Tourism Trade Partners Support Sustainable & Responsible Travel

There is no doubt about the level of commitment and work involved in achieving ECO Tourism Certification.

The long-term thinking businesses who have built sustainable and responsible practices into their operations have long enjoyed the benefits of cost savings when using more sustainable energy, the efficiencies the ECO Certification process brings, the point of difference in the marketplace plus the reward that the business is leaving a positive legacy.

This commitment and ongoing investment into their businesses is increasingly also seen in income from savvy, ethically-minded consumers, a movement which has been led by tourism distribution partners who are recognizing and supporting ECO Certified operators as part of their corporate commitment to making change in our world.

Bundaberg Tourism, as the Regional Tourism Organisation for the Bundaberg region, is continually monitoring changing consumer and industry trends through extensive research, industry engagement, big data and the ongoing results seen through our destination marketing and visitor servicing activities.  This move towards sustainability across leisure tourism is one that has really gained momentum over the past few years, and is one the region wholeheartedly supports as we continue to show leadership in the eco and sustainability space.

Loni Hammond, Industry & Trade Development Executive for Bundaberg Tourism said, "Our tourism industry is built on the back of our region's abundance of natural resources, from our world heritage listed reef, our nesting turtles and the fertile soil that supports our internationally-recognised drink and produce industry.  Our entire community has long been committed to the preservation of our unique natural assets, and Bundaberg Tourism works closely with our operators and trade partners in our encouraging our visitors to minimise their impact during their time as our guests.

"We are excited to see the tourism trade industry's push to support sustainable operators, and have continued to develop trade resources that highlight our ECO certified operators, like our aptly named ‘Where Great Care Begins’ trade itinerary highlighting the ECO certified experiences in the Bundaberg, Southern Great Barrier Reef region to buyers around the world.”

Ecotourism Australia is recognized by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) as enabling trusted recognition and exposure for ECO certified tourism operators to tourism trade distributors around the world.

Elise Keenan, CEO of Eco Tourism Australia stated “We are seeing more travelers choosing nature-based experiences. With ecotourism activities, like seeing turtles at Mon Repos or the beauty of Lady Musgrave and Lady Elliott Islands being a primary drawcard for both domestic and international tourists to the region, it is increasingly important to operate sustainably in the environment we depend on”

Ecotourism Australia’s Green Travel Guide is the leading ECO Tourism Product publication promoting and supporting the ECO Certified operators from around Australia. The evolution of the guide from its original print form to the current comprehensive website is making sustainable tourism operators more accessible than ever.'

A number of other programs across tourism trade include:

-, the largest Online Travel Agent (OTA) in the world found that 73% of their platform users are more likely to book at a property that has sustainability practices in place has now made it easier for consumers to find properties that have sustainability practices in place with their ‘Travel Sustainable Badge’.

- HRS is a corporate hotel distribution platform who have developed a ‘Green Stay’ gives hotels a seamless and transparent avenue to share performance metrics on energy, water, and waste, as well as enabling booking corporations to steer bookings to hotels that are aligned with their own sustainable goals and values.

- Hotelbeds, a worldwide B2B distribution partner, 'Green Hotels’ initiative identifies, highlights, and promotes sustainable accommodation within its hotel portfolio. Over 15,000 properties will now be easily identifiable to the more than 60,000 travel trade client partners of Hotelbeds and Bedsonline– via this new green filter that will include details of certifications.

- The Australian Tourism Data Warehouse (ATDW), Australia's national platform for digital tourism data now includes ECO Certification under accreditations in operator listings.

- The Australian Tourism Export Council’s (ATEC) ‘Trade Ready Checklist’ also includes a question about ECO certification, so buyers can easily identify any suppliers that are ECO certified.

Both ATDW & ATEC work with Ecotourism Australia to verify operator's certification status.

We look forward to what the coming years will bring for our incredible region.