Queensland Tourist Regions Supported to Achieve Globally Recognised ECO Destination Certification

by | Aug 9, 2022 | Article

Douglas Shire

Ecotourism Australia welcomes the announcement of the Eco-certified Tourism Destination Program by the Queensland Government Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport (QTIS) yesterday, providing up to $1 million in funding for local government areas to participate or expand their destination sustainability certification.

With funding available for two years, the program aims to make Queensland a leader in sustainable tourism through elevating nature-based tourism opportunities. Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination Certification program is well suited to realise the goals of the grant, contributing to the alignment of the state government’s vision to lead sustainable tourism and grow nature-based tourism experiences.

The ECO Destination Certification program, developed by sustainable tourism peak body, Ecotourism Australia, uses the international Green Destinations framework recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), to assess a destination across multiple criteria. Destinations are audited onsite by a verified, independent auditor before certification is awarded.

Port Douglas Daintree was the first region in Australia to achieve ECO Destination Certification and there now have four other regions going through their certification process – Scenic Rim, Bundaberg, Townsville and Cassowary Coast.

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Ms Elissa Keenan, said this is a never seen before opportunity for regional destinations in the state to secure financial support to help demonstrate their commitment in eco and sustainable tourism.

“The need for sustainable and eco-friendly tourism is growing at a pace never seen before in Australia. Travellers are now prioritising sustainable and responsible tourism products and are choosing to participate in nature-based experiences that enhance environmental appreciation.

“Through significant funding provided by the Queensland Government, local governments can use this to invest in sustainable tourism practices within the region.

“We commend the Queensland Government for this grant which enables new destinations looking to undertake their sustainability journey to join the program, and for destinations already undertaking their certification to apply for support to help them complete the program,” Ms Keenan said.

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