Tourism Bay of Plenty is introducing a 12-week programme, called The Green Room, which will be provided by TIA and is being funded by Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council, which means it will be free for participants.
Representatives from approximately 20 Waihī Beach and Katikati businesses and organisations have signed up for the programme, which is based on the successful pilot TIA recently ran in Wellington and aligns with the goals set in the New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC).
The Green Room will consist of onsite visits, online webinars, and a customised action plan for each participant to help them gain the knowledge, skills and confidence to actively pursue zero carbon and regenerative goals. Participants will include hospitality operators, accommodation providers, community group representatives and event organisers.
Tourism Bay of Plenty Head of Strategy and Insights, Stacey Linton, says organisers are launching the programme in the Western Bay of Plenty in response to the high levels of enthusiasm expressed by stakeholders within the Waihī Beach and Katikati communities, who are keen to promote and pursue ‘greener’ practises.
“Consumer values are changing - locals and visitors increasingly want to support businesses and destinations that give back to the environment and their local community. We’re planning to progressively roll this programme out to businesses across Te Moananui ā Toi | the Coastal Bay of Plenty and the aim is to have 100 businesses complete the programme over the next two years,” she says.
The programme supports the Government target for New Zealand to be net carbon zero by 2050. TIA is the kaitiaki of the TSC, which has already been adopted by more than 1650 New Zealand tourism businesses as the nation endeavours to become the world’s most sustainable tourism industry.
The TSC aims to embed economic, visitor, community and environmental sustainability actions into all business systems, processes and plans.
“The programme is aligned with local and national goals of continuing to build tourism into an industry that adds vibrancy to our communities while having a regenerative impact,” says TIA Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram.
Stacey agrees: “We need to reset our tourism sector to ensure we deliver high-quality experiences for domestic and international visitors that have a positive impact on our local communities, which contribute to the restoration and protection of our natural environment, and which will help rebuild the economic sustainability of our sector,” she says.