History has been made today in the far north Queensland Shire of Douglas, with the Port Douglas and Daintree destination becoming the first in the world to achieve Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination Certification.
The announcement was made during Ecotourism Australia’s annual Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference in Cairns, with the certificate presented to Douglas Shire Mayor, Julia Leu.
The shire, which first signed up for the certification program in 2018, has been working hard on the 100 criteria involved in the certification, of which it has met 80 to reach the ECO Certified Nature Destination level.
An onsite audit conducted last week by an international team of independent auditors assessed every aspect of the shire’s application in detail, including reviewing documentation, visiting key tourism sites and conducting interviews with council staff, community group representatives, service providers and the mayor herself.
Cr Leu said the ECO Destination Certification gave the region a big green tick of approval.
“Our vision is to become the world’s leading tropical visitor destination by delivering world-class sustainable tourism experiences,” she said.
“The ECO Destination certification, through its rigorous auditing process, gives us credibility, setting Douglas Shire and its unique natural experiences apart from everywhere else.
“By focusing on the sustainable interactions with nature, we hope to conserve our pristine environment for our tourism industry and for future generations to enjoy.”
Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination Certification program was created in partnership with Green Destinations, an international non-profit foundation for sustainable tourism whose standards are accredited and recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC).
[Cover photo: Tourism Port Douglas Daintree]