Growing marine ecotourism
Credit: Dive Tutukaka
02 Dec

Webinar: Marine ecotourism – Where are we now and where are we going?

With its vast coastlines, unique marine environment and a tourism industry that is being reset along ‘regenerative’ lines, Aotearoa New Zealand is well positioned to develop a marine ecotourism sector that supports a blue economy – one that creates environmental, social and cultural value, as well as economic. Unfortunately, our understanding of the marine ecotourism sector in Aotearoa New Zealand is limited.  

In this webinar, Simon MilneKeri-Anne Wikitera and Eilidh Thorburn (all from AUT) will share how they have begun to fill this knowledge gap by interviewing operators and conducting a nationwide survey of the sector. The research findings highlight the challenges and opportunities that face the sector as Aotearoa New Zealand’s tourism re-opens to domestic and international travel. 

The webinar also highlights an important new initiative that is designed to provide a clearer picture of the location of operators, their characteristics and the experiences they offer.

 An online audit of marine ecotourism businesses, detailed in this reportprovides baseline information on the size and activity profile of the sector in Aotearoa, and a contact list to help users further develop coastal and marine ecotourism networks. This interactive map and data dashboard allow users to explore and compare the make up and scale of the sector across regions. These resources can also be used to identify where marine ecotourism overlaps with other blue economy activities.

This webinar and tools will be valuable to businesses, planners, policy makers, local and regional governments, and communities. 

Who is it for?

This webinar is free and open to anyone, but will be of particular interest to businesses, regional development planners and policy makers, and anyone interested in strengthening and connecting with local marine ecotourism operators.

Will it be recorded?

Yes, our webinars are recorded and made available on a webinar playlist our YouTube channel.

About the speakers

Simon Milne is a Professor of Tourism at Auckland University of Technology (AUT), Director of the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute, and Co-leader of the Growing marine ecotourism project. For more than 35 years, Simon’s research has focused on developing innovative evidence-based solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing tourism development. He brings a global perspective to his work, having conducted tourism research in most parts of the globe.

Keri-Anne Wikitera is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Hospitality and Tourism at Auckland University of Technology and a researcher on the Growing marine ecotourism project. Her hapū, Tūhourangi Ngāti Wahiao and Ngāti Whakaue of Rotorua are recognised as the nation’s first Māori tourism entrepreneurs and as such her research interests are specifically positioned within promoting and enhancing Māori cultural identity, intercultural exchange, the tourism industry, indigenous history and knowledge systems.

Eilidh Thorburn is a Research Officer at the New Zealand Tourism Research Institute at Auckland University of Technology and a researcher on the Growing marine ecotourism project. Her research is focused on the sustainable development of the tourism industry – businesses, destinations, and communities. Having worked in industry government and academia, Eilidh brings a practical approach to translating research into useable outcomes.




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Growing marine ecotourism
Credit: Dive Tutukaka
Growing marine ecotourism

Developing marine ecotourism that embraces regenerative principles and supports a blue economy.