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TRENZ - logo-silhouetteThe New Zealand tourism industry’s leading representative body, Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), has launched a new online program to empower tourism businesses.

TIA says the program, Akiaki—Advancing Tourism, will help tourism operators continue to build their capability, particularly around sustainability.

Speaking at the industry’s biggest annual business event, TRENZ, last week, TIA Chief Executive Rebecca Ingram said it was crucial that tourism in Aotearoa, New Zealand, develop “by design”.

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

Equipping tourism businesses is a crucial goal of Tourism 2050: A Blueprint for Impact, a 30-year industry strategy launched by TIA late last year.

Some 1900 tourism businesses have signed up for the Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC) that TIA created in 2017.

A recent survey of TSC signatories showed that 92% of them are committed to advancing sustainability in their business, and there is a clear desire for online capability-building tools to help them pursue their sustainability initiatives.

Akiaki builds on the 12-week courses which TIA has been running with Regional Tourism Organisations to take the TSC from commitment to action, by supporting tourism operators and their staff to develop comprehensive sustainability plans for their business.

“Akiaki encapsulates the concepts of encouragement and courage,” Ingram said. These values are essential for navigating the challenges of the future and leading the way in sustainable tourism globally.

“By making it easier for businesses to upskill, we are designing tourism for the future and taking the Blueprint from a document in a drawer – to the real world.”

Akiaki is available for all TIA members, and modules will be rolled out by the middle of this year.

About Akiaki

The Akiaki program will take a holistic approach to sustainable and regenerative tourism, following the 12 commitments of TIA’s Tourism Sustainability Commitment (TSC).

It is based on the TSC’s four pou:  Ōhanga (Economic), Manuhiri (Visitor), Hapori (Community), and Te Taiao (Environment).

Each module will include video presentations, interactive activities, case studies, and reflections on integrating the content into a business. The learning hub was made possible with funding from Te Pūkenga and delivered in partnership with Grow Tourism. The name Akiaki was developed with Anzac Tasker of The Guardians.




Edited by Peter Needham at TRENZ in Wellington, New Zealand