Tourism operators and communities around the country are being asked to help ensure freedom campers behave responsibly this summer.
The Tourism Industry Association (TIA) is calling on all its members to support the efforts of the New Zealand Responsible Camping Forum in encouraging campers to do the right thing. This includes knowing the local rules governing freedom camping and being able to direct visitors to local holiday parks or camping areas.
Complaints about vehicle-based campers have decreased markedly in the last few seasons, thanks to the educational campaign put in place by the New Zealand Responsible Camping Forum.
This campaign has seen rental vehicle companies actively recommend their clients stay in holiday parks, Department of Conservation (DOC) camping grounds or other designated camping areas. This message is reinforced by i-SITE staff and local information posted on the www.camping.org.nz website.
With the peak camping season about to start, TIA and Forum members want to see these efforts to better manage camping behaviour continue, especially targeting visitors using cheap, privately owned vehicles who do not receive information from rental vehicle companies.
“Communities and councils are now producing much better information, so that campers know what the local rules are. And councils now have the tools to better enforce those rules, through the website and other information sources, and using fines as a last resort. We would really appreciate it if those efforts could be backed up by frontline tourism staff around the country,” Forum chairman and Tourism Industry Association New Zealand (TIA) Advocacy Manager Geoff Ensor says.
For the third consecutive summer, the Forum is also working with the Interislander and Bluebridge ferry companies which are handing out responsible camping brochures to campers crossing Cook Strait.
For more information on the New Zealand Responsible Camping Forum, visit www.tianz.org.nz/main/nz-freedom-camping-forum