Google has started showcasing accommodation businesses’ ECO Certification status on its listings, just days before the start of October – the month in which Ecotourism Australia officially celebrates its 30th birthday.
The move comes in response to an increasing traveller demand for sustainable travel options and a call for greater transparency from an industry plagued by greenwashing.
Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program is listed among 29 third party certification programs worldwide acknowledged as meeting Google’s sustainability standards. These standards include certification agencies using globally recognised and reputed criteria, assessing accommodations on at least the four categories of energy efficiency, water conservation, waste reduction and sustainable sourcing, and conducing on-site audits.
Ecotourism Australia Chair, Claire Ellis, said it was another great opportunity for Ecotourism Australia’s members to stand out in the global market.
“Both domestically and internationally, sustainability is becoming much more important to our visitors. With our planned domestic border openings and resumption of international travel, this recognition of quality from one of the industry’s heavyweights will give our Ecotourism Australia members – especially our 110 certified accommodations – a great boost at a time when they really need it,” she said.
There has been a rapid growth in certification applications across the tourism industry as operators recognise the growing consumer demand for real change in this area. Accommodation properties spread across much of regional Australia will now be labelled ‘Eco-certified’ in Google search results, with a leaf-shaped icon and more information about the property’s sustainability initiatives in the ‘About’ tab.
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It takes dedication and passion to pave the way for a sustainable future. By beginning their ECO Certification journey, tourism operators can ensure they are putting in place effective and ethical sustainability practices for the longevity of their operation and the conservation of the natural environment. Here are the tourism operators who completed their criteria and achieved certification September 2021!
Outdoor Experience Factory
[Photos: Outdoor Experience Factory]
Nature Tourism certified Outdoor Experience Factory are lucky enough to call some of New South Wales’ best landscapes their outdoor playground. These thrill-seekers show travellers a unique perspective of the Howes Valley, either from the seat of an all-terrain buggy, next to a tranquil natural waterfall, or from a hiking path through the untamed bush.
The team will even make sure you leave with a gallery of photos and videos to share your adventure with family and friends!
While they work and play amongst New South Wales’ finest natural areas, Outdoor Experience Factory underwent ECO Certification to ensure they were mitigating their impact on the natural environment they depend on. Part of their sustainability journey includes educating guests on their surroundings to enhance their appreciation for the environment, both on an Outdoor Experience Factory tour and beyond.
NoTraces Bushwalking Australia
[Photo: NoTraces Bushwalking Australia]
Ecotourism certified NoTraces Bushwalking Australia was born when founder and experienced outdoorsman Sebastien Heritier sought an opportunity to share his Australia-wide and international wilderness experience with others. Travellers to the Northern Territory, Western Australia, and Tasmania looking for the best bushwalks in the state can rely on Sebastien’s expertise and deep-rooted passion for bushwalking to gain more than just the thrill of exploration, but an appreciation for flora and fauna.
The company’s philosophy is in its name – the NoTraces Bushwalking Australia team aims to nurture the natural environment through leaving only footprints throughout the Australian bush. For their longer journeys, they won’t wash dishes in waterways, have eliminated soaps and dishwashing products to avoid waterway contamination and encourage low toxicity products. A deep respect for Aboriginal art and sites of cultural significance is embedded in their tours, with strict policies to protect Indigenous rock art that visitors have the pleasure of viewing for the preservation of culture.
You can trust NoTraces Bushwalking Australia to curate a bushwalking adventure that protects the environment and one of the world’s longest living cultures. See what’s on offer on their Facebook!
[Photo: Elixir Journeys]
Elixir Journeys are proponents of the tourism industry being the key to enhancing appreciation for our natural surrounds. So why not enjoy it in style? Our newly Ecotourism certified operator adds a little luxury to all of their carefully crafted experiences set amongst beautiful landscapes located just 90 minutes north of Sydney, New South Wales.
Elixir Journey sets the scene for relaxing private and small-group getaways, surrounding you with delicious food and wine that has a focus on creating a low carbon impact. They value highlighting local products through their barefoot luxury experiences, sourcing locally when possible so you can explore the region through taste.
You don’t just enjoy the region when you visit, either: Elixir Journeys allows every traveller to give back to the community through their commitment to projects like the Koala Clancy Foundation, who will receive $5 for every guest at Elixir Journeys.