Tourism has become more sustainable in NZ

Bird in the flowers in nature.

The New Zealand tourism industry has become slightly more sustainable in 2018 compared to the previous year, according to a Performance Dashboard produced by Tourism Industry Aotearoa. It’s a good start, but TIA says there is a lot more to be achieved.

The Performance Dashboard measures the industry’s progress one year after launching the Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC). It tracks the TSC’s eight economic, host community, visitor and environmental sustainability goals.

“While it’s early days, it’s pleasing to see a small 0.1 lift in the industry’s overall sustainability rating in 2018 to 8.1, tracking to the right direction to achieve the 2025 goal of 9.4,” said Chris Roberts, chief executive, Tourism Industry Aotearoa.

“Positively, those businesses which have signed up to the TSC achieved a significantly higher sustainability score than non-TSC businesses, 8.4 compared to 7.9.”

While the annual Performance Dashboard is designed to track progress over the long-term, TIA has said it is looking at trends closely and noticed the 2018 results across the eight sustainability parameters were mixed.

The one area that did see a decline was in minimising the industry’s environmental footprint, reducing carbon and effectively managing waste. This measurement dropped by 7 percent.

“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.

“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."