Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.

MEDIA RELEASE: Overtourism and a low carbon future high on agenda for new Ecotourism Australia / University of Queensland PhD candidates

After an extensive and competitive process which saw The University of Queensland (UQ) receive 42 applications from around the world, three PhD candidates have now been awarded scholarships to begin research into some of the most pressing issues facing Australia’s ecotourism industry.

The topics, decided on jointly by Ecotourism Australia and The University of Queensland, include overtourism, low carbon futures and social licence.

Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman says that these topics align closely with needs that are high on the agenda for many Ecotourism Australia members.

“These three topics centre around issues of community participation, protecting and conserving Australia’s special places and taking a stronger stance on climate action – which all require an evidence-based approach, said Mr Hillman.

“Thanks to our partnership with The University of Queensland, we can now take real strides in learning about how we can best address these issues and deliver measurable outcomes for communities and Ecotourism Australia’s members.”

Dr Sally Driml, a tourism expert from the UQ Business School who coordinated the application process for the scholarships, said that the University was overwhelmed with the number of high-quality applications.

“It is encouraging to know that many emerging researchers wish to contribute to a better understanding of ecotourism and its role in a sustainable future for tourism,” said Dr Driml.

“We are confident that the students will produce some very useful research with impact for the industry.”

The students were selected based on their academic performance and experience in the ecotourism industry and will begin their research in early 2020. A fourth scholarship will be finalised in the new year.

The scholarships are funded by the University of Queensland under a Memorandum of Understanding between UQ and Ecotourism Australia which will see both parties contribute expertise. All the candidates will be enrolled in the UQ Business School.

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For questions and comments, please contact: Rod Hillman – CEO 0427 279 414

Additional info

Ecotourism Australia signed a partnership agreement with The University of Queensland in November 2018 after an already long-held, positive working relationship between the two organisations. For more information, visit https://bit.ly/2n7l3X7.

[Header image from left to right: Mrs Csilla Demeter (candidate), Dr Sally Driml (advisor), Ms Sonya Underdahl (candidate), Dr Noreen Breakey (advisor), Professor Brent Ritchie (advisor).]

The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2019 by CREST

The Center for Responsible Travel (CREST) released a new tourism industry study, The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2019. The report highlights growing consumer demand for sustainable travel experiences and analyzes the role businesses and destinations play in mainstreaming responsible tourism. The report contends that while consumer demand for responsible tourism continues to […]

The post The Case for Responsible Travel: Trends & Statistics 2019 by CREST appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).

MEDIA RELEASE | The original sustainability innovators: 40% of Ecotourism Australia Members certified 10+ years

Whilst the general public – and the tourism industry – are beginning to wake up to the need for more sustainable business models and consumption patterns, Australia’s ecotourism industry has long been ahead of the game.

Driven by passionate tourism operators for whom sustainability has always been front and centre, Australia’s certified ecotourism operators have been taking action on climate change, preserving culture and traditions, contributing to conservation and benefitting their local communities from the very beginning.

Today, 40% of tourism operators certified through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program are recognised as Green Travel Leaders, meaning they have held certification for 10 years or longer. Among these are 26 who have been certified for at least 20 years.

Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman says this is an indication that being certified does not just give you credibility, set your business apart from competitors and allow you to become part of a supportive community of likeminded operators; it’s also a sign that a focus on sustainability contributes to the longevity of your business.

“Forty percent of our members have been certified for 10 years or longer – including 26 who have been with us for 20 years! This is a clear indication that doing the right thing by the planet and its inhabitants is also doing the right thing for your business.”

Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification program measures not just a tourism operator’s interaction with their natural environment, but also:

  • Business management and operational planning
  • Responsible marketing
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Environmental management
  • Interpretation and education
  • Contribution to conservation
  • Working with local communities
  • Environmental respect and sensitivity. 

The 26 20-year operators will be inducted into the Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame during the official dinner of the Global Eco Conference 2019, to be held at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park on Tuesday, 3 December 2019.

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For questions and comments, please contact:

Rod Hillman – CEO 

0427 279 414

 

NORTHERN TASMANIA – A WORLD OF NATURAL TREASURES.

Only 200km from the mainland of Australia, Northern Tasmania is a treasure trove of natural wonders with stunning landscapes, unique animals and plants and a rich diversity of sea life.

Home to the world’s second largest temperate rainforest – the Tarkine, spectacular dolerite mountains, wild river and cave systems and a rugged coastline with long sandy beaches and grassy woodlands, there is so much to discover in this magnificent region!

