Tony Charters receives key industry awards at Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 2016
Ecotourism Australia is very proud to announce and congratulate our longest-serving Board Member, Mr Tony Charters AM, on his recent industry awards.
Mr Charters received an Ecotourism Australia Honorary Life Membership award at the Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference 2016 held in Hobart, Tasmania last week. Tony has been an integral and founding member and Board Director of Ecotourism Australia continuously since its inception in 1991.
In addition, in recognition of Mr Charters’ sustained and significant contribution to ecotourism in Australia, he was also awarded the inaugural ‘Tony Charters AM’ medal for his dedication over the last 25 years.
Ecotourism Australia thanks and acknowledges Tony for his outstanding commitment to the ecotourism industry in Australia, and as the organiser of the annual Global Eco Conference.
“This is indeed a great privilege and I’m thrilled to receive these awards. The ecotourism industry in Australian has grown tremendously since it started in 1991 – and I’m honoured to have been a key part of the organisation’s and industry’s evolution and journey”, said Mr Charters.
Tony’s contribution to Australia’s, and the world’s, growing ecotourism industry have been significant. Some of his achievements include:
- Founding Director of Ecotourism Australia, ex President, ex Treasurer, 25 years as a Director
- AM - Member of the Order of Australia (General Division)
- Principal, Tony Charters and Associates
- Convenor, Global Eco Asia Pacific Conference
- Executive Director, Policy, Planning and Development, Tourism Queensland
- The International Ecotourism Society – Advisory Board Member
- Asian Ecotourism Network – Director
- World Travel and Tourism Council, Tourism for Tomorrow Awards, Finalist Judge
- Co-founder, Sustainable Economic Development for Regional Australia (SEGRA)
- Global Ecotourism Network – Director
- National Geographic - ITB - World Legacy Awards, Finalist Judge
He convened the first ECO Tourism Conference (incorporating the Global Classroom Conference) in September 1991, at the University of Queensland, Brisbane. The conference was organised by Travel Learn and The University of Queensland, and was attended by 130 delegates. A 303-page proceedings document was published by the Bureau of Tourism Research as an outcome of the conference, which led to the birth of Ecotourism Australia – which officially began as The Ecotourism Association of the Indo-Pacific Region in 1992.
In 1991 Mr Charters was elected Treasurer of The Ecotourism Association, and then President in 1994. In 1996 the original NEAP scheme – National Ecotourism Accreditation Program, was launched. Another key year was 2002, the International Year of Ecotourism, when the annual conference was held in Cairns and attended by 428 delegates from across 25 nations. Tony has also held the position of Vice President.
Today, the combined annual revenue of ECO certified members of Ecotourism Australia contributed over $1.2billion to the Australian economy.
These achievements can be largely attributed to Tony’s hard work over the years, and his continued dedication to the industry. Mr Charters’ company Tony Charters and Associates is based in Brisbane, Queensland, providing consulting services and expertise to tourism destinations and companies around the world.