Murihiku Southland Sustainable Tourism Programme

About the programme

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 in 2023 and beyond. 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.

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 six-week programme (in person and online) 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

Who is it for?

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).

How much does it cost?

The cost to take part in the programme is $500* + GST per business. 

*Applies to businessses eligible for Regional Business Partner Programme capability development funding. The cost for other businesses is $1,000. To found out if your business is eligible email

Feedback from past participants

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.”

Register your interest

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

Register interest


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

What does sustainable mean in this context?

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.

Decarbonisation Workshop Series

Great South also offers the Decarbonisation Workshop Series for business during the year. The series, which is not tourism-specific, consists of three workshops and its focus is on measuring carbon emissions rather than wider sustainability goals. More information is available below.

Decarbonisation Workshop Series

Express interest now!

Sustainable Tourism Webinar Series

Learn more

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