Destination Queenstown team with their re-usable totes Destination Queenstown team with their re-usable totes

Sustainability high on the CINZ Conference agenda in Queenstown

Sustainability is top of mind for delegates and organisers at the Conventions and Incentives New Zealand (CINZ) Annual Conference, which was opened by Associate Tourism Minister Hon Peeni Henare in Queenstown.


CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says for the third year in a row, the CINZ conference will be a carbon-neutral event.

 

“CINZ will again be working with local environmental consultancy Ahika to offset any carbon emissions produced as a result of the conference. For the 2017 conference in Dunedin, for example, CINZ sponsored native tree planting to help restore the Otago Peninsula forests.

 

“Delegates will walk to the conference venue Skyline Queenstown from their various hotels. Skyline is giving all delegates glass KeepCups for their hot drinks, and people are encouraged to refill their own bottles at the water fountain. Waste food at the various venues is recycled, and the fabric lanyards and their plastic pouches are recycled from one event to the next. Printed paper will be cut to a minimum by using the EventsAIR mobile app and, only a few Annual Reports will be printed for the AGM,” she says.

 

“As advocates for the business events sector, we are also looking at sustainability in its broadest sense, encompassing environmental, economic and social impacts. With our partners including Tourism New Zealand, Air New Zealand, Queenstown Convention Bureau (QCB) and our members who are already active in this field, we want to demonstrate and lead practical change.”

 

The CINZ Conference will give New Zealand business event professionals the latest thinking from expert speakers, plus panel discussions, and practical initiatives designed to create awareness throughout the two day event.

 

Sustainability advocate Saskia Verraes will look into the road to causing no harm, and the strategies involved. As General Manager for Responsible Management at Tourism Holdings Limited, Saskia is an experienced tourism and travel industry professional, as well as an expert on global environmental issues and human resources.

 

A panel discussion will focus on sustainability practices operators are already demonstrating within their businesses. Keiran Frost from The Headwaters, Tim Hunter from Southern Discoveries and Georgina Torrington from Brooke Serene will bring their experiences to this panel.

 

Queenstown Convention Bureau director Kiran Nambiar says Destination Queenstown (DQ) and the QCB views sustainability as an integral part of the organisation’s role.

 

“The QCB and DQ is committed to making sustainability a core value of the organisation, helping ensure environmental, economic and social sustainability genuinely underpins the organisation. Sustainability is one of four key pillars of DQ’s three-year strategic plan.

 

“There are five main and interweaving areas we are focusing on; host community support, economic sustainability and prosperity, environmental sustainability, visitor experience and Queenstown reputation management and we deliver internal and external initiatives to meet these.

 

“We became an early signatory of the Tourism Sustainability Commitment in 2018 to identify areas of improvement across our organisation. Since then an internal policy has been introduced and is always evolving to include new initiatives. This includes a litter collection project where DQ and QCB staff carry re-usable totes to pick-up rubbish they see around town.

 

“The Tiaki Promise is a particular focus for us at the moment and we are working to increase the visibility of the Promise in Queenstown so that delegates and visitors see it wherever they go.”

 

The CINZ Conference 2019 started with a welcome function at Gibbston Valley Winery last night, and continues at Skyline Queenstown today and tomorrow, with a finale gala dinner at Walter Peak Farm on Thursday 31 October.