Ecotourism Australia Certified Businesses Reach $1.11B P/Year

EA Logo Hi Res

Last year Ecotourism Australia’s certified businesses combined annual revenue reached over a billion dollars for the first time. This year the total has reached $1.11B!

“This huge result demonstrates the resilience and growth potential of tour operators who focus on delivering quality products” said Rod Hillman, CEO of Ecotourism Australia. “The Ecotourism industry in Australia is making huge strides forward with a 6% growth in revenue over the past year”

  • The combined annual revenue of Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators rose by 6% in 2014/15 to $1.11B.
  • Using the Tourism Research Australia (TRA) multiplier of 1.9 shows the financial contribution of Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators in 2014/15 is $2.12B.
  • Victoria has shown the highest individual State increase with a staggering 23% growth in combined revenue during 2014/15 with the certified operators contributing revenue of nearly $160M for the year.
  • Queensland remains the engine room of ecotourism in Australia with a 7% increase in 2014/15 and a combined revenue of over $560M pouring into their economy from the hard work of their Ecotourism Australia certified operators.
  • NSW added solid growth of 14% generating close to $135M to their economy.
  • WA is steady in its contribution of $112M.
  • SA, Tasmania and NT struggled in a tough year with small reductions but still contributed over $150M to their economies.

“Australia’s ecotourism operators have focused on quality and yield” said Rod Hillman, CEO Ecotourism Australia, “This has been demonstrated by Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators making up 40% of the finalists at the 2014 Tourism Awards, a third of all winners at the awards and 20% of all sellers at the 2015 Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE). Not a bad effort by a group of 500 hundred of Australia’s best tour operators!”

The vast majority of ecotourism operators are based in regional centres creating sustainable jobs, development and a sense of pride within the community. Each and every Ecotourism Australia certified operator has committed to delivering quality tourism products, running a sustainable business and making direct contributions to the environment they work in and the community they live in.

Over a quarter of Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators have been certified continuously for longer than ten years, many fifteen years and more, clearly demonstrating the sustainability of our industry and the value they place in Ecotourism Australia’s certification.


Rod Hillman – 0427 279 414

T: +61 7 3252 1530 | F: +61 7 3257 0331 | E:
Office: 6/67 O’Connell Terrace, Bowen Hills QLD 4006

Congratulations To Peninsula Hot Springs

Congratulations to Peninsula Hot Springs on achieving Nature Tourism certification for their Natural Thermal Mineral Spring Baths that offer a great opportunity for guests to enjoy nature and relax.

Officially opened in 2005, Peninsula Hot Springs (PHS) is the first natural hot springs and day spa centre in Victoria, located just 90 minutes from Melbourne on the Mornington Peninsula. Natural thermal mineral waters flow into more than 30 pools, private baths and other bathing experiences from a geothermal aquifer 637 metres below the surface. Peninsula Hot Springs is a multi-award winning ecotourism attraction that sees more than 440,000 visitors per year. Entering the bathing area is like stepping into another world, a sanctuary where mind and body can relax in the beautiful natural surrounds.

Peninsula Hot Springs focuses on balancing the relationship between business and environment, incorporating sound environmental practices into every facet from initial construction through to daily management. They work towards the ultimate goal of developing an ecotourism facility which is recognised as a world leader in environmentally sound, minimal impact resort management. Well on their way to achieving this goal, they have introduced projects and policies for the protection and re-vegetation if their surrounding indigenous landscape, weed and pest management, protection of potential Aboriginal archaeological sites, waste, water and energy consumption.

Peninsula Hot Springs have also developed a climate change action policy through the engagement of an environmental consultant, which promises to educate guests on relevant environmental issues and climate change, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and mitigate their environmental impact, and sourcing local, sustainable produce and engaging sustainable service providers.

To find out more about Peninsula Hot Spring, please visit their website.

Tri State Safaris help bring a brighter future for Vinaka Fiji

Towards the end of last year, Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action certified Tri State Safaris started a campaign to collect second-hand eye glasses to donate to local people of the Yasawa Island of Fiji. Over the past five months, they have collected over 60 pairs of specs and handed over their first donation to Vinaka Fiji.

tristate fiji

Almost five months have passed since the couple decided to help. In a recent newsletter, Tri State Safaris reported about their achievements and thanked participants. They have managed to collect more than 60 pair of glasses, with numbers constantly growing. In February, owners Mick and Joanna met up with Elle, a representative of Vinaka Fijii, and handed over their first donations (pictured). Elle was positively overwhelmed by the generosity of Tri State Safaris and their extended community.

Tri State Safaris was established in 1992, running tours from Broken Hill to Broome. Owners, Mick and Joanne McCulkin, created the company out of the passion to share Australia’s Outback experience with like-minded adventurers. Whenever the couple is not busy with work, they enjoy travelling to Fiji’s Western Division, including Yasawa Island. It was during these trips that they came to realise a problem all too commonly encountered by locals; many had poor eye-sight and were unable to afford glasses.

Vinaka Fijii is a not-for-profit organisation that aims to improve the quality of life for people living in poverty. As part of the project, Vinaka Fiji agreed to fix, clean and fairly distribute glasses to Fijians in need.

