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New Zealands Green Tourism Verification Scheme picked up by JTB

Travel News Asia Latest Travel News Podcasts Tuesday, 4 November 2008

New Zealands green tourism verification scheme - Qualmark Green - has been picked up by one of Asias largest travel agencies, JTB.

"The Qualmark Green-accredited luxury tour to New Zealand is the first of its kind in the world, providing a range of environmentally-sustainable  New Zealand travel products in one package," said Mr Hiromi Tagawa, President and CEO of JTB Corporation. "New Zealand is the only country in the world with such a robust quality assessment program incorporating strict environmental sustainability practices, fully supported by their national airline."

Tourism New Zealand chief executive George Hickton said the fact that JTB, one of the largest travel agencies in the world, had recognised the credibility and the benefits of Qualmark and Qualmark Green was extremely encouraging.

"Qualmark Green, combined with Air New Zealands world leading research development of biofuel, carbon offset-program and environment trust and other industry initiatives, means New Zealand is truly taking a sustainable tourism leadership stance on the world stage," he said.

JTBs Royal Road, using a theme of eco-luxury, has packaged up an itinerary featuring almost exclusively Qualmark and Qualmark-Green accredited tourism operators in New Zealand including: Millbrook Resort Queenstown, Huka Lodge in Taupo, The Langham Hotel in Auckland, Johnstons Coachlines, and Real Journeys in Milford Sound.

The Royal Road tour also includes a certified carbon-offset contribution for participants and all Royal Road customers will have a tree planted in their name, with GPS tracking, at Mangarara station in the Hawkes bay - as part of Air New Zealands Environmental Trust programme.

Other JTB package tour brands Look and Grand Tour have also launched new itineraries based on Qualmark-only accredited operators. JTB is aiming to include only Qualmark accredited suppliers in its package tours within the next year.

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