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

GSTC Announces the Results of its 2019 Board of Directors Election

The GSTC Board of Directors plays an integral role in the leadership of the organization. Most seats on the board are filled via annual elections of and by current members of the Council. The GSTC Election Committee has validated the votes and has released the results. Three current board members were re-elected to 3-year […]

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AUGUST ADVENTURES: HIGH ROPES AND ZIPLINES

Are you looking to overcome a fear of heights, seeking a high-flying adventure experience, or maybe just a fun day out for the family this winter?

This week we are looking at high ropes and ziplining courses throughout Australia that will get your spirits – and bodies – soaring. There are plenty of ECO certified ziplining and high ropes adventure courses around the country that will help you overcome physical challenges and allow you to fly over lush rainforest canopies in some of the most adventurous activities in the country.

7 Fun From 7

TreeTop Challenge

Located in Mount Tamborine, just under an hour’s drive from Brisbane and the Gold Coast, TreeTop Challenge has over 120 high ropes activities including 10 flying foxes and a mix of beginner, intermediate and extreme high ropes courses. Spread across nine acres of tropical rainforest, the Treetop Challenge adventure park is Advanced Ecotourism certified and takes about 3-4 hours to complete. The adventure park is designed for ages eight and up and requires no previous experience. For families with younger children, TreeTop Challenge also operates the largest junior ziplining course in the country with over 50 activities designed for children aged three to eight.

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TreeTops

Operating high ropes courses and tree-top adventures (including in gigantic inflatable balls!) across New South Wales, TreeTops offer a fantastic array of adventures for people of all ages, from flying foxes to climbing nets and monkey bridges to the fastest rollercoaster ziplines in the world. These eco-friendly adventure activities are great for fitness, exhilarating to attempt and gentle on the environment. Check out all their locations and certified activities here. 

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Jungle Adventures Cape Tribulation

This business has specially developed its ziplining platforms with best practise in mind, creating these without the use of nails and attaching them to trees with a non-intrusive friction system that holds the platforms to the outside of the trees. A two-hour ziplining tour with Jungle Adventures Cape Tribulation starts off with the world’s first human hamster wheel cable lift to get you up into the canopy, where you can glide over the rainforest with views of the Great Barrier Reef. This is a great way to experience some of the best of Australian ziplining.

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Jungle Tours and Trekking

If you’re looking for a diverse day out, Jungle Tours and Trekking take visitors from Cairns or Port Douglas on their Go Jungle Surfing day tour,  which includes Port Douglas Wildlife Habitat reserve, a tropical lunch, ziplining with the previously mentioned Jungle Adventures Cape Tribulation, and a dinner-time cruise along the Daintree river. Now that’s a fun day out!

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Enchanted Adventure Garden and Treesurfing

Situated in the beautiful hinterland of Arthurs Seat in Victoria, Enchanted Adventure Garden and Tree Surfing has high ropes courses and ziplines for all ages from four years and up. With the tree surfing nippers adventure course designed for children ages four to 12, with three levels of challenge for them to tackle, and the tree surfing grand designed for visitors over 12, with over 50 aerial obstacles and five ziplines, there is no shortage of challenge and fun for your family to overcome any fear of heights and enjoy a great day out.

High ropes courses and ziplining are a great way to experience some of the best of Australian tourism without disturbing the natural environment. All of the above are Ecotourism Australia certified companies that are leading the way in sustainable, adventurous high-flying experiences.

For more adventure inspiration, check out our Green Travel Guide.

 

[All photos retrieved from operator websites and social media. Header image: TreeTop Challenge] 

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) Awards Hotels through the National Sustainable Tourism Certification (NSTC)

Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority (SLTDA) initiated the National Sustainable Tourism Certification (NSTC) as the first step towards making Sri Lanka’s tourism industry sustainable with the technical and financial assistance from UNDP Biodiversity Finance Initiative (BIOFIN). As part of the process, hotels were awarded for their sustainable practices on 5th August 2019 at Ape Game, […]

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ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA & THE UNIVERSITY OF QUEENSLAND PHD SCHOLARSHIPS

A unique opportunity exists to undertake research on best practice ecotourism management and help shape the future of this growing industry.

