Surf Clinic Earns Sustainable Tour Certification
Lahaina-based ocean recreation surf company Maui Surf Clinics has been awarded the Sustainable Tour Operator Certification from the Sustainable Tourism Association of Hawaii (STAH).
“We are thrilled to recognize Maui Surf Clinics as a Certified Sustainable Tour Operator,” STAH program director Lauren Blickley said in a press release.
“They exemplify the qualities of a Sustainable Tour Operator including participating in cultural and environmental training, reducing their environmental footprint, offering eco-cultural tours, and supporting community efforts through beach cleanups and community volunteers programs.”
Maui Surf Clinics is the second surf lesson company certified through STAH and is one of the oldest Lahaina-based surf companies.
“The certification process inspired us to further develop sustainability practices throughout Maui Surf Clinics, including educating ourselves in order to pass on knowledge to our island visitors” Maui Surf Clinics owner Kristin McFarland said.
“We have created a place where we not only teach people how to surf but also educate them on how they can help protect and restore our oceans for future generations- We are also consistently working on reducing our carbon footprint throughout the business. My hope is that we will inspire other companies to join us in our mission to make a change in ocean recreation businesses across Hawaii.”
STAH’s Sustainable Tour Operator Certification program evaluates tour companies on 6 operating principles covering environmental footprint, staff training and management, community involvement, natural and cultural resources, customer evaluation, and marketing.
“We are passionate about protecting Hawaii’s ocean environment,” Operations Manager Kat Achimoff added.
“It is our kuleana not only to protect Maui’s natural resources but also educate our visitors- teaching them how to travel pono.”
Company representatives said they recently focused on staff development and training. In the past year, surf instructors with Maui Surf Clinics have completed the Hawaii Professional Tour Guide Certification program, Eyes of the Reef training, and cultural training with Polanui Hiu.
“I am extremely proud of my team– we’ve worked side by side for many years, we are all like-minded in our passion for the ocean and sharing our knowledge” McFarland said.
STAH maintains Hawaii’s Sustainable Tour Operator Certification program. The Certification is the only statewide program in the U.S. providing a third party, comprehensive assessment of tour providers and their contribution to natural and cultural resources, conservation, and local communities. The program currently hosts 40 companies spread across Kauaʻi, Oʻahu, Maui, and Hawaiʻi Island.
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