The History and Background of ETNZ:


The concept of establishing a Centre of Excellence in Eco-Tourism at Tai Poutini Polytechnic was initiated in 2002 to develop the West Coast’s and New Zealand’s broader Eco-Tourism potential. In 2003, a Certificate in Eco-Tourism was offered, and a Diploma was added in2004. Students have been attracted to learn the practises of Eco-Tourism and the triple bottom line ethos behind creating sustainable tourism and economies.


In May 2004 a grant from Development West Coast enabled a feasibility study for further ETNZ opportunities. During 2006 the range of services provided by the Centre of Excellence in Eco-Tourism expanded into marketing, research and industry development. In the past years ETNZ has moved into research on tourism operator training and developing human resources, and instigated the first annual Eco-Tourism in NZ Conference.


The brand Eco-Tourism NZ was developed in November 2006 to describe the range of services that the Centre of Excellence in Eco-Tourism provides. Since then, Tai Poutini Polytechnic has adapted to specialise in developing added a range of customised short, intensive programmes covering specific aspects of Eco-Tourism. These are for both the New Zealand and International Sectors.


In 2011 Eco-Tourism NZ has developed a business services group with the objective to support the development of nature-based tourism experiences in New Zealand by improving the business performance of our client’s tourism operations. We specialise in adventure tourism, Eco-Tourism, nature tourism and outdoor education.


In 2013 the Eco-Tourism certificate and diploma programmes were amalgamated with the Certificate in Outdoor Education (COE) and Diploma in Outdoor Instruction and Guiding (DOIG). Thus providing a stronger outcome for both the students and the industry for which they are trained.

2014 and 2015:

Over the last few years ETNZ staff have been making regular visits to Hong Kong, China, Chile and the United States working with a number of pro-active tourism operators, education providers and private institutions in developing Eco-Tourism understanding and practise.

TPP has signed Memorandums of understanding (MOUs) with Chengdu Technician College (CTC) in Sichuan China and the Guilin Institute of Tourism (GIT) in Guangxi China. Both partnerships are developing customised Eco-Tourism training programmes to be delivered in New Zealand, Mainland China and Hong Kong.

The ETNZ team are also regular attendees at international tourism events and conferences and recently hosted a panel discussion at one of the largest china tourism expo’s Chinese Outbound Travel and Tourism Market COTTM in Beijing China.

ETNZ is affiliated with the Chinese Outbound Tourism Research Institute (COTRI) and Director Prof Wolfgang Arlt is also Adjunct Professor to TPP. This provides ETNZ and TPP with valuable up to date insights, data, and training materials.

Members of the team include highly skilled outdoor education and management staff from Tai Poutini Polytechnic and contractors to Eco-Tourism NZ and Tai Poutini Polytechnic.