Aotearoa’s tourism sector grapples with sustainability

One of New Zealand’s key sectors, tourism is now grappling with the crucial issue of sustainability. Aviation emissions, especially from long haul international flights, are a key element at the heart of this issue.

  • Higham, J.E.S., Font, X. & J. Wu (2022). Code Red for sustainable tourism. Journal of Sustainable Tourism. 31(1): 1-15.
  • Higham, J.E.S., Loehr, J., Hopkins, D., Becken, S. & Stovall, W. (2022). Climate science and tourism policy in Australasia: Deficiencies in science-policy translation. Journal of Sustainable Tourism
  • Hopkins, D., Campbell-Hunt, C., Carter, L., Higham, J.E.S. & Rosin, C. (2016). Climate Change and Aotearoa/New Zealand: A Review. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Climate Change, 6(6), 559-583. http://10.1002/wcc.355. IF: 4.571. 
  • Hopkins, D., Higham, J.E.S., & Becken, S. (2012) Climate change in a regional context: relative vulnerability in the Australasian skier market, Regional Environmental Change 13(2): 449-458. IF: 1.945.

“Climate Scenarios” published by the tourism sector

  • The Aotearoa Circle: Tourism Sector Climate Change Scenarios. 23 March 2023. (Link)  

This document is based on a series of workshops involving many of the leading tourism thinkers in New Zealand. It forms part of what leading commentators refer to as “an unprecedented consensus” of views within tourism of the climate challenge and the urgency of renewing tourism to move away from the exhaustive/growth paradigm to new regenerative approaches. This is the result of considerable collaboration within the industry which aims to inform political thinking and policy related to tourism.

Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment – two key reports on Tourism in Aotearoa

Two key reports which focus on the impact of climate change and tourism on each other in New Zealand. The first report outlines the issue, whilst the second report outlines initial/partial solutions.

  • “Pristine, popular… imperilled? The environmental consequences of projected tourism growth.” Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, 18 December 2019. (Download here)
  • “Not 100% – but four steps closer to sustainable tourism.” Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment, 18 February 2021. (Download here)

Other relevant resources about tourism in Aotearoa

  • Airlines could ditch flights to Australia to meet future emissions promises, parliament told. Guardian (20 July 2023). Read it here.
  • Submission on the Draft Tourism Environment Action Plan. Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment (19 July 2023). Info here, and download here.
  • Whatever happened to the great tourism reset? The Press (3 June 2023). Read it here.
  • Kim Hill hot topic: Tourism Reset – environment & wallets, priorities post-COVID. Lincoln Envirotown Trust, YouTube (15 April 2023). Watch it here.

Access research topics here:

  • Back to Research Index home page (click here)
  • The big picture – the challenge of climate change and aviation emissions (click here)
  • Aotearoa’s tourism sector grapples with sustainability (click here)
  • The aviation industry’s biggest challenge (click here)
  • “Low carbon aviation”: aviation efficiency and technology myths (click here)
  • Aviation: moral arguments and climate equity (click here)
  • Policy considerations to reduce carbon emissions (click here)
  • Infrastructure trajectories with positive long term outcomes (click here)
  • Behavioural and attitudinal change to reduce emissions (click here)
  • Economic consequences of (in)action on climate change (click here)

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