In their newsletter Tri State Safaris claims that their mission is not over yet and they will continue to collect glasses throughout this year.

If you have any old reading glasses, prescription glasses or sunglasses, don’t leave them to collect dust. Help change a life and take the time to send them to Tri State Safaris at P.O. Box 867, Broken Hill, NSW, 2880.

Congratulations to Dolphin Swim Australia

Congratulations to Dolphin Swim Australia for achieving Ecotourism Certification for their innovative tours that offer dolphins the opportunity to swim with humans!

Situated at Nelson Bay NSW, north of Sydney, Dolphin Swim Australia (DSA) provides a once in a lifetime experience for guests to jump into the wild world of oceanic dolphins within the Port Stephens-Great Lakes Marine Park. The unique approach to wild dolphin swims incorporates innovative approach techniques never before seen in the industry, with the over-arching difference being that the dolphins choose to swim to with humans! The program has been subject to stringent monitoring and compliance operations to ensure that no harm comes to the dolphins, or any other marine life, or any guests.

The “swim with” experience offered by DSA took over four years to develop, with extensive in-house monitoring and research on the dolphin population, the development of an independent and ongoing monitoring and research project by dolphin expert, Dr Carol Scarpaci, from Victoria University, and in close collaboration with the Marine Park Authority NSW and the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Each of DSA’s certified tours take place on the vessel, Imagine, which avoids disturbance to marine-life with it’s low-level engine noise and shrouded propellers, and has been fitted with rope rigging between its two bows. Guests are harnessed to the rope and the “swim with” experience occurs if the wild dolphins decide to entertain themselves by swimming to the boat, bow-riding and investigating the humans.

DSA operates to a strict environmental management plan to protect the dolphins and other marine life, and the delicate ecosystem in which they operate. Through the stringent processes involved with the planning of DSA, they have become closely involved with wild dolphin research in collaboration with NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service and Victoria University, and their goal is to educate all guests on the dolphins they encounter, as well as the broader marine ecosystem and marine park environment.

Dolphin Swim Australia has achieved Ecotourism certification for their tours; Wild Dolphin Swim, and The Best Wild Dolphin Watch on Planet Earth. To find out more about them, or to explore availability, please visit their website.

Congratulations to Cumberland Yacht Charters

Congratulations to Cumberland Charter Yachts for achieving Ecotourism certification for their vessel hire, self-sail, and Skipper Yourself Holidays!

CCY Logo with TextLocated at Airlie Beach in the stunning Whitsundays, Cumberland Charter Yachts have been offering bareboading holidays for 30 years. Their longevity is testament of their dedication to tourism and commitment in providing outstanding vessels and excellent customer service, it is their mission to exceed their clients holiday expectations.

Guests have the opportunity to skipper their own bareboat around the wonderful Whitsunday Islands, Cumberland offers a modern fleet with something to suit everyone, including; sailing and power catamarans, sailing yachts and fly bridge motor cruisers in a range of sizes. Experience star filled nights in tranquil anchorages, visit secluded bays and explore rainforest covered Islands. Sail to the world famous Whitehaven Beach and snorkel the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reed Marine Park, all at your own pace!

Cumberland take care to protect the fragile reef environment through active participation in the Clean Seas initiative, Eyes and Ears reporting, COTS monitoring and the Eye on the Reef program. They ensure all guests are comfortable, confident and have ready access to all the information they may need on Marine Park rules, regulations and zoning, and responsible reef practices, as well as educational material on the Ngaro Reef Trail and cultural sites, island and reef habitats.

Their decision to become Eco accredited was not driven by economic gains but focus on educating their clients on travelling green. By opting for an ecotourism experience/holiday over a conventional tourism package guests are making a conscious decision to reduce their impact.

They are also actively involved with their community, regularly donating their time and raising funds for worthy local and national causes, community members and groups in need.

Find out more about Cumberland Yacht Charters here.

View their Green Travel Guide listing here.

Do You Have Second-Hand Glasses To Donate?

Advanced Ecotourism and Climate Action certified operator Tri State Safaris are collecting second-hand eye-glasses to donate to the people of the Yasawa Islands of Fiji.

Owner/Operators, Michael and Joanne McCulkin, travel often to Fiji’s Western Division, the archipelago where Yasawa Islands are situated. Through their travel experiences they have found that poor eye-sight is a common condition in the local people, and often those affected cannot afford glasses.

Michael and Joanne have decided to help. During 2015, Tri State Safari will be collecting donations of old, damaged and un-needed prescription or reading glasses from around Australia to deliver to the people of the Yasawas. By donating your old glasses, you can help make a difference to the lives of people who need them. Donated glasses are cleaned and repaired by experts who have volunteered their time to the cause.

Tri State Safaris is an multi-award winning tour operator, based at Broken Hill in NSW. They operate 4WD tours for small groups in Broken Hill and surrounding National Parks, the Simpson Desert, and the Kimberley.

Tri State Safaris invite anyone to send their donated glasses to their office in Broken Hill:
P.O. Box 867, Broken Hill, NSW 2880

They also encourage their guests to bring their second-hand glasses on their next tour. To find out more about their tours, visit their website.