Decarbonisation Support

Sustainable Tourism Programme

Kepler Track Southland New Zealand Credit Bas Bergsma 3

Great South developed the Murihiku Sustainable Tourism Programme pilot especially for small to medium-sized tourism businesses in 2022. Following the success of that initial programme, further programmes are now being offered. Sustainability is one of the key pillars of the Southland Murihiku Destination Strategy and this programme will help our region meet net zero emissions by 2050.

Carbon Neutral Business Workshop Southland New Zealand Credit Great South

What’s Involved

Taking a holistic approach, we support tourism businesses to look at reducing their carbon emissions, while also improving their sustainability from an economic, visitor, community and environmental perspective.

The programme typically runs for six weeks (in person and online) and offers workshop sessions as well as one-on-one support, featured guest speakers, operator case studies, shares practical resources, marketing advice and accreditation pathways. 

Each business will leave the programme with their own carbon measurement and reduction strategy, a sustainability plan, and a network of tourism operators to share their sustainability journey with.

There is also the option for each business to achieve carbon certification at a significantly reduced rate with Ekos

The programme is aimed at small to medium sized Murihiku Southland tourism businesses or non-profit tourism organisations with up to 20 staff. This includes hospitality businesses that cater to the visitor market.

Attendees should be the key decision maker in the business (e.g. owner, manager, or sustainability lead).

This workshop is registered with the Regional Business Partner Network. To explore if your business is eligible for support, contact your local Regional Business Growth Advisor at 

“I initially signed up for the programme to establish what our company's carbon footprint was and to gain understanding about off-setting it.  I learned that offsetting is a better 'last step' and that there are some simple steps we can take to make some environmental gains in our business. “

“The workshop included frank speakers who shared their differing pathways with us.  We could see there are many ways to reach a similar goal, and that it is OK to do what works for us.”

The term sustainable in this programme includes economic and environmental factors as well as consideration of visitors and their host communities. The programme is based on internationally accepted principles of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council  and Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s Tourism Sustainability Commitments.

Around The Mountains Cycle Trail Athol Southland New Zealand Credit Great South 2


The programme is based on the internationally accepted principles of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council and Tourism Industry Aotearoa’s Tourism Sustainability Commitments. The demand for sustainable travel options continues to grow and the programme will support operators in our region to meet this need.

International Insights (Expedia Group 2022)

  • 90% of consumers look for sustainable options when travelling
  • 3 in 5 opted for more environmentally friendly transportation or accommodation
  • 7 in 10 avoided a destination or transportation option due to scepticism over their sustainable practices
  • 65% would like to opt for environmentally friendly transportation or lodging on their next trip
  • Half would be willing to pay more for sustainable options (transport/activities/accommodation)
  • 2/3 want to see more sustainability info from accommodation and transport providers

Register Your Interest

To register your interest in taking part, please contact Amie Young.

amie young bw

Amie Young

Destination Development Manager

+64 21 059 9755