Background

In November 2018, Ecotourism Australia (EA) signed a partnership agreement with The University of Queensland (UQ), in order to encourage collaboration to better understand ecotourism and improve its outcomes for communities and EA members. This agreement arose from an increased awareness of global sustainability issues, ongoing growth in the sector and a need to address management challenges with evidence-based decision-making.

PhD Scholarships

Four (4) PhD scholarships have just been announced, offered by UQ in partnership with EA, to encourage research into the continual development of best practice management of ecotourism. Supervision will be provided by UQ academics with input from Ecotourism Australia experts.

Scholarship value

The scholarship offers a living stipend of $27,596 per annum. It also includes tuition fees and, for successful international applicants, Overseas Student Health Cover.

Eligibility

Of the four (4) scholarships currently available, three (3) are available to Australian Citizens, Australian Permanent Residents and New Zealand citizens and the other is available to an international or domestic student. Prospective students are invited to apply for one, or even all, of the projects advertised. Consideration will be given to Australian domestic students and international students. Each successful student will work on one of the projects below.

Find out more about the scholarships.

Find out more about eligibility requirements.

AUGUST ADVENTURES: MOUNTAIN BIKING

With the cool winter weather around the country, now is a great time to get out for some adventurous activities to warm you up. This week we are looking into certified mountain biking tour operators around the country who will have you up and riding like a professional off-road mountain biker in no time!

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Photo: Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre, NSW

Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre – NSW

Starting off in New South Wales, the Barrington Outdoor Adventure Centre is Ecotourism certified and hosts activities in and around The Steps Barrington Campground. Guests to the campground can access the bike park for free while day trippers will have to book ahead for a $5 entry fee. The Barrington bike park consists of a 3.5km cross country loop suitable for all skill levels, a pump track for a hard uphill ride and a dedicated mountain biking obstacle course dubbed the playground. Be sure to bring your own bike or find a rental from a local store before heading out to the bike park for a day of family mountain biking fun.

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Photo: K7 Adventures

K7 Adventures – NSW

While not operating mountain biking during the winter months due to the snowy change in conditions, we thought it was worth mentioning Advanced Ecotourism certified K7 Adventures and their cross-country mountain biking tours, as these can take you into some of the most remote and stunning areas of the Thredbo Mountain Range. With options for a half day, full day or multi day cross country mountain biking adventure with various options for different skill levels, it’s worth remembering this one for the summer season!

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Photo: Walkabout Creek Adventures

Walkabout Creek Adventures – QLD

Situated just 20 minutes from the Brisbane CBD, Walkabout Creek Adventures run three Nature certified mountain biking tours around the Enoggera Reservoir within the D’Aguilar National Park. Walkabout Creek Adventures has tours for every level of experience, ranging from short one-hour long beginner trails around the reservoir to two-and-a-half-hour trail tours for intermediate riders that show off the stunning scenery of the national park. Daily biking skills courses at 11am ensure even beginner riders are able to learn the skills they need for a day out mountain biking. Walkabout Creek Adventures can also provide bike hire and equipment if necessary.

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Photo: Southern Exposure

Southern Exposure – VIC

If you’re down in Victoria and looking for an adventurous tour activity to warm you up, Southern Exposure offers three different Ecotourism certified guided mountain biking tours. Outfitted with high quality biking equipment, mountain biking tours range from a two-hour single track to a full day exploration throughout the Otway Ranges and the trails surrounding Lake Elizabeth to the Yaugher Trail Head, Red Carpet and the Roller Coaster. Throughout your tours with Southern Exposure you will not only get a great workout but learn about mountain biking techniques and the environmental impact of mountain biking from industry experts.

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Photo: Surf n’ Dirt Adventure Tours Margaret River

Surf n’ Dirt Adventure Tours Margaret River – WA

If you’re seeking an adventurous day out in Western Australia, then you should consider Surf N’ Dirt Adventure Tours Margret River. This business runs combined mountain biking, kayaking and wine tasting tours, mountain biking through the Boranup Forest and kayaking along the Blackwood River before finishing up with a picnic lunch and a visit to the Arlewood Estate winery. Mountain biking gear and equipment are supplied, and each tour chooses their difficulty level prior to the tour’s commencement, so that visitors of any skill levels can make the most of the trip.

