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Tourism Minister Damien O’Connor today called for regional organisations to apply for new government funding to help tourism businesses improve their environmental sustainability.
The Sustainable Tourism Advisers in Regions (STAR) Project will see up to eight regional organisations chosen, each receiving $88,000 over three years, to employ an adviser who will work with tourism operators to reduce their business’ impact on the environment.
Mr O’Connor said he encourages all regional tourism organisations to apply for the funding.
“This new STAR project complements the upcoming addition of responsible tourism business requirements to Qualmark criteria which will recognise tourism businesses that can show evidence of effort to minimise their environmental impact.
“The new STAR advisers will provide a one on one service to tourism operators helping them reach the new Qualmark standards and will suggest ways the business can aim to achieve full marks.
“The STAR initiative contributes to one of the most important outcomes in the New Zealand Tourism Strategy which highlights the need for the tourism sector to take a leading role in protecting and enhancing New Zealand’s environment,” said Mr O’Connor.
An information sheet and application form can be downloaded from the Ministry of Tourism’s website: www.tourism.govt.nz
The closing date for applications is 13 June 2008.