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

Finalists for Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge

HEALING SOLUTIONS FOR TOURISM CHALLENGE UNWTO received over 1,000 applications from over 100 countries for the Healing Solutions for Tourism Challenge, launched to identify the most disruptive startups, entrepreneurs and drive solutions to mitigate COVID-19’s impact on tourism. The selected shortlisted semi- finalists announced below: Finalists Healing for people: CleanScan /Chameleon  Welcome Back (Canada/USA) Outpost Healthy Destinations (Canada) SeeTrue (Israel) […]

ACROSS AUSTRALIA JOINS ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA BUSINESS COMMUNITY

Ecotourism Australia (EA) welcomes Across Australia as a Business Member. Across Australia is an inbound tour operator with 20 years’ experience. With a mission to give travellers the memories of a lifetime in Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, their tours are focused on tailormade travels that provide high quality experiences to their customers. 

Across Australia emu man

Credit: Across Australia / Facebook

Across Australia’s passionate team of travel enthusiasts loves the beautiful anad endless Australian landscape and works hard to create immersive trips to allow customers to discover unusual places. The company’s goal is to match every passenger’s budget, requirements and expectations, and because of their experience, consultants are able to offer their own expertise.

Across Australia cheese platter

Credit: Across Australia / Facebook

Going on a tour with Across Australia means joining a responsible travel tour with up to 30 passengers. The tour operator is committed to partnering with Australian suppliers and to offering eco experiences. Their tours are in alignment with the local ecosystem and inhabitants, and as a customer on one of Across Australia’s tours, you will be offered eco-friendly products such as ECO certified accommodation or attractions.

Across Australia Indigenous art

Credit: Across Australia / Facebook

Whether it’s the ‘Surrounded by Nature – Eco Self Drive’ or the ‘Australian Adventure’ Tour a traveller chooses, Across Australia offers their personalized attention in different languages and with around the clock assistance. Travellers need not worry about missing out on any of Australia’s greatest gems, as Across Australia cares about their customers throughout their whole travel journey.

Across Australia view

Credit: Across Australia / Facebook

For more information about Across Australia, check out their website.

 

[Cover image: Across Australia / Facebook]

The Red Sea Development Company identifies optimum location of overwater assets

To optimize the protection of the rich coral habitat and the local ecology, The Red Sea Development Company is deploying unique techniques in the field to safeguard the environment in line with its sustainable goals. The company is using hi-tech survey equipment and drones for mapping sites for over water assets to safeguard the environment, in line with its sustainable goals.The results ensure the careful integration of buildings within this existing environment.

MICROADVENTURES: WHEN SIZE DOESN’T MATTER.

 “A microadventure is an adventure that is short, simple, local, cheap – yet still fun, exciting, challenging, refreshing and rewarding.”

This is a quote from Alastair Humphrey, a British adventurer, author and keynote speaker, who developed the trend ‘microadventure.’ The idea of a microadventure is that it’s a movement to try to be in the moment – a form of mindfulness. A microadventure is easy, in front of our doorstep and we can do it today:

“As the world’s population becomes increasingly urbanised, busy, and stuck in front of a screen, microadventures offer a realistic escape to wilderness, simplicity and the great outdoors, without the need to ski to the South Pole or go live in a cabin in Patagonia. The appeal of microadventures is that they make adventure accessible to people who may have very little outdoor experience.”

We all know the feeling of needing a change. The everyday routine sits above us like a dark cloud and we ask ourselves: what can we do to flee this situation? We get stuck in daily routine, with our heads full of work issues or family related things. But we don’t have to wait or prepare for the perfect moment for an adventure. We can go outside and do it today.

Notepad Pixabay

Credit: Pixabay

Yes, we know the excuses that will come up right this second: The kids are too little for adventures, we have no appropriate equipment or no annual leave days left to use. Time has always been the biggest issue in making excuses to do things. But taking a microadventure does not have to be that hard.

The most important thing is to ask: What would a microadventure be for myself? There is no general rule on what to do that can be applied to everybody. Everyone has their own comfort zone with their own microadventure ideas. There can be ‘rules’ such as taking a time span of six hours for a microadventure or using no vehicles such as cars or planes, but in general, Alastair Humphrey recommends taking a small adventure in your close surroundings that doesn’t need a lot of time or money. Simply move outside of your own comfort zone and embrace the uncertainty.

Hike collective FB advent glamping microadventures

Credit: The Hike Collective

Saying this doesn’t signify that we should make a challenge out of a microadventure. There is no need to always go higher, for longer or to travel further away (especially at the moment, with COVID-19 restrictions still in place in many areas). Instead of constantly comparing ourselves to others’ adventures we should see what is important to and will benefit ourselves.

A first step to a microadventure could be to spend time outside during the night. We can leave the house as soon as the sun sets and go for a walk without any explicit goal. We simply walk and decide at each corner which turn to take. Preparing a meal on the camping stove outside could be a great end to a night walk. But microadventures can be all sorts of things. We can spend a night in a hammock, drive our bicycle instead of our car to the next town or help the farmer next door. We can climb a tree, sleep in our backyard or hike up the highest hill in our town. Let us sketch our view from our balcony or make our microadventure about ‘making a difference and leaving no trace,’ by going for a walk and picking up all the rubbish we find along the way. Alastair Humphrey offers some of his ideas online or we can mind map together with our families. Keep in mind that microadventures are about ‘firsts’ and also about doing regular things differently. Let us break our routines!

