In 2021 and 2022, 25 businesses took part in the three-month prorgramme with the aim of working towards tourism sustainability in their operations.

The businesses focused on:

  • measuring carbon footprints
  • supply chain management
  • reducing waste
  • becoming Living Wage accredited
  • developing partnerships.

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Tourism Industry Aotearoa says every operator contributes to creating a tourism industry that is sustainable across economic, visitor, community and environmental outcomes.

And as WellingtonNZ chief executive John Allen says: “Ultimately, our sustainability programme is designed so tourism businesses can provide stronger community connections in a sustainable, economically prudent manner, and it’s fantastic that Wellington is leading the way in this regard.

“We all know the world is facing a climate crisis and we are excited that other New Zealand regions and business sectors are interested in the sustainability programme as part of the solution.”

Progress so far

In these videos, the tourism businesses that participated in the 2021 pilot programme share their journey so far.

Kapiti Island Nature Tours

Founding director John Barrett is thinking big and keen to collaborate with other tour operators. The business before won the NZ Tourism Awards’ Department of Conservation Environmental Tourism Award.

They run a successful and sustainable operation by:

  • having a sustainable procurement strategy,
  • measuring their carbon footprint
  • having a waste management plan in place.
A fmaily talking to the tour guide at the visiotr information centre Kapiti Island.

Switched on Bikes

Founder Ryan O’Connell talks about measuring carbon and sustainable growth. The e-bike tour company offers carbon-friendly transport, and offsets 120% of emissions to be Climate Positive certified.

By partnering with Trails Wellington, they support and build bike trails, plant trees and run pest management. They also have a creative use for end-of-life parts, which are turned into earrings and leather goods.

Two electric bikes from Switched On Bikes sitting on the Wellington waterfront, with two people sitting nearby enjoying the view of the city.

Manaaki Management and Karaka Café

Paul Retimanu explains how the business’ focus has changed to a more holistic approach. As a 100% Māori, Pasifika and Kiwi owned and operated business, its core values are culturally-based. Māori procurement is top of mind.

The 2021 Hospitality New Zealand Best Café award winner is also focused on supply chain management including:

  • sustainability initiatives
  • to compost
  • reducing packaging.
2 customers seated at outside tables at Karaka Cafe at Te Wharewaka o Pōneke.

Village Accommodation Group

Chief Commercial Director Hazel Rigler talks about looking at day-to-day operations to meet sustainability goals.

The Group is made up of five Wellington accommodation properties, all committed to improving environmental awareness as an organisation, with suppliers and customers.

The Group has embraced initiatives that involve:

  • energy and water efficiency
  • eco-friendly products and packaging
  • digital over paper options.
The deluxe room inside Ohtel, with a large bed in the centre of the room and large bathroom seen in the back.