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Tourism Sector Risk App to Be Trialed in Kaikoura

April 10, 2014 Apps No Comments Email Email

The EarthCheck Research Institute has partnered with Lincoln University and Kaikoura District Council to launch a newly built mobile risk application to the community for its development and rollout in a New Zealand tourism destination.

This follows the presentation of a plaque to commemorate Kaikoura being the first destination in the southern hemisphere to be awarded Platinum status by EarthCheck, the global leader in environmental benchmarking and certification, for the global tourism industry.

The risk ‘app’ has three core uses; shaping the establishment of a crisis response plan at the business level; maintaining and updating a user’s response plan; and providing hands on access to a user’s crisis response plan in an emergency.  The ‘App’ is functional with both Android and iPhone systems, and has the capability to work offline – that is, it is accessible during an actual crisis.

In providing the “Risk App’ to the Kaikoura community EarthCheck CEO Stewart Moore said it was a fitting tribute to mark the outstanding dedication and progress of Kaikoura as a sustainable tourism destination over the past ten years.  “The next step in world class destination area management is in risk management preparedness and action, and Kaikoura can again lead New Zealand and the world in this important area”.

Kaikoura Mayor, Winston Grey noted that the risk App was “very timely, especially as the community had been engaged in a series of meetings to upskill preparedness under the Civil defense umbrella”.  He is keen that the app be rolled out as soon as is practicable.

Professor David Simmons of Lincoln University and Chair of the EarthCheck Research Institute, who will lead the introduction of the application, is keen to begin preparatory steps.  Important among these will be calibrating the application to New Zealand specific conditions such as tsunamis and earthquakes.  EarthCheck will provide access to the software developers while Lincoln University will work with local scientists to bring forward relevant New Zealand conditions.  Following that Lincoln’s tourism group will work with existing networks in the Kaikoura community.

Professor Simmons noted that the provision of the application was particularly timely as the numerous risks across the New Zealand landscape often occurred in areas with large visitor populations.  Kaikoura is a notable example of high visitor density spread over a small community or rating base.  He noted “The innovative App also occurs at a time when New Zealand is seeking to gain greater community engagement in risk management with the overall goal of improving societal resilience”.  He hopes that lessons learnt in the calibration and deployment of this technology in Kaikoura will open a pathway to stakeholder engagement in other sectors and the community itself.

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