Since 2014, TRC has been working with the small island nation of Niue towards nation wide responsible and sustainable tourism planning. Sustainable tourism for Niue is not a goal in itself; it is a means to a sustainable end – where tourism contributes positively to Niuean society, creates a better living environment for locals and destination for visitors and is a driver of positive change.
Niue is the world’s smallest island nation and home to approximately 1600 local people who live in family villages across the island. Our journey together has included multiple visits to Niue, understanding what Niueans wanted from tourism and how the visitor experience could be well managed and enhanced. From the development of an initial Visitor Experience Development Plan, we have worked with Niue Tourism on a Responsible Tourism Policy, Tour Operator Minimum Standards accreditation program, Tour Operator training, Visitor Code of Conduct, Carrying Capacity reviews and we are in the process of finalising a Sustainable Tourism Plan for the country and an Ecotourism accreditation program for tourism operators.
Above and beyond tourism, sustainability is truly at the heart of the Niuean people and an all encompassing feature of Government decision-making. As an island nation with 95% of land under custodial ownership – protection of Taoga Niue (identity, language, traditions, resources, way of life, cultural and natural values) is paramount. With the mission of ‘working together to protect the people and the environment’, Niue has been implementing several strategies that ensure a prosperous Taoga Niue:
- Established protected land and sea areas and sanctuaries including the second largest Marine Protected Area in the world
- Installed solar energy plants to mitigate the need for diesel powered generators
- Constructed a recycling and waste management facility where previously village waste was burned
- Installed septic systems and rainwater tanks across the island to ensure safe water quality
- Banned plastic bags and straws from the island
- Created cycling tracks to encourage cycling across the island and reducing the need for vehicles
- Provided import tax initiatives for purchasing of hybrid vehicles
- Installed energy efficient and low impact lighting which has now led to Niue becoming the first country in the world to be a declared a protected Dark Sky Nation.
Congratulations Niue Tourism, the Niuean Government and the people of Niue on your outstanding efforts and well-deserved recognition as being one of the world’s Top 100 Sustainable Destinations. We’ve loved working with you for the past six years and look forward to the next journey as we work towards finalisation and implementation of the Sustainable Tourism Plan, and welcoming visitors back to your warm and friendly villages and pristine lands, waters and skies.
Want to learn how you can join the Top 100 Destination list, become a Green Destination or Eco Certified business?
Click Here to find out how we can help you…