Lincoln University Professor of Tourism, David Simmons, has warns the tourism sector that it cannot walk away from its current brand proposition of ‘100% Pure New Zealand’:
It is, however, the tourism sector’s opportunity to ‘walk the talk’ through measuring, managing and telling the story of its particular pathways to sustainability. Given our decreasing global standing for environmental quality (especially on a per capita basis) it is time for all sectors and all New Zealanders to work together.
“A decade ago New Zealand was a global pioneer in environmental reporting for the tourism sector,” says Professor Simmons, who went on to cite leaders such as Kaikoura District Council, Auckland Airport, as well as others from the accommodation sector, such as the Langham (Auckland) and Queenstown Top 10 Holiday Park; all of whom had achieved gold status on an international tourism certification scheme.
When asked about the broad range of enviro-labels already in the tourism sector, Professor Simmons said his personal recommendation was for the ‘EarthCheck’ system because of its scientific credentials.
He urged the sector to work with the Australian based ‘EarthCheck’ to incorporate their global learnings to support New Zealand’s platform.
He added that, while New Zealand had made a tentative start with Qualmark green, “this standard now needed a review to lift the sector’s performance and stay ahead of our competitors.”
While there was much comment at the conference on the agricultural sector’s woes and the consequences for the tourism sector, Professor Simmons said that little would be achieved by throwing brickbats at them. From his position at Lincoln University he was aware of the millions of dollars being spent on such things as irrigation refinements, and nutrient and waste management in an effort to boost production in a sustainable way.
“We are all part of the single New Zealand brand,” he said, and urged the tourism sector to work cooperatively with all sectors; noting that “there is a real opportunity for the tourism sector to take a lead position in this space.”
How many advertising slogans are meant to be taken literally?
Is anything, anywhere 100% pure?
The 100% pure slogan refers to the country’s natural beauty and has been extended to other things such as 100% pure adventure.
It’s aspirational and plays on our strengths.
It doesn’t mean we get everything right nor that we shouldn’t be working hard for improvement where it’s needed.
But it’s still a slogan that works.