As travel restrictions start to ease and the tourism industry looks ahead to how it will change in a post-COVID world, Ecotourism Australia is celebrating its 30th birthday with a shift in strategic direction and an accompanying suite of new logos.
The changes, three years in the making, are significant but are very timely for the organisation, says Ecotourism Australia Chair, Dr Claire Ellis.
“Thirty years ago, our founders imagined a world in which travel was for good – where environments were protected, cultures were preserved and communities were connected thanks to a shared purpose. They were thought leaders, status quo challengers and bold, big picture thinkers.
“Today, their dream is the reality of travel. Operators and destinations have embraced sustainability principles as the foundations for their businesses and communities. The travel industry has realised that quality certification drives business success and resilience. And travellers themselves demand more from the places they visit,” she said.
Dr Ellis also noted that the challenges of the past two years had allowed the organisation to pause, reflect and review its role in the industry.
“The impacts of natural disasters and climate change combined with the challenges of COVID-19 have made this societal shift in thinking become more pronounced than ever. Businesses that are well prepared and attuned will benefit from this consumer-driven change.
“We will continue to support our members and strengthen our globally-recognised certification programs, as we step forward to take a stronger role in connecting, championing, inspiring and informing world that values travel for good.”
These changes from Ecotourism Australia will be implemented over the coming months and include a continued strong focus on destinations, stronger strategic partnerships and increased member-only benefits and industry resources.
This refocus supports the announcement today of Coffs Harbour as the second ECO Certified Destination in Australia and builds on the strong partnership between WWF-Australia and Ecotourism Australia supporting fire affected regions, as well as the solid foundations provided by outgoing CEO Rod Hillman.
Claire Ellis said it is an exciting time for the organisation:
“At Ecotourism Australia, we’re reimagining what the future of sustainable tourism looks like. We’re further strengthening our bold dreams of 30 years ago with our vision to lead and inspire the world to travel for good.”