A boost for eco-tourism in New-Zealand ?

Another government is investing in ecotourism, another great sign of dynamism in the field …

The NZ Government has decided to dedicate NZ$3m to Sustainable Tourism

The New Zealand government is committing an extra $2.83 million over the next year for the implementation of the New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015, Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor announced Tuesday last.

The allocation of fund has been described as follows:

– tourism workforce initiatives,

– sector research,

– improving Maori tourism capability,

– environmental initiatives including the promotion of new Qualmark Green criteria to international and domestic visitors.

“Tourism’s future depends upon sustainability and delivering greater value from each and every visitor to this country. Its sheer size and its potential to help transform our economy into one which is more sustainable and of higher value means it is a priority sector for government attention”. said the NZ governement representative.

However there is some controversy on some of the items:

“Basically, we’re concerned it doesn’t go far enough,” Ecotourism NZ chair Brian MacKenzie said. “There’s nothing to distinguish ecotourism operators from mainstream Qualmark members, like hotels and camper van companies, or reflect the extra lengths they go to.”

“Qualmark’s new environmental criteria are a good first step but its standards aren’t far reaching or high enough for ecotourism”, added a representative at the upcoming Ecotourism NZ Conference.

So, again, eco-tourism is in a development stage and discussion is widely open !

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