have every tourism business in the country committed to this.
Our goal of gaining 1000 sign-ups by the end of March 2019 has been a wonderful opportunity for TIA's Sustainability Advocates Megan Williams and Lynn Robinson to reach out and connect with regional tourism operators and organisations. They are learning what operational barriers exist in the regions and how to work through them, helping operators recognise that some of their current business practices are already sustainable, and motivated them to make them official or improve their efforts. Megan and Lynn have also worked on producing more targeted resources, and setting up pilot workshops in the regions to facilitate making positive change.
"We’re incredibly proud to have almost 800 tourism businesses signed up to the TSC to date," Lynn says.
"Being a sustainable business has a competitive edge. Research shows many international visitors expect operators to take actions to reduce their impact on the environment and treat their staff and communities with respect."
A commitment to sustainability also brings financial savings, an advantage in attracting and retaining staff and the support of your local community.
Signing up to the TSC is free and fast, and means you get access to the TSC community (almost 800 members and counting – check out our database here) for inspiration and support from like-minded operators, as well as tools to assist you in your sustainability journey.
"TIA’s work to motivate tourism operators to do their bit for Aotearoa doesn’t end once we hit 1000 - becoming a sustainable business is a journey and we want to ensure tourism continues to be a high-value, sustainable industry in New Zealand’s economy," says Megan.
"As we reach the end of our ‘on-boarding’ phase with the majority of the industry signed up, we will move onto the enabling phase, supporting businesses with sustainability activities and providing resources and tools to facilitate these."
Together we can create a truly sustainable industry that makes a positive and enduring contribution to Aotearoa and leads the world in sustainable tourism. Join us at sustainabletourism.nz.