According to the DOC, tourism depends on a healthy and thriving natural environment

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The DOC's aim is for Papatūānuku to thrive, which means that New Zealand's biodiversity and heritage are protected and restored to their intrinsic value, says Senior Visitor Advisor Mike Davies.

Department of Conservation

The DOC’s aim is for Papatūānuku to thrive, which means that New Zealand’s biodiversity and heritage are protected and restored to their intrinsic value, says Senior Visitor Advisor Mike Davies.

Destination Marlborough spoke to Marlburians about the future of tourism, as it draws up a master plan for the area. Here, Kat Duggan chats with DOC Senior Visitor Advisor Mike Davies.

Marlborough representatives from the Department of Conservation are pleased to see a new Destination Management Plan (DMP) in place for the area.

Destination Marlborough has worked closely with members of the Marlborough community, from various sectors, to create a framework that not only benefits all community members and industries, but is environmentally conscious and sustainable for future generations.

DOC senior visitor adviser Mike Davies said the plan aligns well with the department’s work to form a sustainable, inclusive and resilient regenerative tourism system.

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“DOC’s aim is for Papatūānuku to prosper, which means that New Zealand’s biodiversity and heritage are protected and restored to their intrinsic value and for the well-being of all New Zealanders,” he says.

“We believe that bringing people into nature is vital for them to understand its value…and [to] take measures for its protection and restoration.

Done well, Destination Marlborough’s plan will support DOC’s work, says Davies.

Mike Davies, Senior DOC Visitor Advisor.

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Mike Davies, Senior DOC Visitor Advisor.

“Since tourism depends on a healthy and thriving natural environment and diverse ecology, careful management and restrictions ensure that ecosystems are not damaged.

“Regenerative tourism ensures tourism stakeholders repair the damage and work with nature to improve its ability to thrive and evolve naturally,” he says.

DOC is working closely with both tour operators, as well as tangata whenua, hapū and iwi across the country on strategies to ensure this balance.

In terms of contributing to the DMP, the department would continue to work on identifying places that connect visitors to their heritage and provide guidance on how to manage visitors to these areas in a way that protects its values, Davies says. .

It would also look at options to support local government and private landowners who provide access to popular spots on public conservation lands.

With careful collaboration, the DMP can provide a fantastic framework for tourism operators, iwi and the wider community to work in a sustainable way in the future, says Mike.

Destination Marlborough wants to know what the public would like to see in the destination management plan, to present the area as a unique tourist destination. You can provide comments directly to Destination Marlborough here: https://survey.alchemer.com/s3/6544292/DM2021.

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