Tourism Bay of Plenty has launched the first Eastern Bay of Plenty intake of its free 12-week programme, The Green Room | Te Rūma Kākāriki, in Ōhope. Eighteen businesses and organisations are taking part in the cohort.
The part-time programme takes a holistic approach to sustainability, incorporating economic, visitor, community, and environmental actions. It includes topics such as carbon footprint measurements and practical steps that can be taken to reduce waste and carbon.
Whakatāne District Council deputy mayor Lesley Immink, Tourism Bay of Plenty general manager Oscar Nathan, and Tourism Industry Aotearoa sustainability advocate Gisela Purcell were key speakers at the March launch event, which was followed by a workshop for programme participants.
Tourism Bay of Plenty head of strategy and insights, Stacey Linton, says the launch was particularly timely given the recent unseasonable weather in the North Island, which dramatically highlighted the realities of climate change.
The Green Room was first launched in Waihī Beach in May last year, and 28 Coastal Bay of Plenty visitor sector businesses and organisations have since graduated from the programme. Stacey says the aim is to have 100 graduates from across the region within two years.
“Consumer values are changing as people become more conscious of climate change and the impact of their actions. Locals and visitors are wanting to support businesses and destinations that leave a light footprint or, better yet, give back. This was an emerging market pre-Covid, and it’s growing,” she says.
“According to Expedia, 90 per cent of consumers are looking for sustainable options while travelling. Half said they would pay more for transportation, activities, and accommodation if the option was more sustainable.”
The Green Room is managed by Tourism Bay of Plenty, delivered by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), and funded by Toi Moana Bay of Plenty Regional Council. Whakatāne District Council is also supporting this particular cohort.
Further information about The Green Room is available at: bayofplentynz.com/sustainability-and-regeneration/the-green-room-te-ruma-kakariki/
Whakatāne region participants – cohort launch 15 March 2023
VMAC Rides, KG Kayaks, Motu River Jet, Moutohorā: Island Sanctuary, Ngāti Awa Tourism, Omataroa Eco Trust, Mata Beer, Aotearoa Breweries, Ōhope Beach Golf Links, Air Chathams, Wild Food Challenge (WDC), The Good Tonic, Ohope Beach Top 10 Holiday Park, Ōhope Beach Motel, ProSail, Whakatane Golf Club, Whakatāne Holiday Park, Awakeri Rail Adventures, Tasman Holiday Parks, Ohiwa Beach.