Tourism industry delegates from across the nation were treated to a showcase of the Bundaberg Region as part of this week’s Eco Think Destination Forum.
It’s the first time the region and Queensland has played host to the event, with sustainability the theme of the 2023 program.
Over three days more than 80 representatives from a wide range of organisations visited Mon Repos Turtle Centre, Macadamias Australia, undertook a Taribelang Bunda Cultural Tour and more as part of their visit.
Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive Elissa Keenan said the Bundaberg Region was chosen to host the forum after becoming the second certified ECO Destination in Queensland earlier this year.
“Back in January we announced Bundaberg as our latest Eco Destination, certified by global standards, so it was the perfect opportunity to come back to the region and bring the best destination managers from around the country right here,” she said.
“It is really important for us to bring an event like this to regional Australia and it is wonderful for us to be able to showcase an Eco Certified Destination.
“We have had the opportunity to go down to Mon Repos, an advanced eco-certified operator, and to have our industry representatives from other parts of Australia see this offering is really powerful.
“This forum is also about supporting local community and recognising local culture.
“It is about having the opportunity to do something unique, like go on a tour with a ranger to hear about the conservation efforts going on for the turtles and more.”
With the 2023 theme of “sustainability is a journey” Elissa said there were plenty of conversations had about what could be done in the future.
“It is about every region and operator really doing what they can do every day to make that positive change,” she said.
“The commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism is absolutely an obligation on us all.”
Cr Steve Cooper, who officially opened the event, said the Eco Think Destination Forum was a major coup for the region.
“It is absolutely fantastic to have visitors from all over the country seeing what we have on offer here in the Bundaberg Region,” he said.
“We have been a well-kept secret for a long time, but that secret is definitely out there now.
“With the latest achievement of becoming Eco Destination certified, this forum is another feather in the cap for our local community and tourism industry.”