With its stunning natural landscapes and varied locations throughout the North Island and South Island, New Zealand has so much to offer visitors. Tourism plays a huge part in New Zealand’s economy, but with so much incredible nature and wildlife to protect, it’s only natural ecotourism has increased in popularity over the past decade.
Ecotourism is something that appeals to tourists who are looking to experience a country’s natural beauty. While visiting the destination, sustainable travel aims not to disturb the land and to leave everything as you found it when you arrived. Today we are going to look at some of the unique initiatives for ecotourism in New Zealand, which can help you to plan a sustainable New Zealand vacation.
What Kind of Ecotourism Initiatives are there in New Zealand?
From the minute you arrive in New Zealand, you will understand they are extremely serious about ecotourism in New Zealand and protecting their land. In 2018, Tourism New Zealand launched The Tiaki Promise, which they encourage all visitors to New Zealand to follow during their trip.
The Tiaki Promise pledges to care for the land and sea during your sustainable New Zealand vacation and not leave any traces during your trip. It also mentions traveling slowly and respecting the culture of the country. It encourages visitors to adopt a certain mindset during their trip and travel with an open mind and heart.
When you arrive in the country’s airports, another key initiative is the thorough screening of luggage to ensure no animals, food, or plants are brought into the country which could destroy its ecosystem.
As a whole, New Zealand is a country that focuses on sustainability, and the New Zealand Emissions Trading Scheme encourages sectors, including tourism, to find new ways to cut back their emissions.
The Qualmark Responsible Tourism Operations program promotes ecotourism and sustainable travel through a rating scheme. When you are searching for a tourism or accommodation provider, you’ll see Gold, Silver, and Bronze ratings. To receive the top award, companies must have waste management programs and water conservation solutions in place.
What Kind of Ecotours Can Travelers Do in New Zealand?
There’s a lot to see and do on a trip to New Zealand, and many providers are now offering ecotours that allow you to experience the natural beauty of the country without causing any damage during your visit.
Learning more about the history and culture of New Zealand is essential for any visitor, and you’ll discover more about the Maori on an ecotour, who are the indigenous community in New Zealand. You can enjoy tours with a Maori guide, who will teach you about Maori legends and modern Maori life, which also benefits the country by using a local tour guide and boosting local employment. You’ll also be able to meet Maori artists and view their traditional artwork that’s been passed through generations, while contributing to the local economy during your trip.
If you are looking forward to meeting some of the creatures that call the country home on your New Zealand vacation, the Department of Conservation offers tours around Tiritiri Matangi Island. This is a very successful conservation project working to protect endangered birds in the country. Abel Tasman National Park is a highlight for anyone visiting New Zealand. Awaroa Lodge is an ecolodge in Abel Tasman National Park which is often included in ecotours around New Zealand. You can enjoy a private tour around the lodge during your stay here, where they’ll share with you their recycling center, organic garden, and eco policies.
Ecotourism in New Zealand is one of the quickest growing sectors within the tourism industry, and there are always new and exciting initiatives for travelers to the country. With a little prior planning, you’ll find creating a sustainable travel itinerary for New Zealand is very easy, and you’ll enjoy visiting the top locations in the country without leaving a trace on the land.
Would you like to know more about eco-friendly travel?
To receive inspiration direct to your email inbox, please click here and subscribe to the Ecotourism World newsletter!