World Tourism Day 2020: New Zealand communities shape tourism future

Sunday 27 September is World Tourism Day and Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive Stephen England-Hall says as New Zealand continues to flex in response and begins to recover from the global pandemic, New Zealand communities have the opportunity to redefine their tourism future.

“Domestic and international visitors provide long-lasting impacts to communities across New Zealand.  They contribute to conservation projects, help preserve cultural heritage, bring vibrancy through events, and generate employment that can benefit the entire community. But people and community come first and it’s important for the regions to consider how tourism supports their aspirations.”

This week submissions from the public to inform the creation of New Zealand’s future tourism system closed. The Tourism Futures Taskforce will consider these and make recommendations to the Government.

“New Zealand must embrace regenerative tourism. ​We have been given an opportunity to create a tourism system that is world-leading - one that truly gives back more than it takes."

“Many operators are already doing things in this space and more are being encouraged to look at how they can support regeneration - things like pest eradication, native planting, and making sure that for every customer there is some benefit on the environment as a consequence.“

“New Zealand has a wealth of operators who are championing regenerative tourism but there is much more work to be done.”

This year's World Tourism Day theme is “Tourism and Rural Development”, which highlights the unique role that tourism plays in our regional communities.

Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre in the Wairarapa is leading the way by giving back to New Zealand through its conservation efforts and its local community.

According to Pūkaha National Wildlife Centre General Manager Emily Court, they are seeing a lift in domestic visitors: I’d just like to thank all the New Zealanders who hit the road and are coming out and supporting tourism providers because it’s making a real difference to the likes of Pūkaha, to conservation projects like this. We can’t do it without your support.”