With over 477,000 hectares of Tarkine wilderness to explore and such a vast array of experiences available (suitable for all ages and levels of fitness – on land and in the water), why not let one of our remarkable certified operators take the stress out of your next trip on the wild – or mild – side, by making sure you don’t miss out on anything!

Tasmanian Walking Company Hidden Gems HERO IMAGE

Photo Credit: Tasmanian Walking Company

Our operators know the region like the back of their hand and will have you walking, living and breathing in all the natural beauty and wonder of the Tasmanian wilderness before you can say platypus.  They offer a wide variety of unique experiences to suit everybody’s needs, including walking and floating through canyons, short and easy walks through temperate rainforests, multi-day trekking adventures along the world-famous Overland Track, and mountain biking down the iconic Cradle Mountain.

So, whether you want to experience it all with your own two feet (bushwalking, hiking, trekking, tramping (whichever you like to call it!)), explore it on two wheels (enjoying everything from cross country and downhill trails, to relaxing rides along quiet country roads with scenic coastal views) or see it from a boat (to enjoy the vast river network that offers everything from white water thrills to calm, peaceful rides), we’ve got plenty of operators ready to take you on an unforgettable journey.

And just for your convenience, we’ve listed them all below to help get your holiday ball rolling!Tarkine Trails Hidden Gems USE ME

Photo Credit: Tarkine Trails

Tarkine Trails offer small group walking experiences into the wilds of the takayna/Tarkine wilderness of Tasmania. Specialising in quality, deep immersion wilderness experiences that showcase the true beauty and power of a wilderness landscape, their expeditions are between four and six days long.

Check them out on our Green Travel Guide.

Tasmanian Walking Company Hidden Gems USE ME

Photo Credit: Tasmanian Walking Company

Tasmanian Walking Company offer fully guided walking experiences that will immerse you in some of the most pristine environments Tasmania has to offer – including the incredible Cradle Mountain. Tasmanian Walking Company’s goal is to provide an outstanding opportunity for visitors to step out of everyday life into nature and be revitalised, and to experience a fresh, profound perspective of humanity, the environment and the possibilities they embody.

Find them on our Green Travel Guide here.

Tasmanian Expeditions Hidden Gems USE ME

Photo Credit: Tasmanian Expeditions

Tasmanian Expeditions offer active, responsible, memorable and experience-rich trips exploring the remote, rugged and iconic parts of Tasmania. They’ll give you opportunities to challenge yourself in nature and tick off some bucket list-worthy destinations. Meanwhile, you’ll bypass some of the main Tasmanian tourist attractions in favour of exploring Tasmania’s more remote corners, giving you access to places you may never have discovered on your own.

Check them out on our Green Travel Guide.

 Cradle Mountain Canyons Hidden Gems USE ME

Photo Credit: Cradle Mountain Canyons

Cradle Mountain Canyons is a small outdoor adventure company owned and operated by Tasmanians with a passion for the great outdoors.Experienced and qualified guides will lead you through the stunning canyons found only a stone’s throw away from Cradle Mountain. You can choose between an action-packed day of waterfall jumps and slides in the Dove Canyon or a much easier introduction to the world of canyoning in the Lost World Canyon.

Find them on our Green Travel Guide here.

Overland Track Hidden Gems USE ME 

Photo Credit: Overland Track

The Overland Track is a true wilderness walk which travels through spectacular mountain scenery, near beautiful waterfalls, through a variety of fascinating ecosystems and close to Tasmania s highest mountain, before finishing at Australia’s deepest lake, Lake St Clair.

Check out the Overland Track here.

Tarkine Wilderness Lodge Hidden Gems USE ME

Photo Credit: Tarkine Wilderness Lodge

If you’re looking for a stunning place to lay your head after all of that adventure, check out Tarkine Wilderness Lodge. Nestled on 200 acres of privately-owned land, this lodge offers guests complete seclusion from the outside world and guarantees you will fall in love with and lose yourself in the serenity that is the Tarkine. Relax and enjoy the exclusive use of the lodge and its facilities, including three luxurious suites with private bathroom facilities and beautiful vistas of the surrounding rainforest. You can also let their experienced guides take you on a breathtaking and informative journey through the ancient 60-million-year-old forest.

Find Tarkine Wilderness Lodge on our Green Travel Guide here.

