A welcome message to all Ecotourism Australia Certified Operators and Members from the new Chief Executive, Rod Hillman

I am very pleased and honoured to have been appointed as the Chief Executive of Ecotourism Australia and hope to build on the excellent work of my predecessor, Ms. Kym Cheatham, whilst implementing the solid direction of the Ecotourism Australia Board and its Chairman Mr. Cameron Kerr.

Rod_Photo1My experience includes substantial time as a Tour Operator, a Manager of Protected Areas and National Parks, a Chief Executive of similar organisations and as a previous Board Member and Deputy Chair of Ecotourism Australia. I am confident this experience has given me some understanding of the needs and challenges of you all and I’d welcome any feedback of where and how you feel Ecotourism Australia can continue its push forward.

The Ecotourism Industry faces many challenges at present including a high dollar, natural disasters, declining Government budgets and uncertain bookings. The research is clear that there is a definite ‘flight to quality’ where visitors want quality experiences supported by service, personal recommendations with an ease of booking. The Ecotourism Australia certification programs encourage a trust relationship between the Operator and the visitor where the traveller is assured of quality and performance. Building this alliance of quality products, providing benefits to members and building trust with the market will be my priority.

I look forward to working with you.

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