What is Ecotourism Destination Certification?

Ecotourism Australia’s Ecotourism Destination Certification Program has been developed specifically for Australia’s iconic protected areas that provide significant opportunities for nature-based tourism and visitor experiences. 

These certified Ecotourism Destinations are committed to ensuring tourism delivers on its responsibility to the local community, the region’s visitor economy, the Park’s natural and cultural values, and sustainable development. 


Choosing to travel to a certified Ecotourism Destination:

ENGAGE: Support and engage with the local community—buy local produce and homemade goods, and support local businesses 

LEARN: Learn about the natural and cultural values of the Park and how you can be a more responsible traveller 

PROTECT: Leave no trace – protect the Park’s sensitive environment & wildlife 

RESPECT: Respect the local Indigenous Culture and support authentic experiences 

DISCOVER: Discover and explore the world’s best practice sustainable tourism destinations  

CONSERVE: Get involved with the protected area’s conservation initiatives  

EXPERIENCE: Immerse yourself in the iconic surrounds and find yourself captivated by the stories and experiences on offer. Choose tourism operators in and around the protected area that are committed to ecotourism best practice – demonstrated through ECO, ROC and Climate Action certification 

CONNECT: Connect with nature, and with like-minded travellers who, like you, travel consciously, and identify with the sense of place presented by the unique landscape 

What makes a Certified Ecotourism Destination?

A certified Ecotourism Destination means that the Protected Area Manager undertakes the following:

  • Adopts a universal commitment to sustainability, implemented through their tourism activities 
  • Engages with traditional owners and indigenous groups, to ensure a strong commitment to cultural education and protection is in place 
  • Maximises the economic benefits to the host community through job creation and support of local business 
  • Is committed to protecting and maintaining the integrity of the sensitive natural environment they manage, to ensure minimal impact by visitors  
  • Engages with local community groups and businesses in conservation initiatives 
  • Supports local businesses and services, and stock locally made goods in Visitor Information Centres and other retail outlets 
  • Staff have received training on sustainable tourism management 
  • Supports and works in partnership with tourism operators also adopting sustainable tourism best practice 
  • Works with the local community to consult on developments 
  • Engages with the local tourism industry to ensure a coordinated approach to destination development 

Image credits: 

Image 1 & 2 - Tourism Australia


For more information, browse our website and/or download our Ecotourism Destination Certification Essentials brochure.