Ecotourism Australia’s annual ECO Think Destination Forum kicks off tonight at the Bundaberg Region’s ECO Certified Mon Repos Turtle Centre, bringing together Australia’s leading destination management representatives.
The three-day event, focused on sustainable and ecotourism, will be held in Bundaberg from 28 to 30 March, with the theme ‘sustainability is a journey’.
The event will bring together representatives from a wide range of organisations across Australia and the Pacific to discuss best practice sustainable and ecotourism destination management and opportunities for continuous improvement.
Key speakers, including from Tourism Australia, Austrade, Accor Australia Pacific, the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse, regional tourism organisations and destination leaders will highlight the latest in global sustainability standards, changing market demands from travellers, best practice to inspire knowledge sharing, and discuss practical ideas for embedding sustainability in every region in Australia.
Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive Elissa Keenan said, as the peak body for sustainable and ecotourism in Australia and a global leader in Destination Certification, Ecotourism Australia was delighted to see such a calibre of speakers and variety of topics coming together for the ECO Think Destination forum.
“The regions participating in our ECO Destination Certification programs recognise the importance to have a strong commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism across the four pillars of sustainability; environmental, socio-economic, cultural and sustainable management,” Ms Keenan said.
Delegates travel for ECO Think Destination Forum
Some 80 delegates will attend the 2023 ECO Think Destination Forum.
More than half represent destination management organisations of regional and state tourism organisations and councils, and those representing a certified destination or region aspiring to achieve global standard certification.
State and Federal Government agencies, national parks agencies, tourism operators and tourism support services representatives will also be in attendance.
“We are pleased to bring this event to regional Australia and support Queensland and the Bundaberg region’s visitor economy.
“More than 40 per cent of attendees are travelling from interstate and more than 50 per cent are travelling intrastate to attend the forum and enjoy the region.
“Delegates will visit the Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Macadamias Australia, undertake the Taribelang Bunda Cultural Tour and of course the Bundaberg Rum Distillery Experience is also on the itinerary,” Ms Keenan said.
Councillor Steve Cooper, who will help to officially open the forum, said Bundaberg Regional Council was proud to host Ecotourism Australia’s 2023 ECO Think Destination Forum after becoming the second certified ECO Destination in Queensland.
“We welcome the opportunity to showcase our best practice sustainability initiatives to such a variety of delegates on a national stage,” Cr Cooper said.
“We invite all attendees to share in the variety of experiences and hospitality venues that our region has to offer.”
Bundaberg Tourism CEO Katherine Reid said the Bundaberg tourism industry continued to live out sustainability principles daily.
“Every day our tourism industry and our community here in the Bundaberg Region strive to make sustainable choices to protect our internationally significant natural assets for generations to come.
“We understand that without a healthy environment and connected community, tourism cannot exist.”
This event could not take place without the support of our partner, WWF-Australia, and event sponsors, Tourism and Events Queensland (Platinum Sponsor), Tourism Tribe (Gold Sponsor) and JMD Ross Insurance Brokers (Silver Sponsor).
Further information about the ECO THINK Destination Forum including the event program can be found here.
Ecotourism Australia’s Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard
Ecotourism Australia’s Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard is open to all tourism businesses and anyone who is part of the visitor economy.
This new program complements Ecotourism Australia’s existing certification products, and aligns to the global criteria. Find out more here.