New Zealand tourism operators stepping up to help the environment

In the fourth of a 1 NEWS series on being a more sustainable consumer, Katie Bradford looks at what Kiwi tourism operators are doing to protect the environment.

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The increasing numbers of visitors to our shores bring with them some big challenges. Source: 1 NEWS

As the increasing numbers of visitors to our shores bring with them some big challenges, many of New Zealand's tourism operators are doing their best to try and limit negative impacts on the environment.

Tourists spent $39 billion here in 2018, with over 3.7 million visitors arriving every year, a number that's climbing annually.

Now, tourism operators around the country are hoping to try and preserve the environment so New Zealand's natural wonders can be enjoyed by future generations.

"We have a vision of New Zealand being the most sustainable tourism industry, we're not there yet but we think we can get there," Chief Executive of Tourism Industry Aotearoa Chris Roberts says.

In just over a year, more than 1100 tourism operators have signed up to the sustainable tourism initiative.

"They need to be working towards carbon zero so if every tourism business takes that responsibility and together as an industry we're addressing that big question of carbon," Mr Roberts told 1 NEWS.

The Tourism Industry Association says it will monitor just how sustainable businesses really are.

"You need to be thinking long term as a business owner about being here and being a good citizen and leaving the world, and leaving New Zealand better than you found it," Mr Roberts says.

The hope is tourists are also thinking about the impact of climate change, especially given the distance many travel.

The combined effort is all work that needs to be done if New Zealand really is to be clean, green and beautiful.

Also from the 1 NEWS sustainable consumer series:

Plant based milk 'a better choice' than cow's milk if you're concerned about the environment

Auckland Zoo ditches throwaway coffee cups for the sake of the environment

Top tips for Kiwis wanting to limit harm to the environment while on holiday