Sustainability- Interpretation of a Gen-Y’er: Our Tourism and Sustainability

Being a student, my life consists of studying and working so I may afford to study. As most of my lectures are during the day, it requires me to look outside the typical 9-5 working day, to seemingly weird hours in order to earn my keep, and, unfortunately this has landed me behind a bar from 5-11 most nights, as well as, (heaven forbid!), the majority of weekends.
Yes, I admit, my social life is one of virtual non-existence during the semesters, but, with the premises located directly upon a beautiful beach in the middle of the picturesque Whangarei Heads, coupled with the shirtless tanned male specimens that exists within our customer basis, (albeit only accounting for a very small percentage), during the summer months, it isn’t all that bad.
Being inducted into the hospitality industry when I was a mere 14 year old, I have seen the importance of sustainability raise from a myth, to one of significant importance- both within this sector, and the wider tourism genre.
As noted within my previous articles, turning New Zealand into a sustainable country is one of our Governments main priorities. This comes in parcel with protecting our natural environment and natural resources we are, internationally, so well known for.
The ‘New Zealand Tourism Strategy,’ (http://www.tourismnewzealand.com/developing-nz-tourism/about-the-tourism-industry/the-nz-tourism-strategy-2015), explains of the importance of one of our largest grossing industries ‘going green,’ and protecting our 100% Pure New Zealand brand and incorporates 2 main principles into turning our tourism industry into one of sustainability.
Kaitiakitanga, or ‘Guardianship,’ exhibits the crucial importance of caring and protecting our environment for future generations, both national and international, to experience. This includes preserving and effectively managing New Zealand’s natural, and manmade, resources through sustainable methods.
Manaakitanga, hospitality, denotes the importance of the host presenting an invitation to our counterparts- albeit national or international, to experience the best of what we have to offer. It incorporates the mutual respect both the host and the visitor should behold for another as well as the surrounding environment.
Through these two core sustainability principles, the strategy holds 4 main goals:
1. Our natural environment will continue to attract visitors for years to come, and allow the current tourism activities and associated organisations to exist in the future.
2. The above feature will also allow for increased profit for these businesses, enabling them to reinvest and continually enhance their business.
3. With our tourism being one of our main influencers upon the international community, it offers the opportunity to educate and motivate wider communities of sustainability, as well as the importance of incorporating sustainable methods within businesses.
4. Expanding tourism industries nationally allows for these businesses and the surrounding communities to work together for mutual benefits. This can include supporting local businesses.
This strategy was born in 2001, with a 15 year objective to ensure these goals are incorporated in every tourism based organisation within our country, in order to become a sustainable, environmentally, socially and economically responsible tourist destination, and continue in preserving New Zealand’s core tourism product; our environment.

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