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

GSTC Industry Criteria – Now Available in Portuguese (Portugal)

The GSTC Industry Criteria has been translated into Portuguese (Portugal) and is available to download in the Criteria Translations section. Os Critérios GSTC para a Indústria estão já traduzidos para português (Portugal) e disponíveis para descarga na secção Criteria Translations. O Congresso Anual do GSTC (GSTC2019), tem lugar de 4 a 7 de dezembro […]

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SANDYTOWN RIVER CRUISES ACHIEVES NATURE TOURISM CERTIFICATION

Relax aboard Sandytown River Cruise’s ‘Balonne Barroo Andoo’ and let their experienced guide, Brett Schweikert, take you on an unforgettable cruise down St George’s mighty Balonne River.

Born in St George, Brett started his career as a local mechanic before leaving to travel extensively throughout Australia and study environmental engineering at the University of Southern Queensland in Toowoomba. Eventually he succumbed to the magnetism of St George and the Balonne River, and returned to his old stomping ground in the hopes of finding a way to combine his passion for the environment, St George’s local culture and people, and his own laid-back lifestyle. And boy did he ever! 

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Now working as a well-informed local guide for Sandytown River Cruises, Brett operates a wide variety of river tours including a leisurely afternoon cruise and a full moon evening cruise.

On every tour he provides guests with succinct and informative commentary, teaching them about the beautiful Balonne river, its cultural aspects and the area’s local flora and fauna – which consists of over 230 species of birds, including pelicans, cockatoos and eagles!

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So why not pack some drinks and nibbles (it’s BYO!) and experience the beauty and tranquillity of a riverside cruise, with EA’s newest Nature Tourism certified operator. There’s so much to see and learn about this fascinating place in the outback!

“This is an enjoyable comfortable and surprisingly inexpensive way to. Brett, our well-informed local guide, left us with a much better understanding of this special place than we could have got anywhere else.”

– Delma (Guest).

 

For more information about Sandytown River Cruises, visit their website or Facebook page.

AUSTRALIA’S ALPINE REGION – A YEAR-ROUND MOUNTAIN WONDERLAND

Home to Kosciuszko National Park and our nation’s highest peak, Australia’s alpine region – which includes New South Wales’ Snowy Mountains and Victoria’s Alpine National Park – is a wonderland of rivers, mountains, ski fields, caves, and glacial lakes – offering spectacular scenery and warm hospitality all year round.

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Photo: Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures

If you’re a skier or snowboarder you’re probably familiar with hitting Perisher, Thredbo, Mt Hotham or Falls Creek’s slopes during those winter months, but why not elevate your next visit and let one of our passionate and professional certified operators take you on an unforgettable cross-country alpine adventure? No queues, no ski passes, no crowds, no waiting, just 100% action! Activities range from alpine photography and snow shoeing, to back country tours and avalanche courses.

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Photos: K7 Adventures and Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures

For those of you that aren’t a fan of the cold, during the warmer months you can also explore the region by bushwalking and hiking. In fact, many say it’s one of the best ways to see the unique landscape – with its awe-inspiring glacial lakes and rugged wilderness fully exposed.

With tours to accommodate all ages, skill levels and group sizes, our operators know exactly where all the best spots and hidden gems are, and their helpful guides are there to point them out to you. This way, you get to take in the amazing views and soak up the fresh alpine air, without the stress of getting lost or missing out on anything!

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Photos: Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures

And if two wheels are more your style, our operators also offer mountain biking tours for beginners right through to advanced riders. There are even caving, climbing and abseiling tours available for all you super adventurous people out there! And if you’re wanting to do something truly special, why not ride through the alpine wilderness on horseback, we’ve got operators for that, too!

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Photos: Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures and Reynella Rides

So, let our Snowy Mountains and Victorian High Country certified operators show you the ropes and give you the best, most unique alpine experience possible. To make things easier, we’ve put together a list for you:

If you want to not only explore but learn more about this beautiful part of the country, you can’t go past Gippsland High Country Tours – they’ve been offering guided nature tours and walking ecotours for 32 years, so you can bet your bottom dollar they know this area inside out! They’re also happy to share their favourite secret spots that other visitors would never find.

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Photo: Gippsland High Country Tours

K7 Adventures is a boutique eco-adventure tourism company specialising in tailored trips into the Snowy Mountains in any season of the year. Join them on a sunset snowshoe or ski tour, or enjoy an interpretative wildflower and ecology walk, or even a climb and abseil.

