Latest News

Back to Latest News back


Research by Tourism Industry Aotearoa highlights progress in meeting sustainability goals

Research by Tourism Industry Aotearoa highlights progress in meeting sustainability goals
January 30, 2020

According to research and analysis by Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), New Zealand’s tourism industry continued to make important strides towards its sustainability goals in 2019.

Since the launch of its Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC) in 2017, TIA has been tracking progress for each of the TSC’s eight economic, host community, visitor and environmental goals. The 2019 assessment is based on a survey of 614 tourism businesses carried out for TIA by Angus & Associates along with various industry data sources.         

The TSC has the ambitious vision of ‘leading the world in sustainable tourism.’ 

In 2019, the overall TSC sustainability rating was 8.2, up from 7.9 the previous year. This represents solid progress towards the goal of 9.5 by 2025.   

TIA Chief Executive Chris Roberts advises “it’s great to see the industry tracking in the right direction. We are seeing a genuine commitment to economic, environmental and social sustainability. Being leaders in this space is how we will continue to attract high-value visitors.”  

At the individual goal level, the ecological restoration goal had the highest gain over the past year, up 6 points on 2018, with 69% of tourism businesses surveyed now actively supporting and championing ecological restoration initiatives.  

Visitor-focused goals continued to be where tourism operators were performing best, with 97% of international and domestic visitors having their expectations met or exceeded, already surpassing the 2025 goal of 96%.  

Gains were achieved towards the goal of businesses measuring, managing and minimising their environmental footprint, increasing by 2% to 78% of respondents reporting that they are actively working to reduce their footprint. 

Roberts acknowledged “there is still a way to go to reach the ambitious 100% target for this goal, but things are moving the right way.”

Host community satisfaction with tourism, as measured by the Mood of the Nation survey, was the only goal that slipped back slightly from the previous year – down by 1% to 81% of ‘New Zealanders who are happy with the level of tourism activity and support growth’.  

Roberts says TIA is already focusing on improving community satisfaction in 2020 through its Tourism Story project, which aims to positively influence the discourse on tourism, widening support among New Zealand communities and helping to maintain the industry's social licence.  

To date, 1300 tourism businesses have committed to the TSC with Roberts noting that TIA will be strengthening the TSC programme over the coming year to ensure that the industry is taking meaningful steps to make their operations more sustainable.  

Roberts advises “the TSC is a long-term initiative and we are very pleased with the progress achieved, as a stepping-stone to the greater gains we will achieve over the longer term.   

“We’re proud to be an industry that has made such a strong commitment to sustainability, but we must maintain the momentum and see that genuine progress is being made. This year, TIA will be setting some clearer expectations of achievement for TIA signatories, providing more ways to get the specialised support businesses need, and developing some national initiatives. The TSC is the framework to guide meaningful and measurable action.”     

Signing up to the TSC is free for any tourism business. It can be done online on the TSC website.

The Supporters Directory shows which businesses have already signed up. 

For information on TIA’s Tourism Story project go to

Download the 2019 Performance Dashboard from

Related Articles

19th December 2019 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa acknowledges new approaches needed to manage the environmental impact of tourism

18th December 2019 - Asia Pacific Spa and Wellness Coalition looks to help sector meet United Nations Sustainable Development Goals

5th December 2019 - Tourism Industry Aotearoa partners with insurers Marsh

30th August 2019 - Sustainable tourism initiative nominated for New Zealand business award

17th July 2019 - Te Araroa Trust plan looks to deliver sustainable walking experiences over next three years

16th July 2019 - EVANZ General Manager Lynn Robinson set to move to Tourism Industry Aotearoa

8th July 2019 - Tourism businesses can encourage sustainable behaviour

22nd May 2019 - New Zealand tourism industry increases focus on sustainable growth

17th May 2019 - Strong support for New Zealand’s focus on sustainable tourism growth

16th May 2019 - New Zealand Government delivers strategy for sustainable tourism growth

9th November 2018 - New Zealand tourism industry focusing on sustainable growth

4th November 2018 - Canterbury researchers use social media analysis to understand sustainable tourism

23rd July 2018 - Holiday parks key to sustainable tourism growth across New Zealand’s regions

21st April 2018 - WTTC recognises sustainable tourism excellence with 2018 Awards

29th March 2018 - New Zealand tourism industry backs sustainable employment

26th October 2017 - Refreshed line-up for Tourism Industry Aotearoa Board

18th October 2017 - Heli Tours Queenstown recognised for sustainable tourism achievements

Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?

The news we publish at is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.

However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.

Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.

Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.

Click here to subscribe.


supplier directory

The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.

See the directory see all

Aussie Strength

We are Aussie Strength. The ultimate supplier for Commercial Gym Equipment that's built to deliver in the toughest environments. From USA-Built hardcore weight training equipment from Arsenal…

read more

Fitness / Technology / Wellness



Vticket Pty Ltd is the Australian and New Zealand distributor for Gateway Ticketing Systems Inc., the world leader in high-speed access control, admission control and ticketing software for the…

read more

Attractions / Security / Technology / Ticketing / Venues



Headquartered in Brisbane with an Australia-wide network of satellite offices, PaySmart is one of Australia’s largest and longest-standing direct debit billing companies. In 1996 we began…

read more

Access / Billing / Fitness / Technology



Ausfit began in 1992, providing software services to the health and fitness sector including ClubWise, a fully hosted web-based product which combines state of the art club management software,…

read more

Billing / Finance / Fitness / Technology



AUSTRALIAN MADE. BUILT NOT BOUGHT. AlphaFit is a 100% Australian owned family company manufacturing gear specifically for the strength and conditioning, functional fitness and high-performance…

read more

Fitness / Recreation / Sport / Technology / Wellness


BioLab Australia Pty Ltd

BioGuard is Australia and New Zealand’s most trusted supplier of premium, innovative and affordable commercial water treatment systems and chemicals. BioGuard offers a comprehensive range of…

read more

Aquatics / Technology / Waterparks


Tim Batt Water Solutions

Tim Batt Water Solutions are at the very forefront of the commercial aquatic business in Australia, with over 30 years specific experience supplying and installing chemical control and dosing…

read more

Aquatics / Environment / Recreation / Technology / Venues


Perfect Gym

Perfect Gym Solutions is a software as a service (SaaS) solution purpose-built to service the fitness industry, with over 1000 clients servicing over 2 million gym members across 40 countries making…

read more

Access / Fitness / Marketing / Recreation / Technology


get listed with our suppliers directory

Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!

list your business