“Today’s announcement, by GBRMPA, to disregard the needs of tourism, the community and the environment will have far reaching negative repercussions. The enormous political and commercial pressures applied to GBRMPA has triumphed over the enormous weight of scientific opinion and the long term sustainable tourism development for the Reef as a whole.” said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia today.

The ecotourism industry in Australia provides enormous benefits to the community and the economy by providing employment, (especially in regional areas), and a greater understanding of the beauty, complexity and joy that our natural and cultural world can provide. Decisions such as this send a clear message to our overseas and domestic visitors that Australia is not serious about protecting its ‘Natural Advantage’.

‘The Great Barrier reef has over six hundred licensed tour operators along its length and single decisions at one point on the reef have significant repercussions on the whole reef. Visitors have choices and if they see the government doesn’t value the reef then they will go elsewhere and put at risk the enormous benefits created by the ecotourism industry’ said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia
Australia invests significant effort and resources to encourage overseas visitors to Australia by promoting the unique wildlife, World Heritage sites and stunning landscapes. The Great Barrier Reef is a major drawcard of Tourism Australia’s push to highlight Australia’s ‘Natural Advantage’ and GBRMPA’s decision today significantly devalues this push.


Rod Hillman – 0427 279 414

Chinese New Year – FREE online training program

The Chinese market in Australia is growing at an exponential rate, so with the Chinese New Year being celebrated on the 31st of January it is vital that people working in the hospitality and tourism industries become familiar with this annual event.

Avana, a registered training organisation have created a 10 minute FREE online training program. This program has been designed to help get the Australian tourism industry ready for the Chinese New Year.

To complement the free online program, Avana have also produced a white paper on Chinese New Year with a few tips and cultural advice.

Please note that to access the online training you will need to use Google Chrome, Internet Explorer 9 or higher and Safari 5 or higher.

Blue Mountains Botanic Garden achieve Advanced Ecotourism certified

Congratulations to the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden for becoming Advanced Ecotourism certified.


The Blue Mountains Botanic Garden sits 1,000 metres above sea level in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. It is home to thousands of species of cool climate plants and is the highest botanic garden in Australia. The Garden includes the World Heritage Exhibition Centre; the Jungle Lodge; weddings; conferences, education; tours.

The Garden promotes sustainable gardening practices by developing garden themes that use low maintenance plant species and displays that use recycled landscaping materials where practical.  The Garden has solar panels on the Visitor Centre roof; collects its own rain water for irrigation and visitor use; has energy efficient hand dryers; has giant worm farms and compost piles for waste; prints marketing collateral on recycled paper; recycles waste; has interpretation on sustainable practices and; manages events in a sustainable manner.

The Jungle Lodge is accommodation set within the grounds of the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden and within the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. It is self-catering accommodation sleeping up to 10 people. It has spectacular views and is very peaceful. Guests are given a key to the Garden so that they are able to access it after hours and enjoy the beauty of the Garden to themselves.

Sorry-DayLoungeroom-at-duskBlue Mountains Botanic Garden

For more information about the Blue Mountains Botanic Garden, visit their website.

For more information about our Ecotourism certification program, visit our website.

T-QUAL launches the Q-Factor Campaign

T-QUAL Accreditation is celebrating the people and the passion that represent Australia’s symbol of tourism quality, the T-QUAL Tick, through its ‘Q-Factor’ campaign launched today. The campaign puts the spotlight on quality tourism by showcasing some of the unique personalities at the heart of the tourism industry.

The T-QUAL Tick helps consumers to make more informed choices by being able to readily identify Australia’s quality tourism products and services.

Tourism businesses that carry the T-QUAL Tick have undergone rigorous assessment to ensure they deliver a quality experience. These businesses are members of quality assurance schemes, such as ECO and ROC certification programs, that have met the requirements of T-QUAL Accreditation.

Some of Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators will be featured in the campaign:

Full media release available here.

The Enchanted Adventure Garden achieves Ecotourism Certification

Ecotourism CertifiedCongratulations to the Enchanted Adventure Garden for becoming Ecotourism certified.

The Enchanted Adventure Garden is an award winning natural attraction nestled in the beautiful hinterland of Arthurs Seat in the heart of the Mornington Peninsula, Victoria. From humble beginnings, the Enchanted Gardens have grown into a wonderland of family adventure with mazes, gardens and adventure activities that is designed to enliven the senses and challenge the mind.

A range of exciting activities for people of all ages is available within the park with thrilling Tree Surfing Courses, Tube Slides and Bushland obstacles. The Enchanted Adventure Garden encourage visitors to ‘tread lightly’ when visiting the  region and offer a comprehensive list of the actions they have taken to minimise their environmental footprint on their website.

enchanted maze3 enchanted maze4

For more information about the Enchanted Adventure Garden, visit their website.

For more information about our Ecotourism certification program, visit our website.

Lets promote tourism – not destroy it

Ecotourism Australia has joined Australia’s other peak tourism bodies expressing their concern over the dumping of 3.5 million cubic metres of dredge spoil in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park waters.

“Tourism is a major driver of the economy and is a stated pillar of the State’s development so all government actions should be to improve the visitor’s experience and protect the tourism asset’ said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia.

The Queensland Tourism Industry Council, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association and Dive Queensland have all been clear in stating their opposition to the method of disposal of the spoil from the Abbot point development and requesting that they do not issue a permit to allow this.

“At a time of challenge in the tourism industry GBRMPA has an opportunity to demonstrate its leadership and continue its excellent stewardship role it has delivered over many years. As guardians of the reef, we encourage GBRMPA to consider the long term benefits of a sustainable tourism industry when determining the outcome of this permit for disposal.” Said Rod Hillman – CEO of Ecotourism Australia

ENDS: For further information contact:

Rod Hillman, Chief Executive, M: 0427 279 414 or 0732 521 530