Open 365 days a year, Kosciuszko Thredbo Backcountry Adventures offer a number of awesome activities including skiing, snowboarding, mountain biking, hiking, backcountry tours and lots more!

With Reynella Rides you’ll experience the unsurpassed beauty of Kosciuszko National Park on horseback. You will visit majestic mountains, rolling plains, cool mountain streams, carpets of wildflowers and historic huts that are all part of the Snowy Mountains experience.

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Photo: Bogong Horseback Adventures

On the Victorian side, Bogong Horseback Adventures has been offering award-winning horse-riding tours for over 25 years, from two-hour trail rides to multi day packhorse tours. With a strong family history and connection to the land, Bogong Horseback Adventures is proud to maintain the good old Aussie tradition of sleeping in swags under the stars and sharing meals and stories around the campfire.

If that doesn’t sound like quite your style, save yourself hours of wasted travel time by spending a few nights right in the centre of all the action with the unique and environmentally sensitive Ecocrackenback. Located within the Crackenback region of the Snowy Mountains, comprising of 18 luxury “habitats,” Ecocrackenback offers great access to walking trails, trout fishing in the nearby Thredbo River, horse riding, skiing, snowboarding and mountain biking.

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Photo: Ecocrackenback

Speaking of trout fishing, while you’re in the area, make sure you stop by at Eucumbene Trout Farm in Rocky Plain. It’s a great place for a fun full-family outing, with trout fishing, farm tours and even a few highland cattle and alpacas to visit.

Oh, and if you happen to be flying in or out of Canberra, don’t miss the Australian National Botanic Gardens, either! It’s got the world’s most comprehensive display of living Australian native plants and there are lots of opportunities to grow your knowledge of our country’s fauna or simply just relax with a picnic on the beautiful green lawns.          

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Photo: Australian National Botanic Gardens

With so much to discover, don’t forget to pack your camera, folks! You’re going to want to remember it all and capture the spectacular 3600 views afforded by the country’s highest peaks.

 

For some more inspiration, check out our Green Travel Guide for further details on our ECO-certified operators, their experiences, tours, attractions and accommodation on offer.

 

WELCOMING OUR NEWEST BUSINESS MEMBER: SHIRE OF ASHBURTON

Passionate about helping people connect, the Shire of Ashburton is working hard to develop sustainable communities that are rich in business and tourism opportunities across the Pilbara, Western Australia (namely Onslow, Paraburdoo, Tom Price and Pannawonica).

One of the shire’s bigger focus areas is improving collaboration and communication with stakeholders and assisting operators with general tourism development. It does this by offering support, networking and promotional assistance, as well as actively working with operators to develop new tourism products that are not only good for individual businesses, but also compliment the local communities and the Pilbara region as a whole.

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Additionally, the shire offers workshops and learning tools to help keep the region’s operators informed on best practices and marketing trends – particularly digital marketing trends. It also encourages operators to join forces with one another, and to utilise the services provided by relevant organisations in the region – such as the Pilbara Tourism Association, the Chambers of Commerce and Pilbara Business Centre – in the hopes of creating stronger, more stable and resilient local economies.

The shire is committed to improving local business capacity in the region to ultimately make its communities more sustainable. We are happy to welcome the Shire of Ashburton to the Ecotourism Australia community as our newest Business Member.

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[Photos: Shire of Ashburton Facebook]

Sustainable travel: four smart ways to make a positive impact

#3 Stay in sustainable lodging Where you choose to sleep at night also plays a key role in being a green traveller. This part requires some legwork and research, however. “Hotel sustainability practices have grown tremendously in recent years, especially through certification programs that follow international best-practice standards,” Bray said. The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) […]

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Royal Caribbean announces 1,400 sustainable shore excursion options

Ahead of its 2020 goal, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. announced it now offers  1,400 sustainable tours are now available for booking. Offered by certified sustainable tour operators, these special tours are available across Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.’s (RCL) family of brands — including Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara — and are available around […]

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GSTC in Saudi Arabia: International Conference of the Semi-Arid Mountainous Environments in Asir Region

Along with speakers from more than 16 countries,  Dr. Ioannis Pappas, GSTC Board Member & Director for the Mediterranean Region, spoke at the 1st International Conference of the Semi-Arid Mountainous Environments in Asir Region The first International Conference of the Semi-Arid Mountainous Environments was held under the patronage of His Royal Highness Prince Turki bin […]

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