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@Gap Year

Holiday here, travel local in our backyard

Sustainable tourism is about practical steps and not promises about what is proposed for tomorrow.

Sustainable tourism is a personal commitment by visitors to make a minimal impact on the destination while contributing to an economic future for the local inhabitants. Most of all sustainable tourism is about the balance between the visitor experience and the protection of the destination.  

The destination is someone’s home, it belongs to all who live in the spaces we visit. 

Visitors can support sustainable practices while visiting New Zealand and Australia

  • Shop locally, in markets and owner-operated stores to support local economic initiatives.
  • Support community-based tourism ventures. Every dollar spent is a dollar invested in the world the locals cherish. 
  • Carry your reusable shopping bag with you for purchases (NOTE NZ has banned single used plastic bags).
  • Do not accept plastic straws, cutlery or plastic food containers. Think about whether a drink really needs a straw?
  • Shop for food in markets and food stands, and avoid packaged food. It costs less and is healthier for you. Same with water, use a filtered refillable water bottle, and skip buying plastic bottled beverages.
  • Laundering sheets and towels every day is unnecessary.
  • Leave only your footprints. Any rubbish pop into your backpack.
  • Sort rubbish for recycling into the appropriate bins where this service is offered.
  • Take care of fragile environments and heritage sites. The earth is our partner and needs some help. Your holiday destination is someone’s home.
  • Remember to check if your sunscreen is reef-safe. Avoid putting chemicals in the water you just swam in.
  • Wildlife encounters should be limited to looking and observing. Wild animals are not pets or Instagram buddies. Respect their habitat and share only the air we breathe together.
  • Let your tourist dollar speak, say no to mass market goods, buy locally produced artisan goods where you are sure of the supply chain. 

Sustainable travel contributions can include

  • Travel in the off-season, one less visitor putting pressure on finite resources. You are spreading the load on resources when you visit outside peak holiday season. 
  • Pick accommodation that has sustainable practices such as solar panels, eco-friendly disposal practices for waste, building materials that reflect minimal use of resources. 
  • Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone. New Zealand and Australia are great places to start this journey. Walk around your hotel and eat in local restaurants. Talk to the locals about their day. Let us share the space together, if only for a few moments.  
  • Respect heritage sites managed and operated by traditional land owners. Perhaps it is a sacred site or a treasured location due to the human activity that has taken place. Value their belief systems, an aboriginal rock painting is not just an insta-moment. It is of significance for its cultural value.
  • Try packing your bags as lightly as possible to minimise weight during your flight. It is a quiet contribution to carbon emissions.
  • Air travel is a major user of carbon emissions. Consider using an airline that is taking practical steps to help with cleaner fuels, reducing fuel consumption with newer planes and has a carbon contribution plan. 
  • Flight connections, consider a direct route. It saves you precious holiday time as well as reduces your carbon emission footprint.

The journey is worth it.

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