Latest news and insights from various sources relating to UN Sustainable Development Goals.
The Évora Forum – A World for Travel takes the lead in sustainable actions for the travel industry
GSTC formally joins ISEAL as a community member
Request for Proposal : Consultancy Services for Preparation of a Strategy for Linking Tourism Sector and the Local Economic Development (LED) Targeting 4 Tourism Circuit in Tanzania Mainland
European Travel Commission publishes Handbook on Encouraging Sustainable Tourism Practices
Sustainable travel takes centre-stage at 2021 Business Travel Show
TDF and Seera Group partner to develop the first sustainable tourism project in Al Baha
MEDIA RELEASE: HOW CONSERVATION AND TOURISM ARE REBUILDING AUSTRALIA’S TOURISM SECTOR
Three of Australia’s bushfire-prone regions are joining the push to build Australia’s tourism sector back better using sustainability principles, thanks to funding from the World Wide Fund for Nature-Australia (WWF-Australia) and Ecotourism Australia’s internationally recognised ECO Destination Certification program.
The Great Ocean Road (VIC), Barrington Coast (NSW) and Bellingen Shire (NSW) are the three newest destinations to embark on the journey of certification, joining 18 other destinations around Australia.
Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman said it was a sign the industry was moving in the right direction.
“Australia’s destinations have been impacted by bushfires, COVID and a host of other natural disasters. To rebuild with a focus on the principles of sustainability will not only help these destinations to have long-term economic stability but ensure that any growth in the region is managed with the natural environment, community and culture at the core,” said Mr Hillman.
Each destination will be supported by WWF-Australia with a two-year $30,000 package that covers all costs to progress through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination program.
“Communities that rely on tourism are hurting, but we know when COVID restrictions ease there will be travellers who are hungry for sustainable tourism experiences. We hope this growing partnership with Ecotourism Australia will lead the charge in helping Australia’s nature-based tourism sector get back on its feet and support attractions that are good for people and nature,” said Dermot O’Gorman, CEO of WWF-Australia.
In Bellingen Shire, it’s the community itself which is driving positive change:
“The residents of the shire have given council a very clear mandate with respect to tourism,” said Michael Grieve, Manager of Economic and Business Development at Bellingen Shire Council.
“Bellingen Shire Council places a strong emphasis on tourism management as opposed to tourism marketing. It manages tourism in line with community ideals, which include celebration and protection of our natural environment, respect and acknowledgment for Gumbaynggirr Culture and preservation and recognition of our unique, diverse community and culture.”
For the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority, becoming a certified ECO Destination is providing a framework for the new destination management authority to protect, conserve and rehabilitate the region’s natural assets and also determine policy directions and infrastructure development for the future of the region.
“We decided to start the journey to become an ECO Destination as the process will support us to assess existing practices and develop a plan to achieve responsible tourism for the Great Ocean Road region,” said Jodie Sizer, Chief Executive Officer of the Great Ocean Road Coast and Parks Authority.
“We are eager to partner with Traditional Owners, local government, fellow land managers and the tourism sector to ensure the Great Ocean Road is a strong, well-managed destination – that offers high quality experiences while protecting the remarkable natural and cultural values of the region.”
For visitors, travelling within a certified ECO Destination provides reassurance that the region is backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high-quality nature-based tourism experiences.
“The Barrington Coast region is highly regarded for the quality and diversity of its natural areas and biodiversity values. A significant part of our visitors’ activity time is spent within a natural area or with a focus on the experiences these natural areas provide. We want to continue to build an environment in which ecotourism thrives, offering genuine and authentic ecotourism experiences,” said Sharon Bultitude, Destination Management Coordinator from Mid Coast Council (Barrington Coast).
It is in these immersive ecotourism experiences that conservation and tourism intertwine.
“For the last two years, we have been excited to work in close partnership with WWF-Australia, driving real positive change for our regions and showcasing how the conservation and tourism industries can collaborate for mutual benefit,” said Mr Hillman.
Media contact: Lina Cronin, Communications Manager: [email protected], 0422 325 488
ICAO Stocktaking event spotlights latest innovations for aviation decarbonization
LAY WASTE TO LANDFILL: CRUISE MAROOCHY ECO TOURS CANS PLASTIC BOTTLES
For many, landfill is a convenient and final waste management solution for materials that tend to hang around longer than we wish they would. But for some tourism operators, diverting waste from landfill was the only option for a sustainable future – and it meant getting creative. The waste series ‘Lay Waste to Landfill’ explores the outstanding innovations from our ECO certified operators who go above and beyond to turn their waste management systems into a force for good.
For Kate at Cruise Maroochy Eco Tours, cutting out plastic was a no-brainer. Kate has always felt that the sale of water from single-use plastic bottles was unnecessary, and as one of the owners of an Advanced Ecotourism certified and Hall of Fame member business, plastic water bottles completely go against her philosophy.
Cruise Maroochy Eco Tours’ prime location in the Sunshine Coast region of Queensland gives them incredible access to some of the state’s most captivating marine wildlife. Strategically timing their cruises to minimise their environmental impact, Cruise Maroochy’s educational journeys broaden their customers’ appreciation for the natural environment with in-depth commentary throughout each cruise.
As important as it was for Kate to remove the ever-present plastic water bottles from her business, the solution was not so straightforward. Her determination to find a material and design that was both practical and easily recyclable was a challenge, as Kate stated, “There are very real problems faced by the manufacturing & recycling industries of all glass, aluminium & plastic materials.” As her search continued, our recycling reality became all the more clear.
While glass is perceived to be one of the more easily recycled materials, its production can mean up to 33% more greenhouse gases are produced than when plastic is produced. Not only do its emissions and the immense energy needed for production outweigh the benefits, but Australia’s glass recycling system does not mean that old bottles will be created into new ones. The contamination of products means new bottles are discoloured and faulty. From a tourist’s perspective, the impracticality of carrying around a delicate, yet heavy, item makes the material unsuitable for replacing plastic bottles.
Finally, Kate landed on a suitable option. Using significantly less energy to produce and being one of the most recyclable materials, aluminium cans are now sold at Cruise Maroochy Eco Tours for guests who are without a water bottle of their own.
“Single-use plastics did not fit with our waste management policy, so we literally canned them,” Kate said.
“We also offer free pouring water available to all of our guests,” Kate added, however when visitors are left with the decision to buy water, they know they are treading lightly on the environment through Cruise Maroochy’s initiative.
Kate practices what she preaches throughout each of Cruise Maroochy’s educational Eco Tours, seeing an appreciation from her customers for her uncomplicated commitment to sustainability.
“Customers are quick to pick up on our authenticity and compliment us on this.”
Now, what she calls for is people to continue to educate themselves on the state of Australia’s recycling industry beyond a Cruise Maroochy Eco Tour, as she recognises a lack of awareness around how our waste is used after we throw it away to be dangerous. People pressure, she says, is driving intelligent companies to conduct valuable market research into what consumers value – and that’s wastes reduction.
“So, keep the pressure up people – always.”
Do you have a novel waste management solution that stands out amongst the rest? Let us know at [email protected] to be featured in our ‘Lay Waste to Landfill’ series.
All images courtesy of Cruise Maroochy Eco Tours