41 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng Farm Hidden Gems USE ME

 Photo Credit: 41 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng Farm

 If you’re looking for something a little different, why not check out 41 Degrees South Salmon and Ginseng Farm? Thisfarm is a family-run sustainable inland farm and unique tourist attraction located in the heart of Tasmania’s North. The farm grows Atlantic salmon and ginseng varieties in natural conditions and is open seven days a week for free tastings and self-guided tours of the farm and wetlands, allowing you to wander past the freshwater salmon ponds, ginseng nursery, along a boardwalk through wetlands and to a viewing area of Montana Cascades.

Find them on our Green Travel Guide here.

If you’re keen to check out the rest of the state, make sure you visit our Green Travel Guide and search for ‘Tasmania’ for more great eco experiences, including:

STEP BEYOND STRATEGY JOINS ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA BUSINESS COMMUNITY


Owned and directed by Janelle and Adam Marr, Step Beyond Strategy is a values-based strategy consultancy that helps its clients realise their business’ potential. Offering strategic advisory services andexecution support services across a range of sectors, Step Beyond Strategy focuses on understanding future landscapes and leveraging emerging opportunities – turning them into strong, functional and practical plans that deliver genuine environmental, social and financially sustainable outcomes.

StepBeyond couple shot stairs

Photo: Janelle and Adam Marr / Step Beyond Strategy Facebook

”We’re concentrating on meaningful projects that will have real impact and give back to community, society and organisations. Through futures thinking, we have the opportunity to create the future we want for our business, our community and future generations.” says Janelle Marr.

On top of the services they provide, Janelle and Adam have made some incredible social contributions over the years, getting involved with pro-bono sustainability projects, directorships and committee representation across a range of sectors and assisting with industry and community mentor programs. They are also very conscientious when it comes to finding ways to reduce their environmental footprint. So far, they have successfully implemented a water and material reuse and recycling program, they power their business with 100% renewable electricity and use electric bikes and hybrid vehicles.  Through biodiversity and native tree planting offsets, Step Beyond Strategy has become 100% carbon neutral.

We are happy to welcome Step Beyond Strategy to the Ecotourism Australia Business Community.

To find out more about Step Beyond Strategy, visit out the business’ website here.

NEW DIRECTORS AND DEPUTY CHAIR FOR ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA

Ecotourism Australia’s members have elected three new directors and three returning directors to the Ecotourism Australia board, as announced during today’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) held in Brisbane and streamed nationally via teleconference. The board has also elected a new deputy chair.

As per Ecotourism Australia’s Constitution, five out of ten directors are required to stand down each year. This year, an additional vacancy meant that six board positions were up for election by Ecotourism Australia’s 500 members.

Newly elected to the board were Noreen Breakey (The University of Queensland; Individual Member), Michael Collins (CRC Consulting; Individual Member) and Rosie Sandover (Kingfisher Tours, Certified Operator).

Together with returning directors Claire Ellis (current chair), Rick Murray (retiring deputy chair) and Wendy Hills, these directors join Alysia Brandenburg, Peter Cochrane, Peter Johnson and Innes Larkin to form Ecotourism Australia’s board of directors for the next twelve months.  

Following the AGM, the board elected Claire Ellis as its ongoing chair and Innes Larkin as deputy. Claire Ellis welcomed the new directors and noted that much lies in store for the organisation in the new year.

“The past year has been another tremendous year for our members. We have celebrated our first 20-year Hall of Fame memberships; nearly 25% of all winners at the Australian Tourism Awards were Ecotourism Australia members; more than 20% of all sellers at the Australian Tourism Exchange displayed their ECO certified branding and the significant interest by destinations to become part of the Ecotourism Australia community has been exciting.

“Next year, our focus continues to be on bringing benefits to our members and creating real outcomes through ecotourism. Many exciting opportunities await!”

Click here to find out more about the Ecotourism Australia board of directors.

Booking.com joins GSTC

Helping protect and preserve destinations around the globe so that travellers can continue to enjoy them for generations to come has been a priority for Booking.com for several years and is one of the key strategic focus areas for the company.

New Australia’s South West Sustainable Tourism Observatory joins the UNWTO Observatory NETWORK (INSTO)

    Madrid, 9 October 2019 – Australia’s South West Sustainable Tourism Observatory, has officially become the latest member of the World Tourism Organization’s International Network of Sustainable Tourism Observatories (INSTO). The Observatory will work to monitor tourism in the south-west of Australia and help guide its sustainable development.    The Australia’s South West Sustainable […]