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New Zealand wins Responsible Tourism Award

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Thursday, 13 November 2008

New Zealand's clean green sustainable tourism initiatives have been recognised as the best in the world at the international Responsible Tourism Awards.

Announced in London on Wednesday evening, New Zealand won the 'Overall Winner' and 'Best Destination' categories in the 2008 Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards.

The awards recognise destinations and organisations that are making a positive contribution to local cultures, economies and the environment through tourism.

New Zealand was nominated for the first time this year, alongside 1900 other nominees from around the world.

Tourism New Zealand Chief Executive George Hickton said the win recognises that New Zealand is doing its best to look after its 100% Pure image and protect the future of the $14.1 billion tourism industry.

The judges said, "New Zealand is our overall winner for proving that it is possible to develop a national strategy [New Zealand Tourism Strategy 2015] which uses tourism to help make better places to live and to visit."

"If more national governments followed their example, tourism would make a much more positive contribution around the world."

New Zealand was given the 'Best Destination' award for developing an integrated approach to tourism development at the national level and managing it, identifying and attracting those tourists who contributed most to the economy.

The Responsible Travel Awards were launched in 2004 in association with the World Travel Market, The Daily Telegraph, Geographical Magazine and BBC World News.

The panel of judges included representatives of Leeds University's International Centre for Responsible Tourism, the website, and the Telegraph Media Group.

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