Creeksyde Queenstown Holiday Park has been held up as a shining example of the ‘100 per cent ‘pure’ New Zealand tourism experience.
At a function to mark Creekysyde’s 25th anniversary on Friday, Lincoln University tourism professor David Simmons presented owners Erna and Tonnie Spijkerbosch with an EarthCheck platinum award.
Creeksyde, which formerly had a gold award, is the first holiday park in the world to achieve platinum status.
Simmons, who’s also global chair of the EarthCheck Research Institute, told the function: “They are not just NZ best practice, not just an icon for Queenstown, but they are an icon for the world on how to manage the interface between the environment, the community and sustainability.
“To me it speaks right to the spirit of what NZ tourism is about.
“It seems to be that regardless of whatever spin people put on it, or whichever way the politicians want to talk about it, this is the ‘100 per cent pure’ experience that NZ runs up the flagship.
“My wish is that many other businesses would follow this footstep because in a crowded global marketplace where the green consumer and energy are becoming more and more to the fore, then I’m sure that these are the businesses that will carry us to the future.”
Simmons stressed that EarthCheck – formerly Green Globe – is science-based.
“If someone says to you, ‘this is an organic apple’, sooner or later your consumers are going to say, ‘prove it’.
“If you say you’re a sustainable tourism business, then EarthCheck is one of the ways of proving it because you measure and you manage and you record your progress.”
Simmons praised Creeksyde’s staff, both past and present.
“You can’t get to the global best level of environmental management and certification unless everybody is involved.”
Meanwhile, guest of honour, the Wizard of Christchurch, who performed a spell on Creeksyde when it opened in 1988, also has praise for the holiday park.
“It’s extremely well run by a very capable woman and extremely well designed by a very capable man – they’re a marvellous combination, Erna and Tonnie.
“Erna gets onto those committees and all that dreadful stuff I could never do.
“For a small independent organisation, they’ve come a long long way against giant organisations with millions of people and money everywhere and they’ve done so well.
“To get the platinum award is amazing.”