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Tourism Industry Aotearoa creates a blueprint for sustainable growth


Tourism industry takes steps towards sustainable tourism leadership (Image Supplied for publication by Waikato Tourism)

Praneeta Mahajan
Hamilton, May 13, 2024

In response to the resounding call from tourism operators for continued capacity building and sustainable solutions, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), the foremost representative body of New Zealand’s tourism sector, has unveiled a pioneering online initiative dubbed “Akiaki – Advancing Tourism.”

This announcement was made at TRENZ, the industry’s largest annual business event, by Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram on May 9, 2024.

Ms Ingram emphasised the strategic imperative for the evolution of tourism in Aotearoa New Zealand to be deliberate and purposeful.

“Bouncing back to 2019 is not part of our vernacular, rather we are focused on purposefully creating a resilient and sustainable industry that delivers for the country, our people, our environment and the visitor,” she said.

Growth of businesses

The genesis of Akiaki aligns with TIA’s vision outlined in “Tourism 2050: A Blueprint for Impact,” a comprehensive 30-year industry strategy introduced by TIA in the preceding year.

This initiative aims to deliver towards the growth of tourism businesses, particularly in the realm of sustainability.

Key to this programme is the Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC), a framework introduced by TIA in 2017, which has garnered support from 1900 tourism entities.

A recent survey of TSC signatories revealed an overwhelming 92% dedication to advancing sustainability within their operations. Consequently, there emerged a palpable demand for online tools to fortify their sustainability initiatives.

Building upon the success of its 12-week courses conducted in collaboration with Regional Tourism Organisations, TIA’s Akiaki program aims to transition from commitment to action by assisting tourism operators and their personnel in formulating comprehensive sustainability strategies.

Preparing for future

Ms Ingram elaborated on the concept of Akiaki, stating, “Akiaki encapsulates the essence of encouragement and courage. These are values essential for navigating the challenges of the future and leading the way in sustainable tourism globally.”

“By facilitating easier access to upskilling opportunities, TIA envisions a tourism sector primed for the future, wherein the principles outlined in the Blueprint are translated into tangible outcomes,” she said.

Akiaki will be accessible to all TIA members, with modules set to be progressively introduced from mid-year onwards.

About Akiaki

The team said that the Akiaki programme adopts a holistic approach to sustainable and regenerative tourism, adhering to the 12 commitments delineated in TIA’s Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC).

It is structured around TSC’s four pillars – Ōhanga (Economic), Manuhiri (Visitor), Hapori (Community), and Te Taiao (Environment).

Each module comprises a blend of video presentations, interactive exercises, case studies, and reflective practices aimed at facilitating seamless integration of the acquired knowledge into business operations.

The establishment of the learning hub has been made possible through funding from Te Pūkenga in collaboration with Grow Tourism.

The nomenclature “Akiaki” was conceptualised in collaboration with Anzac Tasker of The Guardians, embodying the ethos of encouragement and resilience essential for sustainable tourism leadership.

Praneeta Mahajan is an Indian Newslink Reporter based in Hamilton.

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