New Zealand tourism industry increases sustainability focus

The New Zealand tourism industry has pledged its commitment to sustainability after unveiling an updated growth strategy at TRENZ 2019.

Tourism 25 & Beyond replaces the industry's 2014 Tourism 25 Growth Framework with a renewed focus on responsible tourism. 

Speaking to an audience of international media at TRENZ 2019, the country's largest annual tourism trade event, Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts said the new initiative addresses current issues but also looks further than 2025 to ensure the industry makes a positive impact on Aotearoa and New Zealanders in the long term. 

“This Sustainable Growth Framework keeps our focus as an industry firmly on growing our value to individuals, communities, the environment, the economy and our visitors,” he said.

“The key change is that sustainability is now at the centre of Tourism 2025, providing a clear pathway towards a sustainable tourism industry for New Zealand. We have added visitor, community and environmental goals and pushed our economic ambition out to $50 billion a year in annual tourism revenue by 2025.”

The original Tourism 2025 goal was $41 billion in annual revenue by 2025, but reached $39.1 billion by 2018. 

Roberts added that sustainable initiatives are key to managing tourism - the country's largest export earner - responsibly and successfully. 

“Looking ahead, we are facing three key issues: managing the growth of tourism; improving management of our natural resources; and acting on carbon and climate change. Each of these needs to be factored into our thinking and actions,” he said. 

Explaining that the tourism industry, central and local government had identified "10 priority action areas" to work on over the next three years, he added: “We will succeed and maximise the huge benefits of tourism, while avoiding adverse impacts, by working together and having alignment of purpose."

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