Published on September 27th, 2017 | by adventuremag
Niue launches responsible tourism initiative
Niue’s Government and the island’s tourism industry have launched a Responsible Tourism Policy which is complemented by Tourism Business and Visitor Codes of Conduct.
The Policy and Codes were announced and released today to mark Niue’s contribution to World Tourism Day – 27 September.
Niue Tourism Director of Marketing Felicity Bollen says tourism is a vital part of the island’s economy and the Policy is intended to help preserve Niue’s largely unspoilt natural attractions. It also marks Niue’s support for the United Nations’ 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly given the UN’s adoption of 2017 as the International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development.
Developed by the Niue Government in consultation with the island’s tourism sector, the Responsible Tourism Policy identifies how local planning and strategic developments will contribute to a responsible tourism industry which operates sustainably and with respect for the environment and the local community, says Felicity.
“It outlines actions that will deliver triple-bottom-line benefits to Niue – for the environment, the community and the economy – but also looks at how we will meet those UN sustainability goals as well as support Pacific Region initiatives.”
Felicity says the Tourism Business and Visitor Codes of Conduct weave in the actions of the other important stakeholders in responsible tourism – the visitors to the island and the businesses that offer them services. “There’s a growing awareness among visitors of the need to respect and protect the environments they visit like our forests and reefs, make sustainable choices, and thus contribute to the conservation of those environments.
“But visitors are also increasingly wanting to enhance their experience by learning more about the island’s natural habitats and what’s being done to conserve them, as well as looking to tourism operators to act responsibly towards the environment and have a commitment to sustainable practices.
“The Codes are a guide for both the tourism operators and the visitors on how they can meet the requirements of responsible tourism – respecting the local people and environment and contributing to Niue’s sustainable economic development.”
The Codes of Conduct will be made available to visitors in a number of ways, says Felicity. “They will be on display and available to visitors at the island’s accommodation and other tourism businesses, as well as being emailed to visitors when they book their Niue holiday.
“The main changes we see arising from this initiative are a much greater sharing of the responsibility for responsible tourism between the tourism industry, government agencies and those coming to Niue. It will bring a more coordinated and comprehensive approach to improving sustainability, and greater encouragement to the tourism sector to access finance and other support to progress sustainability initiatives.”
Niue is a large upraised coral atoll 2400km and a 3.5-hour flight north-east of NZ, in the centre of a triangle formed by Samoa, Tonga and the Cook Islands. Located east of the international dateline, the island is serviced by Air NZ with two flights in and out a week and has a host of natural attractions including some of the clearest ocean water in the world, providing spectacular snorkeling, diving and fishing, forest and scenic walks and many small coves providing safe swimming. The island has a resident Niuean population of around 1600 people and is a self-governing nation aligned closely with NZ, with its own Parliament and Premier. To find out more about Niue please visit http://www.niueisland.com