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New Caledonia tourism ‘ethical charter’ coming


New vow for New Cal

Though travel to the Pacific island nation has been on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic, New Caledonia is upping its commitment to sustaining tourism for the future. 

 

 

New Caledonia Tourism general manager Julie Laronde says that the plan to develop more sustainable tourism has been in the works since before coronavirus, and is being put into action “to protect our amazing biodiversity, our pristine and unspoiled landscapes, and our authentic and traditional cultures”.

 

“We already achieved a key first step early this year, which is becoming a member of a French association called ATD (Acteurs du tourisme durable),” she told Traveltalk.

 

“The organisation aims to promote sustainable tourism in France and its territories (such as New Caledonia) – and being a member of this association allows us access to resources and tools that will help guide us and our suppliers to be more sustainable in our practices.”

 

As much as possible, Ms Laronde says local tourism operators will be involved in the development of eco-tourism products. 

 

“There are so many people who have put their hand up to be involved in this project, and it’s wonderful to see how hard the industry is willing to work to preserve New Caledonia’s natural beauty and environment,” she remarked.   

 

“For example, we have a set of whale watching guidelines that were developed by scientists, authorities and environmental protection organisations. We’ve had 21 operators in New Caledonia commit to these guidelines already this year, and attend a special training session to learn how to share the joy of whale watching with visitors while ensuring the safety of the whales, their young and their environment. We see this interest from the whale watching industry as a positive sign for our wider eco-tourism project, and we are so excited to see where it goes.” 

  

Visitors will also be asked to play a part in the greening of tourism in the country.

 

“We are now working on an ethical charter for travellers, to ask that visitors respect our natural environment and cultures.”

 

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Written by: Mark Harada
Published: 31 August 2020

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