The Queensland Government has funded a state-wide project to develop a pathway towards net zero emissions for the tourism industry before 2050. 

The project is being led by the Queensland Regional Tourism Network, a collaborative of the thirteen Regional Tourism Organisations across the state, supported in partnership with Tourism & Events Queensland, Queensland Tourism Industry Council and the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport. 

The project aligns to the Queensland Government commitment to a Climate Action Plan to reach 50% renewable energy use by 2030 and net zero emissions targets by 2050.  The tourism industry will play an important role in helping reach these targets both through destination and industry action and visitor education.

EarthCheck and Griffith University have been commissioned to undertake phase 1 of this three-stage project, providing a detailed understanding of the current carbon emissions of the tourism industry by industry sector and by region at a level of detail that allows the industry to map a roadmap to achieve net zero emissions before 2050.  The project will also identify operational actions and approaches that could be used to reduce the tourism industry’s footprint at a state and regional level.

Queensland Tourism Minister Stirling Hinchliffe said tourism was an important contributor to the Queensland economy.

“Queensland’s tourism industry is at the starters’ gate of two golden decades of opportunity before and after the 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games,” Mr Hinchliffe said.

“By working together as an industry and considering climate change in everything we do, we’re reinforcing Queensland’s place as a forward-thinking, world-leading visitor destination.

“Considering climate helps the industry meet changing visitor expectations for responsible travel now, while safeguarding Queensland’s stunning natural assets for future generations.”  

Environment Minister Meaghan Scanlon said the collaboration between tourism and government would play a key role in Queensland’s climate and economic blueprint: the Climate Action Plan.

“Together with efforts by the Palaszczuk Government, it’s industries like tourism that will help Queensland take action on climate change and support more jobs,” Minister Scanlon said.

“The Government has committed to making the 2032 Games carbon neutral and climate positive.      

“Our environment, our beaches, our national parks and natural attractions drive Queensland’s tourism, which is why industry and government are working to ensure they are protected for generations to come.

“We know that operators want to do their part on climate, and we have already seen plenty of tourism businesses put their hand up to participate in our successful EcoBiz program to reduce their emissions and drive down their utility bills.

“With all eyes of the world on Queensland ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games, this is our opportunity to create a thriving, leading climate-positive tourism industry.

“It’s the type of work that will build on our work to-date like the $2 billion renewable energy fund, the world’s longest network of electric vehicle chargers, our trailblazing Land Restoration Fund and Australia’s only publicly-owned renewable energy company.”

The Chair of the Queensland Regional Tourism Network, Mark Olsen highlighted the importance of the project at a regional level “Committing to climate action in tourism is of utmost importance for the resilience of the sector”. 

“This project, initiated by the Queensland Regional Tourism Network, will help us to map out a pathway towards net zero emissions for the Queensland tourism sector and work together to empower and support businesses across the state to work towards a climate positive tourism industry in Queensland.” he said.    

Bundaberg Tourism is proud to be a productive partner of the Queensland Tourism Climate Action Project, recognising the role tourism plays in a sustainable future “We all need to play a role in reaching net zero emissions both through destination and individual action. 

This project will work to understand our current footprint as a region and inspire collective action as an industry.” Said Katherine Reid, CEO, Bundaberg Tourism.

Businesses around the region have been invited to contribute their water, waste and energy data to the project, to help build the current footprint of the tourism industry of the Bundaberg Region.  Download the fact sheet here.