Twelve of Australia’s leading nature-based tourism businesses were inducted into Ecotourism Australia’s Hall of Fame last night, for being ECO certified for 20 years.
The awards were presented during the gala dinner of the Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference, held at Tjapukai Aboriginal Cultural Park, north of Cairns.
Induction into the Hall of Fame is an honour now bestowed upon 26 ecotourism businesses, the first of whom were entered into the Hall of Fame in 2018, 22 years after Ecotourism Australia’s certification program was fist launched as the National Ecotourism Accreditation Program (NEAP) – now ECO Certification.
Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman said that this year’s awardees were some of the leading ecotourism operators in the country, whose longevity and continued success in a rapidly changing industry was testament to their continued commitment to sustainable business practices and dedication to benefiting the communities and environments in which they operate.
“We are very proud to welcome these 12 operators into our Ecotourism Australia Hall of Fame. They are our nation’s true ecotourism innovators, and their leadership has paved the way for more responsible and sustainable tourism as we experience it today.
“In 1997, we had just eighteen operators certified under NEAP – the world’s first ecotourism accreditation program. Today we have close to 500.
“Our industry has come a long way, and operators like these continue to amaze and inspire us by how they run their businesses, the positive impact they have on their community and environment, the way they educate travellers and the ingenuity they continue to show in making our industry better.”
The Hall of Fame entrants for 2019 are:
- Billabong Sanctuary (QLD)
- Billy Tea Safaris (QLD)
- Cairns Adventure Group (QLD)
- Daintree Discovery Centre (QLD)
- Down Under Tours (Australia) (QLD)
- Everglades Eco Safaris (QLD)
- Grampians Personalised Tours & Adventures (VIC)
- Paperbark Camp (NSW)
- Tropic Wings Cairns Tours & Charters (QLD)
- Undara Experience (QLD)
- Far Out Adventures (NT)
- Yelverton Brook Eco Spa Retreat & Conservation Sanctuary (WA)