Congratulations to Pindan Tours & 4WD Training for achieving Advanced Ecotourism, ROC and Climate Action Business certification. Achieving all three accreditation types is a massive accomplishment and justly represents the outstanding work done by owner/operators Norman and Coralie Bee.
The recent decision by the federal government to abandon the T-QUAL accreditation program has caused confusion within the tourism industry, and in travellers. The decision has raised significant questioning within State and Local governments trying to ‘read’ the federal government’s intent. Is this just a dumping of the previous government’s program or a true stepping away from quality tourism certification programs?
Ecotourism Australia joins the tourism industry in welcoming the new members to the Board of Tourism Australia. Andrew Fairley, Anna Guillan and Tony South bring a diverse and strong set of skills, complemented by hands on and strategic experience, that will lead Tourism Australia as it moves forward within its new policy direction. We are particularly proud to see former Director of Ecotourism Australia, Andrew Fairley, with his wealth of experience in ecotourism, conservation, parks and resort management bringing his extensive knowledge, negotiating skills and depth of understanding to the Board. We congratulate all the new Board appointments and wish them well.
We have been advised that TQUAL will cease to operate as of COB 30th June 2014. The Government has advised that the tender process failed to produce an industry body considered suitable to deliver the program and as such it will cease immediately.
As they have advised us one hour before it comes into effect it is completely unreasonable for tour operators to enact any of their required actions, especially during a busy school holiday period. We advise you to just be aware at this stage whilst we work with the government to determine the future. This has been poorly handled where the Government has encouraged tour operators and certification organisations to invest in the TQUAL program for it all to be withdrawn with an hour’s notice.
Australia is now left with a void where tourism certification programs no longer have an agreed standard to assess their programs. Fortunately Ecotourism Australia has maintained its recognition by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) for our Eco-certification program that provides genuine reassurance for Eco-certified operators and customers who choose to travel with quality operators.
Ecotourism Australia, with the support of SA Arid Lands, held an ECO Certification workshop for Flinders Ranges and Outback region ecotourism operators (Wednesday 25th June in Port Augusta). The workshop was a great success - giving operators an opportunity to complete their application with face-to-face coaching and also providing information on how to meet the National Landscapes conservation criteria. South Australian Tourism Industry Council were also there on the day to lend a hand with the Business Management requirements of certification. We look forward to having these wonderful operators certified and working with them further on their sustainability journey!
Ecotourism Australia is very pleased to congratulate Tony as he has been awarded MEMBER (AM) IN THE GENERAL DIVISION OF THE ORDER OF AUSTRALIA “for significant service to the eco-tourism industry, particularly to nature-based recreation, and to environmental education and visitor programs.“
Congratulations to Yondah Beach House for achieving Ecotourism Certification.