ECO Destination Certification is a way for your tourism destination to receive official recognition for best environmental and professional practices.
Undertaking certification enhances the sustainability of your destination, focusing on product development. It encourages you to implement and maintain high standard practices that will help you, your staff and the community plan for the long term.
All ECO Destination certified members are listed on Ecotourism Australia’s website in the online Green Travel Guide and on Green Destination’s website.
Certification also offers networking opportunities with diverse industry stakeholders.
Ecotourism Australia has partnered with Green Destinations who is accredited by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) to create and implement the first ECO Destination Certification program throughout Australia, New Zealand and the South Pacific.
GSTC establishes and manages global sustainable standards, known as the GSTC Criteria.
Green Destinations is a non-profit foundation for sustainable tourism, leading a global partnership of organisations like Ecotourism Australia to run assessment and certification programs that meet the GSTC standard.
Becoming a Certified ECO Destination means being promoted globally and joining a global network of other like-minded destinations who meet regularly and have created their own network to discuss issues and explore opportunities: collection.greendestinations.org.
Once you reach Green Destinations Certified (Ecotourism) level of certification, you will also have the opportunity to be promoted on the GSTC Certified Sustainable Destinations map alongside other internationally recognised sustainable destinations.
Sustainable Destinations Top 100
By undertaking the certification process destinations have the opportunity to enter the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 and then the “Best of” Awards at ITB Berlin.
This is an optional component of the certification process in which a destination can nominate into the Top 100 awards program free of charge where they could be selected as one of the world’s top 100 sustainable destinations.
Then the next stage is to submit a success story to be considered as ‘best of’ a category, then the destination could be presented this award on stage at ITB Berlin —The world’s leading travel trade show.
Marketing and Promotion
- Free listing (with image, link to your website, contact details, fully searchable capabilities, and more) in Ecotourism Australia's online Green Travel Guide. Our Green Travel Guide is promoted regularly through Ecotourism Australia's web marketing streams, and at Australian Tourism Exchange to international buyers.
- Free linking of your destination to an interactive map on Ecotourism Australia's Green Travel Guide.
- Opportunity to upgrade to premium web listing options on Ecotourism Australia's Green Travel Guide.
- Free opportunities to feature in our monthly EcoBytes newsletter distributed to over 6,500 subscribers and followers.
- Increased social media exposure: Ecotourism Australia regularly features certified operators and destinations through social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) and reaches out to close to 13,000 followers, share with us so we can share for you!
- Ecotourism Australia features and refers to certified destinations and operators in Green Expos, trade events, media referrals and editorials. We also use our operators photos and footage in our own marketing material for additional promotional benefits.
- Ecotourism Australia regularly partners with major publications to offer members discounted advertising packages, making some marketing opportunities more accessible.
MEMBERSHIP WITH ECOTOURISM AUSTRALIA
- Full Membership with Ecotourism Australia included with all Certifications.
- Certified Members receive full voting rights at the Annual General Meeting.
- Certified Members may nominate and/or stand for election to the Board of Directors of Ecotourism Australia.
Australian tourism exchange
The Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE) is an annual business-to-business forum, aimed to bring businesses working in the tourism industry together. During this event tourism operators have the opportunity to promote their products directly to international tourism wholesalers and retailers. The ATE is a global event, attended by around 1,500 delegates every year, including roughly 500 tourism businesses and over 600 domestic and international Buyer delegates and media representatives.
Understanding that attendance at the ATE is not always achievable for small businesses, Ecotourism Australia attends the ATE on behalf of all its certified operators and destinations. While attending ATE, Ecotourism Australia aims to promote members' products and create connections, build meaningful partnerships and value enhancing relationships, and to broaden the reach of our certification programs.