Whale Watch Kaikoura’s latest international award is well-deserved and will help bolster New Zealand’s reputation as a top-class tourist destination, says Labour’s Tourism spokesperson Kelvin Davis.
“Whale Watch Kaikoura has been named overall winner of the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Award, for the second year running. They also won the marine environment category.
“The award recognises tourism ventures which both respect and benefit local communities and the environment – and follows nominations from tourists,” Kelvin Davis says.
“Whale Watch Kaikoura was formed 22 years ago by Ngai Tahu hapu Ngati Kuri as a venture to create jobs and has since gone from strength to strength. It is now one of New Zealand’s most famous tourist attractions.
“Much of its success is down to its strong commitment to sustainability and the latest accolade should help encourage other tourist operators of the benefits of ensuring responsible tourism becomes a New Zealand hallmark.
“Wearing my other hat of Labour’s Associate Maori Affairs spokesman, I’m also particularly pleased about this recent award, one of a string now won by the company.
“This is yet another reminder of how much Maori communities around the country have to contribute to New Zealand’s reputation as a top tourist destination.
“The “Maori edge” provides a unique experience for international visitors as well as much needed employment in our communities. It underscores the benefits of the value of kaitiakitanga in regard to our natural environment.
“I hope this award inspires further investment in Maori tourism initiatives,” Kelvin Davis says.
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