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

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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How a South Australian adventure tour company is offsetting their carbon in the local community

From 2016 to 2019, Calypso Star Charters, in South Australia’s Port Lincoln, was a carbon neutral tourism business. But when their carbon auditing and offsetting provider stopped offering carbon offset services in mid-2019, the company knew it was time to think outside the box.

With a clear personal investment in the local community – Calypso Star Charters is a family-run business – the idea arose to start a local environment fund. This fund would provide an opportunity for the company to invest the same amount as was previously put towards carbon offsetting schemes, many of them overseas, into local community projects instead.

“We didn’t know what to do, initially,” explained part-owner/operator Andrew Wright. “But then we thought, why aren’t we spending the money locally?”

From September 2019, the Calypso Star Charters Local Environment Fund has been receiving funds equal to the cost of former offsets (emissions are audited regularly, and the funds adjusted annually) and distribution has begun to local groups and projects that can demonstrate tangible environmental benefits.

Coast Care Group school project 2

Photo credit: Calypso Star Charters

One such project has been working with the local Lake Wangary Primary School and the Lower Eyre Coast Care Association to assist in revegetating Greenly Beach, 60km west of Port Lincoln. What began as a tree propagation day involving year 5, 6 and 7 students in 2019 will continue as a tree planting day in 2020, in line with World Environment Day.

Andrew said it’s been great seeing the younger generation actively engaged in environmental management programs and being able to pass on the importance of caring for nature.

A second project already completed thanks to the new fund is the installation of LED lighting at Port Lincoln’s local gymnastics club.

“My kids go to the club and I kept thinking – do these guys know how much money they could be saving if they switched to LED?” Andrew said. With the support of the South Australian RESS (Retailer Energy Efficient Scheme) and a $3,114 donation from the Calypso Star Charters Local Environment Fund, the change was made possible and it’s now anticipated the club could reduce its energy running costs for lighting by about 60%.

“That will save them about $4,000 a year,” Andrew explained.

Port Lincoln gym lights 1

Photo credit: Calypso Star Charters

So, what else is on the agenda for the Local Environment Fund?

Andrew told us that the it’s the newest project on the agenda that he’s most excited about: a composting solution that involves a former concrete mixer, a friend with a gardening business and leftover bait that previously got sent to landfill.

What will happen to the compost?

“Not sure yet – we’ll most likely sell it for beer money!” Andrew laughs.

One thing’s for sure – new ideas keep emerging from Calypso Star Charters, and with so many benefits flowing back into the local community, that’s definitely something we can all toast to.


For more news and updates on the Calypso Star Charters Local Environment Fund, visit the website.