The Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience is the first tourism operator in Australia to achieve sustainability certification for tourism through Ecotourism Australia’s new Sustainable Tourism Certification.
The global standard certification assures guests that the visitor experience is backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainability and meets international best practice sustainability standards.
Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive Elissa Keenan said the Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience proved that it was not only nature tourism operators who are committed to responsible tourism practices.
“It is incredible to see this iconic industry leader make history in tourism sustainability and demonstrate that every tourism operator, running any visitor experience can put sustainability first in their operations,” Elissa said.
“All tourism businesses can implement and be recognised for their sustainability across the visitor economy,” she added.
The Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience was independently audited before being awarded certification and demonstrated in just six months how it aligned with the Sustainable Tourism Certification standard.
The certification process took into consideration how Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience reduced carbon emissions, supported biodiversity conservation, contributed to a circular economy, uplifted the local community, and delivered sustainability education on their tours.
Bundaberg Rum Marketing and Experience Manager Duncan Littler said the company are proud that their efforts had been recognised with this Australian-first certification.
“Operating a holistically sustainable tourism business is a real priority for us,” he said.
“We’re proud of the inroads we’ve made, including our new solar panel system to help us reach our target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030.”
“However, the job is far from done and we look forward to continuing to work with Ecotourism Australia and others to keep raising the bar for sustainable tourism.”
Bundaberg Region Mayor Jack Dempsey congratulated Bundaberg Rum on their achievement.
“This monumental feat will not only have a positive impact on the environment but will also support our local economy by boosting visitor numbers to the region,” he said.
Bundaberg Tourism CEO Katherine Reid said Bundaberg Rum Visitor Experience had a longstanding commitment to the region.
“Attaining Australia’s first Sustainable Tourism certification is a well-deserved recognition of the Visitor Experience’s history of respectful and innovative sustainable business practices, and their contribution to the region’s place as a true ECO Destination,” she said.
The wider Bundaberg region achieved ECO Destination Certification in January 2023, led by Bundaberg Regional Council in close collaboration with Bundaberg Tourism, Port Curtis Coral Coast Aboriginal Corporation, local tourism operators and destination stakeholders.
The Sustainable Tourism Certification enables all tourism operators across Australia to be recognised for their commitment to sustainability at global standard, just as nature-based operators have been able to do for more than two decades under Ecotourism Australia’s legacy ECO Certification program.