Planning on going mountain biking this winter season?
Tell us about it in the comments!

 

[Cover image: Surf n’ Dirt Adventure Tours Margaret River]

OUTBACK AUSSIE TOURS ACHIEVES CERTIFICATION

It all started with a 21-year-old, a dream, a camp oven, a billy and a troopy called Tilly. Alan Smith started operating in 1988 and Outback Aussies Tours (OAT) has come a long way since. Now a multi award-winning operator that has been successfully running for 30 years, OAT has just achieved Nature Tourism for their Longreach Explorer Cruise, Legendary Longreach and Winton Tour, Birdsville Desert Escape, Journey of the Gulf Savannah tour, Corner Country Explorer tour and Cape York and Torres Strait tour.

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Through their minimal impact focus and education about local flora, fauna and culture, the OAT team are ensuring the prosperity of the natural environment in which they operate and an authentic Australian experience for their guests. 

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Being Western Queenslander locals, owners Alan and Sue Smith and the Outback Aussie Tours team take immense delight in showcasing, interpreting, and sharing with visitors the natural and cultural features of the area of Australia’s outback they call home. With all guides attending the annual Savannah Guides School for training and best practice, guests can rest assured that they’re going to get an expert insight into this unique part of Australia.

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Benefitting the community is also essential to the OAT team, and products are sourced locally where possible – from purchasing produce from the local butcher and bakery to providing homemade baked goods to tour participants.

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Based in Queensland’s central outback town of Longreach, the team provide escorted, accommodated Australian outback tours and flexible short break packages from Longreach, Cairns and Brisbane to favourite outback Queensland destinations. Careful research, well-established contacts and a detailed local knowledge are the backbone of this touring operator. The company also specialises in coordinating Australian outback tours for incentives, special interest groups and events. 

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The team exude a boundless energy and enthusiasm for their home as they are able to share their passion for the bush with visitors from around the world. We are so happy to have Outback Aussie Tours on board and can’t wait to see where they go from here!

 

 

 

 

GSTC Board Member Dr. Ioannis Pappas at Moscow Urban Forum 2019

Dr. Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Board Member & Director for the Mediterranean Region, spoke at the Moscow Urban Forum 2019 in July. Dr. Pappas shared important developments in the travel industry’s shift to adhere to sustainability standards in the session “Attraction point. Tourism as a resource for the internal development of the city”. Moscow Urban […]

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KIIKSTART JOINS ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA BUSINESS COMMUNITY

Please join us in welcoming Kiikstart, our newest Business Member.

On a mission to develop businesses that are commercially viable, innovative and globally aware, Kiikstart is a boutique learning and business development service that focusses on working with the pacesetters, influencers and game changers of tomorrow who share their passion for sustainability.

Led by founder and director Ali Uren, Kiikstart uses a creative style of organisational development that helps individuals and organisations across the corporate, government, tourism and hospitality sectors navigate their way through the realities of doing business in today’s modern world.

Kiikstart does this not only through the design of strategies that will take their clients’ businesses to the next level, but also through tactics and measurable outcomes that will help them implement change in real time. As Uren says,

“The world is changing and it is our role, through working in a more hands on, modern way, [to ensure] that our clients have the best possible tactics and insights to make the best of opportunities and challenge.”

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Photo: Ali Uren, Kiikstart

Kiikstart works with businesses of all sizes and has made a genuine commitment to building skill and talent across regional and outback Australia. Among others, Kiikstart has worked with Innamincka Hotel in South Australia, which was recently awarded Ecotourism Certification.

Excited to join the ranks of Ecotourism Australia business members, Uren says that the business’ commitment to treading with care is shown in how she lives and works:

“Kiikstart is 100% off grid and personally I grow all my own eggs, meat, vegetables, water and sunshine. We have minimal food waste and zero carbon footprint.”

With values closely aligned with those of Ecotourism Australia, we are excited to welcome Kiikstart and look forward to the value they can bring to our members.

To find out for about Kiikstart, please visit their website.

To find out how your business can become an Ecotourism Australia Business Member, please visit our membership website.