The Queensland Government is investing up to $1 million in grants of up to $150,000 to councils and regional and local tourism organisations to support attainment of either Ecotourism Australia or EarthCheck destination-level certification.
Queensland tourism minister Stirling Hinchliffe said the destination certification would provide a wide range of benefits including improved sustainable practices, position destinations as low carbon and climate resilient, and be responsive to changing visitor needs.
“The Eco-certified Tourism Destination Program underpins our government’s vision to become a leader in sustainable tourism and will leverage the growth potential in nature-based tourism experiences to support good jobs and deliver better services.
“Most importantly, it supports actions to achieve a Climate Positive Olympics in 2032 and the target of net zero emissions by 2050.
Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive Officer Elissa Keenan commended the Queensland Government for its commitment to help more destinations become sustainable.
“We know visitors, now more than ever, are looking for sustainable tourism experiences,” Ms Keenan said.
Mr Stewart Moore, Chief Executive Officer, EarthCheck said: “Certification helps bring all your resources, efforts and data together to measure and track your destination’s health, promote continuous improvement and deliver better outcomes for your residents and visitors.”
Minister Hinchliffe said there was growing momentum around Australia for tourism destinations to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability.
“Port Douglas-Daintree was Australia’s first location to obtain ECO Destination certification and a number of other Queensland destinations including the Scenic Rim, Bundaberg, Cassowary Coast and Townsville are working through the process.”
Program applications will open on 18 August and close on Friday 7 October 2022. Successful applicants are expected to be announced in late 2022.
For further information please visit the Department of Tourism, Innovation and Sport website at www.dtis.qld.gov.au.