International visitors are applauding New Zealands environmental management, but are becoming increasingly demanding in their view of whats green and whats not, according to new research reported in the December issue of Tourism News.
Tourism New Zealands latest International Visitor Satisfaction Research shows just how important environmental factors are becoming to holidaymakers.
Almost two-thirds of respondents said our natural environment had exceeded their expectations. Only one per cent said that New Zealand did not meet or exceed their expectations.
Some nationalities are tougher than others however, with the research showing Europeans (British and Germans in particular) have some of the highest environmental standards of all our visitors.
Overall, visitors felt that recycling facilities were essential, with 79 per cent of respondents saying they expected such facilities at tourism activities. Other aspects that were very important were conservation efforts, environmental enhancements and strategies to minimise visitor impacts.
Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton told Tourism News that visitor satisfaction is one of the best marketing tools we have for promoting positive word of mouth.
In this era of heightened awareness of climate change and environmental sensitivity it is vital that visitors have a positive experience with New Zealands environment.
The tourism industry is aware of these issues and initiatives like the upcoming Qualmark Environmental Accreditation System are helping operators address some of them. However, it is also up to individual tourism businesses to implement environmental initiatives.
The New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015, released last month, highlights the importance of environmental sustainability to the future prosperity of the tourism industry. George Hickton says that, while the tourism industry can lead environmental best practice, it is something that requires the commitment of all New Zealanders.