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


Rod Hillman, CEO of Ecotourism Australia (EA), has announced his resignation today during the organisation’s Annual General Meeting (AGM), after almost nine years as its Chief Executive.

The Chair, Claire Ellis, and Board of Directors wish him all the best in his future work and thank him for the massive contribution he has made to Ecotourism Australia.
During his tenure, Rod significantly strengthened the organisation, introducing new programs, forging new partnerships and building up the organisation’s strong and professional team.

He leaves the organisation in a strong and secure financial position, having built a mutually beneficial partnership with the protected area management agencies around Australia and introduced the ECO Destinations program.

Rod also led the organisation’s transition to run its programs 100% online and further cemented the international and national recognition of the value and quality of Ecotourism Australia’s certification programs.

Despite the difficulties that COVID, and before that drought, bushfires and other natural disasters placed on Ecotourism Australia members, Rod continually led improvement and change, helping shift the organisation from being seen as a certification business to an organisation that leads and supports the industry to improve.

An example of this is the recent partnership with WWF-Australia, which uses the ECO Destination program to sustainably develop regions impacted by bushfires and help contribute to their resilience.
Ecotourism Australia Chair, Claire Ellis, said a testimony to Rod’s achievements was the ongoing strength of the organisation’s membership levels, with 50% of certified members having been certified for ten years or longer.

“Ecotourism Australia is currently undergoing a number of major changes,” Claire added.
“Ecotourism Australia’s new vision and strategic planning will allow us to deliver even greater value to our members and build on the solid platform Rod has created to provide the thought leadership the industry is seeking around sustainability – a current major global and domestic trend.

“While his drive and commitment to the role and the organisation will be missed, the Ecotourism Australia Board and staff wish him well, knowing he will continue to be a passionate supporter of Australia’s nature-based tourism industry,” she said.

Rod leaves the organisation in a strong position. The recruitment process for his replacement is starting immediately and an advert will appear on SEEK within the next few days.

The updated list of Ecotourism Australia Board members, as also voted during today’s AGM, is available here.




Ecotourism Australia welcomes its newest Business Member, Destination Marketing Store (DMS). Owned and directed by Charlotte Prouse with her business partner Carl Solomon, Destination Marketing Store (DMS) is a fully integrated marketing service that helps its clients to turn their business into the destination of choice. 

DMS Logo CharlotteCarl

DMS are serious about stand-out brands, extraordinary experiences and irresistible marketing. With over 20 years of experience working across the tourism, events, and marketing spectrum, DMS have honed their expertise and industry knowledge on helping businesses or destinations single out their point of difference and rise above the pack.

The team at DMS have a simple mission, to help their clients make their businesses or destinations the place people want to be. The experienced team can help businesses with extracting the best opportunities with a wide range of offerings in audit, benchmarking, brand development, destinations focused program – ‘Discover you own Backyard’, and customised service across the following areas:

  • Branding and positioning
  • Marketing strategy and campaigns
  • Destination planning
  • Experience and product design and development
  • Event development and delivery
  • Community engagement and education
  • Consultation and facilitation
  • Business coaching and capacity development

For more information about their service, visit here.

DMC Mudgee Campaign

The team at DMS understands sustainability is not just environmental but economic and socio-cultural as well. Developing a great destination brand strategy creates an important link in finding your competitive advantage for longevity. DMS offers free webinars to help tourism organisations and businesses to step up to the next level, sign up here for their newsletter on the latest updates. 

For more information, visit the Destination Marketing Store (DMS) website or follow them on LinkedIn and Facebook.


Little Fish Tourism Development Consulting is a boutique tourism product, training and experiences development consultancy based in the Whitsundays. Owned and directed by Crystal Lacey, who is passionate about environmental education and exceptional quality assurance, loves helping local tourism businesses.

With 15 years of experience in water tourism and administration, Little Fish is the go-to tourism and marine expert in the Whitsundays. The consultancy provides services that assist tourism businesses in managing their staff, products, guest experiences and auditing.

Little Fish understand giving guests the best experience creates lasting memories and referrals for their clients. Little Fish can help with a wide range of services including product enhancement and development, policies and procedures reviews, business framework audits, stakeholder connections and conducting professional staff training courses across the following areas:

  • Workplace health and safety
  • Marine education and training
  • Guide interpretation and immersive storytelling
  • CPR First Aid 

Little Fish also coordinate their clients to become a Master Reef Guides and be a part of bringing to life the mindboggling magic of the reef. Master Reef Guides are recognised as world-leading coral reef guides, sharing the wonders of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. For more about this, visit this website.

Little Fish Master Reef Guide

We are happy to welcome Little Fish Tourism Development Consulting to the Ecotourism Australia Business Community.

To find out more, visit the Little Fish Tourism Development Consulting website or check them out on their Facebook & Instagram pages.


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.



Net-Zero carbon emissions by 2050

To be able to serve the needs of the ten billion people expected to fly in 2050, at least 1.8 gigatons of carbon must be abated in that year. Moreover, the net zero commitment implies that a cumulative total of 21.2 gigatons of carbon will be abated between now and 2050.