Bicycles pixabay 

Credit: Pixabay

Microadventures are fun when not everything is planned beforehand. Goals make us move and leave the house, but we should try and loosen them along the way and be prepared for spontaneous changes by simply embracing the way.

Adventure shouldn’t be dependent on a destination. Fleeing thousands of kilometers away by flying to the other end of the world will bring us right back to our doorstep eventually. But with microadventures we can transform our daily life in a sustainable, exciting and fun way.

Microadventures help us grow and teach us to live without constant stimulation. We can even go on our own and accept the silence on our own doorstep.

We all engaged in microadventures as children, but don’t let being an adult stop you from venturing out of your normality zone and exploring what surrounds you with fresh eyes.

Microadventures Back Country Bliss QLD Adventure River 10

Credit: Back Country Bliss Adventures

 

 

[Cover image: Pexels from Pixabay]

INTRODUCING AUSTRALIA’S NEW FRONTLINE ECOTOURISM RESEARCHERS

The Ecotourism Australia team had its first meeting last week with the new cohort of ecotourism PhD candidates from the University of Queensland, who have now begun their studies into some of the most pressing matters facing the industry.

Four students, hailing from a diverse set of backgrounds, were offered scholarships last year following an extensive and competitive selection process. The four PhD topics were collaboratively designed by The University of Queensland Business, Economics and Law faculty staff and Ecotourism Australia, taking into account the future needs of the industry as well as current challenges. The establishment of the PhD placements and securing of scholarship funds were made possible through a Memorandum of Understanding signed by both organisations at Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Conference in Townsville in 2018.

Regular updates about the progressing research will be provided through Ecotourism Australia’s communication channels over time. If you are interested in learning more or being involved, please contact Lina Cronin at [email protected].

Candidate profiles

Csilla phd cropped

Name: Csilla Demeter

Research topic: Transitioning to a Low Carbon Future

Professional/academic background: I hold a master’s degree in International Business and Economics from the University of West Hungary and a masters in Tourism, Hotel and Event Management from the University of Queensland. I held various positions in the hospitality and event industry. I worked as a casual academic tutoring across courses like Hospitality Small Business Enterprises; Tourism Policy and Planning; Managing Resources in Tourism, Hospitality and Events and Global Hospitality Operations at the University of Queensland.

Your favourite outdoor activity: ocean swimming, snorkelling

Your favourite ecotourism destination: Great Barrier Reef

Ximena in Tasmania phd 2

Name: Ana Ximena Alvis Gonzales

Research topic: Sustainable Tourism Destinations

Professional/academic background: I’ve worked in the field of tourism for more than 10 years in 3 countries. In Bolivia, I coordinated with communities, and the public and private sectors to implement best practices in sustainable eco-tourism. In Mexico, I supported the development of cultural tourism in indigenous communities with the goal of improving rural women’s livelihoods. In the USA, I supported CREST, an international NGO focused on promoting sustainable tourism.”

My academic background both at the graduate-level and undergraduate-level complements my professional experience. I completed a master’s degree in Sustainable Tourism from the Universidad de Cooperacion (UCI) in Costa Rica. In Bolivia, I completed a bachelor’s degree with a specialization in eco-tourism, with a focus on tourism design and customer service.

Your favourite outdoor activity: Bush hiking in all the green spaces that Queensland has to offer.

Your favourite ecotourism destination: Too many to count!! But my favourite so far is Whitsunday Island, Queensland.

Hieu nguyen phd 

 

Name: NGUYEN, Thi Hieu

Research topic: Overtourism in National Parks

Professional/academic background: Hieu possesses a Master of Environmental Management degree from the University of Queensland in 2015 and a Bachelor of Environmental Science (the major of Human Ecology) from Vietnam National University in 2008. Hieu has led a number of research designed to conserve natural resources, assess impact of development projects and to improve livelihoods of rural people, particularly ethnic minority/Indigenous peoples and women, whose livelihoods rely on the natural resources in Vietnam. These projects have applied the views of both environmental and social sciences to align the technical, legal, policy and management factors which are needed to address social environmental issues.

Your favourite outdoor activity: bush walking and trekking

Your favourite ecotourism destination: cultural and natural heritage sites

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Name: Sonya Underdahl

Research topic: Researching the social licence of conducting commercial tourism into National Parks

Professional/academic background: Ecoguide, National Parks, Environmental Sociologist, Tourism Resort Manager, and PhD Candidate.

Your favourite outdoor activity: I love swimming and snorkelling, walking through forests, eating Tim Tams with a coffee, and gardening, although the latter I am not great at!

My favourite ecotourism destination? Each has something different, something unique to offer, making a singular destination impossible to choose. However, with Covid-19 I am rediscovering the magic of the rainforest in my back yard – Springbrook National Park. It captured my heart when I was a young girl and continues to do so now.

 

 

[Header image: Port Douglas by gyuste17/Pixabay]