From The Ground Up: Ruapehu On Regenerative Tourism Taking Root In Aotearoa

Credit: Original article can be found here

Since February 2021, Thursday mornings have been a
highlight for many pioneering tourism organisations and
businesses across Aotearoa. Fresh faced and bright eyed
kiwis are zooming into an international programme known as
Back to Life: Regenerative Tourism.

This initiative is
hosted by a team of international thought leaders including
Anna Pollock (UK) founder of Conscious Travel and Michelle
Holliday (Canada) author of The Age of Thrivability:
Vital Perspectives and Practices for a Better
World
.

Visit Ruapehu is part of this collaborative
programme with regional tourism organisations (RTOs) around
New Zealand including Central North Island RTOs Rotorua,
Waikato, Coromandel, and Bay of Plenty, with over 75 members
spearheading the Back to Life Aotearoa Group.

In line
with the Tourism
Taskforce report – We Are Aotearoa
, the Back to Life
programme signals a more holistic, regenerative approach to
transforming the tourism sector through social, cultural,
environmental, and economic wellbeing.

“Our purpose
as a destination goes beyond getting more visitors and their
spending. It’s time the industry become more intentional
about contributing to the health and wellbeing of our
communities,” states Michelle.

In line with the
Ruapehu Regional Visitor Development Plan, Visit Ruapehu is
committed to growing visitor numbers in a sustainable manner
by attracting visitors who contribute positively to its
ecosystem as a whole – where environment, community and
people thrive – and by cultivating the capacity of local
hosting communities to generate new
possibilities.

Rachel Hoskin, Stakeholder Engagement
Manager from Visit Ruapehu has begun to look at the tourism
offering in the region with a new lens.

“The Back to
Life programme challenges us to rethink our ways and
highlights how tourism can become a positive vehicle for
change. It’s been very inspiring to recognise some of the
positive work already underway in this space, including the
Ruapehu Whānau Transformation Plan, a whenua-based
framework outlining solutions for our communities to thrive
in the short and long term,” shares
Rachel.

Alongside a mix of other tourism businesses
and organisations, this four-month programme invites
participants to rethink and reimagine the future of tourism
and begin the work of identifying the next steps to move
towards a more regenerative approach.

The final
webinar will be held on 13 May
2021.

 

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