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


Ecotourism Australia certified operators took home more gold awards than any state at Friday night’s Qantas Australian Tourism Awards in Canberra.

Winning almost one quarter of all awards, including over a third of gold awards, 8% of silver awards and 28% of bronze awards, these successes once again provide undisputable proof of the high calibre of ecotourism businesses across the country.

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Rod Hillman, said that these results are impressive, especially considering ecotourism operators are not even eligible for all of the awards categories.

“We see these results year on year from our operators and it’s just great to see that these businesses continue to be recognised on a national scale.

“All of them are 100% committed to not only offering outstanding visitor experiences, but also conducting their business in a way that protects people and planet for generations to come.

These are true movers and shakers in our industry, and we applaud them for their successes.”

Ecotourism and Respecting our Culture (ROC) certified Nitmiluk Tours and Cicada Lodge, who took home a record four awards on the night, three of them gold, are proud of what this means for their region’s Traditional Owners, and for the recognition of Australia’s Indigenous cultural heritage.

“The success of Nitmiluk and Cicada Lodge is based on strong relationships and partnerships within the NT and interstate – Ecotourism Australia being one of them,” said Nitmiluk’s Chief Operating Officer, Sveva Falletto.

“We are thankful to our team members [and] our board and we share these awards with all our partners. It’s a team effort.”

The Qantas Australian Tourism Awards were held at the National Convention Centre in Canberra on Friday night, 6 March.

Ecotourism Australia certified operators made up close to a fifth of all finalists on the night, with those awarded representing the Northern Territory, South Australia, Queensland, Victoria, Tasmania and Western Australia.


For questions and comments, please contact:

Lina Cronin – Communications Manager / [email protected] or 07 32566777


Ecotourism Australia certified winners – Qantas Australian Tourism Awards 2019


Adventure Bay Charters

Bronze – Adventure Tourism

Calypso Star Charters

Gold – Tourist Attractions

Cobbold Gorge

Bronze – Tourist Attractions

Habitat Noosa

Gold – New Tourism Business

Kimberley Quest

Gold – Tour and Transport Operators

Lady Elliot Island

Silver – Ecotourism

Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park

Bronze – Ecotourism

Nitmiluk Tours

Bronze – Major Tourist Attractions

Nitmiluk Tours

Gold – Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Nitmiluk Tours (Cicada Lodge)

Gold – Tourism Restaurants and Catering Services

Nitmiluk Tours (Cicada Lodge)

Gold – Luxury Accommodation

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys

Bronze – Major Tour and Transport Operators

Rainforestation Nature Park

Bronze – Qantas Award for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism

Red Cat Adventures

Gold – Major Tour and Transport Operators

Red Cat Adventures

Silver – Adventure Tourism

Roaring 40s Kayaking

Gold – Adventure Tourism

Tasman Venture

Bronze – Tour and Transport Operators

Venture North Australia

Gold – Cultural Tourism


GSTC Destination Criteria v2 – Now Available in Portuguese (Portugal)

The GSTC Destination Criteria v2 has been translated into Portuguese (Portugal/Africa) and is available to download in the Criteria Translations section. Os Critérios GSTC para a Destinos estão já traduzidos para português (Portugal/Africa) e disponíveis para descarga na secção Criteria Translations.

The post GSTC Destination Criteria v2 – Now Available in Portuguese (Portugal) appeared first on Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).


Our congratulations go out to Luxury Yachting on achieving Ecotourism Certification for their charter operations in the Whitsundays!  

The Hamilton Island based tour operator offers individually tailored sailing adventures. The owners, Lynne and John Boyce, share their deep knowledge of the Whitsunday Islands and will offer you an unforgettable experience surrounded by Queensland’s most prestigious nature.

Sydney Sundancer cockpit and foredeck for welcome article

You will spend your time onboard the Sydney Sundancer, Lynne and John’s magnificent 60 foot ‘floating home,’ lazing away in the tropical sun with a freshly made fruit punch in hand. There is a massive deck area from which guests can enjoy beautiful sunsets and spectacular meals. For day trips, the yacht is licensed to carry up to 50 passengers, but for the liveaboard expeditions that Lynne and John offer on the Great Barrier Reef, they limit the overnight guests to either four guests for cabin bookings or maximum eight guests for private charters. 

Sydney Sundancer aft deck looking forward for welcome article

While John ensures the yacht runs smoothly through the water, Lynne will surprise you with her cuisine. Lynne is a master chef (she’s even published a cookbook in response to decades of requests from guests!) and prepared to cater to everybody on board with the freshest local produce, while including every special dietary requirement.

