Auckland Tourism, Events & Economic Development (ATEED), Auckland’s economic growth agency, has signed the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment, an industry initiative driven by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA).
The New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment aims to get every tourism business in the country making a pledge to adopt ‘14 Commitments’ by 2025. The commitment is designed to support the industry, helping New Zealand to lead the world in sustainable tourism.
ATEED’s participation in the commitment is one of the first steps towards meeting the sustainability focus of the new Destination AKL 2025 Strategy, launched 11 May.
Destination AKL 2025 has been initiated by ATEED, and guided by an industry leadership group spanning the breadth of Auckland’s visitor economy.
ATEED Destination General Manager, Steve Armitage, says Auckland has enjoyed an unprecedented period of growth in visitor numbers over the last five years.
“With this growth has come challenges, and the time is right to ensure that we are working together as a region to manage the impact of the visitor economy in a proactive and sustainable way,” he says.
“Destination AKL 2025 places a greater emphasis on destination management so that Auckland is better off not just economically, but also socially, culturally, and environmentally.
“By signing up to the national sustainability commitment we can work in alignment with TIA and the industry as a whole to advocate for higher standards of sustainable practice for the visitor economy.”
The New Zealand Tourism Sustainability commitments are broken into four key focus areas, comprising of: achieving economically sustainable tourism; sustainable visitor experience; supportive host communities; and contributing to restoring, protecting and enhancing the natural environment.
TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts says that Auckland, as New Zealand’s biggest visitor destination, can also lead the way as New Zealand’s most sustainable visitor destination.
“Achieving a sustainable tourism industry in Auckland will ensure the city and its residents continue to be better off because tourism exists. Everyone has a part to play. I encourage all Auckland tourism businesses to follow ATEED’s lead and sign up to the Tourism Sustainability Commitment. Sustainable businesses are successful businesses,” Mr Roberts says.
ATEED has also already begun recruiting for a new position to support its increased sustainability focus.
This role will be responsible for working with TIA to ensure ATEED is meeting the 14 Commitments, as well as the actions outlined in Destination AKL 2025, including educating and growing the capability of Auckland tourism operators, and building a framework for sustainable practices for Auckland’s visitor sector.