Media Release: Ecotourism Australia partners with TripAdvisor to launch GreenLeaders Programme down under
TripAdvisor®, the world’s largest travel website, yesterday announced plans to extend its successful TripAdvisor GreenLeaders™ programme into Australia. Ecotourism Australia has partnered in the development of the programme which aims to help travellers around the world plan greener trips by highlighting accommodation providers that engage in environmentally-friendly practices.
Congratulations to Riverlife and Fitzroy Island Turtle Education Center, who have recently received the Innovation in Tourism award from the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC).
The Innovation in Tourism award is designed for micro to medium sized tourism enterprises in Queensland, based on their developments and adaptation of innovative products, services and processes.
The University of Western Australia will be introducing a new course in 2015, Master of Ecotourism.
Ecotourism Australia’s 22nd Global Eco Conference will be held at the Sydney Olympic Park on 12 November 2014, the first day of the World Parks Congress (WPC).
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.