You can trust John and Lynne’s experience: John’s perfected his navigation skills over 30 years and Lynne is a Master Reef Guide with extensive knowledge of the area, so they’re able to show you the most beautiful beaches and hidden gems of the remote outer reef.

DSC 6489 Luxury Yachting welcome articl

With sustainability high on the agenda, you’ll have access to reusable bags and water bottles on deck, and the Sydney Sundancer even has a SodaStream machine, so you don’t have to miss out on the little luxuries. The yacht sails, using wind power as nature intended, and renewable energy is used to power and run portable fridges and lights. 

Depending on how much time you have to spend on your luxury yacht, you will be able to explore uninhabited islands, go snorkelling, enjoy some kayaking or even have the chance to see whales. John and Lynne will tell you stories about the magnificent marine life around you, and ensure you have a wonderful experience, no matter the occasion.

Lunch at Cid Harbour 02 for welcome article

Once again, congratulations on this big achievement and welcome to Ecotourism Australia!

For further information, please visit their website.  




Survey on how the SDGs have been incorporated into tourism

The survey is conducted to glean the information from all around the world and from all the tourism sub-sectors. It will provide an overarching preview of the current situation of the carried-out activities on how the Sustainable Development Goals are incorporated into tourism. The results will pave the way towards consolidating the existing initiatives and […]


Pico Play brings half a century of expertise to creating themed experiences, providing clients with bespoke concept, designing and planning solutions for a wide range of themed attraction and tourism and leisure destinations including theme parks, water parks, nature parks, aquariums, zoos, galleries and family entertainment centres.

Their talented team of attraction industry professionals provides the complete range of services for the planning, design and execution of project delivery.

The planning stage includes marketing studies, cost planning, economic planning, feasibility studies and intellectual property licensing agreements. The design stage focuses on master planning, concept design, storytelling and character design, design documentation and multimedia production. The execution involves strong project management, ride and show procurement, specialty themed fabrication, sculptures and props, themed signage, facades and show production.

Pico Play believe in the real magic of entertainment.

Currumbin Pico Play BM article

Their approach begins with creative and innovative visons, is driven by strong storytelling principles and robust technological integration enables them to provide memorable and engaging guest experiences. Pico Play work closely with clients to develop attractions and destinations that suit their unique environments and meet the demands of their target markets.

The strength of this global and award-winning company is inspired by the diversity of some 2,500 professionals working in 35 major cities worldwide and from the depth of understanding of different cultures and industry practices. Pico Play’s comprehensive services and unique talent for experiential design and storytelling have been keys to the success of major projects by world leading brands across cinema, television broadcasting and entertainment and animated TV series.

Pico recognises that ecotourism and wellness are growing categories, important for future tourism growth.

Bryce Holding Cup Pico Play BM article

We are happy to welcome Pico Play to our Ecotourism Australia family as a Business Member.

For more information, visit the Pico Play website or check them out on LinkedIn.

Interested in becoming an Ecotourism Australia Business Member? Find out more here.



The sustainability successes continue for Ecotourism Australia’s first ECO certified destination, the Douglas Shire, who have just taken home the Communities and Culture Award at the Sustainable Destination Awards in Europe. 

The accolade, which was announced overnight, recognises the Port Douglas and Daintree destination’s efforts in celebrating Indigenous experiences and creating local jobs through the Mossman Gorge Centre, an Ecotourism and Respecting our Culture certified business. 

Tara Bennett, CEO of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, said of the award: “We are delighted to see our destination celebrated on the global stage for its impressive achievements in sustainable tourism through collaboration and cultural sensitivity, as demonstrated by the Mossman Gorge Centre.

“I am very proud of the commitment that our private sector and local government make to sustainable tourism and I hope it inspires other destinations.”

Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman said, “Douglas Shire thoroughly deserves this international recognition of its sustainability efforts in an extremely competitive environment.”

The Sustainable Destination Awards, usually announced at ITB Berlin — the world’s largest travel trade show — are decided upon by a jury representing 12 international organisations. 

The awards are dedicated to recognising innovation and good practices in tourism management by islands, towns, regions and whole countries.

Awards categories include Nature, Communities and Culture, Best of Africa, Best of the Americas, Best of Asia-Pacific and Best of Europe. The flagship award is the ITB Earth Award, recognising global leadership in combatting climate change and environmental degradation.

Douglas Shire was awarded ECO Destination certification at the 2019 Global Eco Conference in Cairns, becoming the world’s first destination certified through this certification program.


For questions and comments, please contact Lina Cronin – Communications Manager

[email protected]; 07 3256 6422


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