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Tourism industry operators challenged to look at more than just the bottom line

Tourism operators were challenged to look at more than just the bottom line at the sold out 2019 New Zealand Tourism Export Council Tourism Conference this week in Christchurch.

Delegates from local inbound tour operators, tourism product providers, and key tourism stakeholder organisations have converged for a two day conference to hear speakers on the conference theme of Tiaki – Care for New Zealand, the care and protection of New Zealand for future generations.

“The tourism industry recognises the challenges that are facing local communities and impact tourism has on our environment. We also know that decisions we make as businesses can make a huge impact. What we’re asking ourselves is, can we use the power of our organisation or the power of our investment to drive social and environmental change?” says Judy Chen, chief executive TECNZ.

The conference opened with a welcome from Christchurch Mayor, Lianne Dalziel and an address by the Minister of Tourism, Kelvin Davis.

As one of the founders of the Student Volunteer Army, Jason Pemberton spoke about how the earthquakes changed him, how it changed organisations and how it changed Christchurch.

In 2016 Jason joined, an online marketplace for New Zealand made goods and gifts with a focus on supporting creative designers and helping makers to run successful businesses, whilst also showing consumers the social and environmental benefits of small-box retail.

Louise Aitken, chief executive of the Ākina Foundation emphasised that the choices we make about where to put our money as consumers, as employees and as investors, can really make a difference.

“Impact-driven businesses are here; they are growing, and they are the future. As consumers, our choices are powerful – our choices are transforming business to be more sustainable, to be more focused on their impact on our environment and on the communities in which they operate.”

“Our visitors are looking to come to New Zealand and experience our natural environment and the culture of our people. Sustainability and authenticity are things that can make your business stand out from the rest, says Judy.

“What we’ve heard are some great examples of how you can make that work for business.”

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