Victoria’s Sustainability Awards a Must for Certified Operators

Finalist in last year’s Premier’s Sustainability Awards, Phillip Island Nature Parks, is urging other Ecotourism Australia certified tourism operators to enter this year’s awards program, saying “it’s a great opportunity to be recognised for this important work.”

Phillip Island Nature Parks, Victoria’s most visited tourist attraction, was a finalist in the Environmental Protection category for its work saving the Summerland Peninsula, home of the world famous Little Penguin colony.

“Being recognised by these prestigious awards as a major tourist attraction with a commitment to sustainability has been great for our 200 permanent staff, our Phillip Island community and our status as a national and international destination,” says Nicoleta Giurgiu, Sales & Marketing Manager, Phillip Island Nature Park.

“We invest a substantial amount of money on national and international promotion. These awards acknowledge our commitment to the safety and protection of the penguins that so many people from Australia and around the world come to see.”

awards penguinsIn the 1980’s, the future of the penguin population was uncertain. A housing estate on the peninsula presented many dangers to the colony. Little Penguins were being killed by cars, foxes, dogs and feral cats. Their habitat was being destroyed by houses, fire and weed invasion.

In conjunction with the State Government, the Penguin Protection Plan was developed and launched in 1985. This paper included a raft of measures to protect the Little Penguins and their habitat, including road closures, fox control and a buy back of the housing estate to reclaim the peninsula for the penguins. The program was completed in 2012 and the Summerland Peninsula is now protected.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards showcase organisations, institutions, businesses, community groups and individuals who demonstrate practical efforts to reduce their everyday environmental impact.

Entries are welcome in nine categories including Tourism and a new category for 2014, Cleaner Yarra and Bay.

CEO of Sustainability Victoria Stan Krpan said the awards are a great way to recognise and celebrate leadership in sustainability.

“The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are the most prestigious environmental awards in the state.”

“Finalists and winners receive valuable recognition from the Victorian government, their communities and customers. They can use their involvement in the program to demonstrate a genuine and practical commitment to sustainability and gain a competitive business advantage.”

This year the awards provide even more opportunities for recognition.  The categories are: Cleaner Yarra and Bay, Community, Education, Environmental Protection, Infrastructure and Buildings, Innovative Products or Services, Large Business, Small and Medium Enterprises, and Tourism.

The Premier’s Sustainability Awards are managed by Sustainability Victoria on behalf of the Victorian Government and the Premier of Victoria.

Entries close on Monday 2 June.

Visit for entry criteria and kits, queries and information sessions.

For media queries, contact: 
Catherine Newell, 0423 587 478,
Erin Reeve, 0437 309 891,

EA certified operators soar into Qantas Hall of Fame

The Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism was first launched in 2008, and each year since 2009, the national winners have all held Ecotourism Australia certification. To win the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism is an outstanding achievement. The award aims “to encourage sustainable growth and support tourism businesses that protect, enhance and promote our distinctive destinations and environment.”

Congratulations to Qantas Hall of Fame members:
Pennicott Wilderness Journeys (2012 National Winner)
Lane Cove River Tourist Park (2011 National Winner)
Crystal Creek Meadows Luxury Cottages & Spa Retreat (2010 Joint National Winner)
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (2010 Joint National Winner)
Skyrail Rainforest Cableway (2009 National Winner)

We’re proud of you!

For more information on the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism,
click here.

To find out more about our winning EA certified operators, click here.

Nominations OPEN for the NSW Tourism Awards 2013

NSW-Tourism-Awards-2013-LogoNominations for the 2013 New South Wales Tourism Awards are currently open. The NSW Minister for Tourism and Major Events, the Hon. George Souris, officially launched the 24th Annual New South Wales Tourism Awards in front of a packed Parliament House on the 25th March, 2013. Among those in attendance were the previous 2012 award winners, sponsors and several state MPs.

The New South Wales Tourism Awards stands to recognise Best Practice in tourism business by looking at 31 different categories which are judged by a panel of expert tourism professionals. The categories include; attractions, ecotourism, heritage, cultural and indigenous tourism, tour and/or transport operators, and accommodation types – just to name a few!

Last year, we were proud to see a number of our Ecotourism Australia certified operators take home awards:

Life’s an Adventure, Blue Mountains
– Silver Award, Tours and/or Transport Operators
– Silver Award, Ecotourism
– Silver Award, Adventure Tourism

Sydney Coast Walks, Cronulla
– Bronze Award, Ecotourism

Newly certified Jenolan Caves, Blue Mountains
– Gold Award, Ecotourism
– Gold Award, Adventure Tourism
– Silver Award, Tourist Attractions

Moonshadow Cruises, Nelsons Bay
– Gold Award, Major Tour and Transport Operators

Tri State Safaris, Broken Hill
– Gold Award, Tours and/or Transport Operators
– Hall of Fame recipient

TreeTop Adventure Park Wyong Creek
– Bronze Award, Adventure Tourism

Eldee Station, Silverton
– Silver Award, Hosted Accommodation

Somewhere Unique, Wollombi
– Gold Award, Unique Accommodation

Diamond Waters Treehouse Retreat, Laurieton
– Bronze Award, Unique Accommodation

Winners are highlighted for visitors as professional, trusted and benchmarked tourism operators. They are introduced to an influential and valuable network which opens doors to new business opportunities, and they receive unique marketing opportunities and increased brand awareness. We encourage our certified operators situated in NSW to nominate and apply for the 2013 awards.

Nominations close 2 August 2013.

The New South Wales Tourism awards are held by the New South Wales Tourism Industry Council.

For more information or to nominate or apply for the 2013 NSW Tourism Awards please click here.

Winners of the Qantas National Tourism Awards Announced

The 2012 Qantas National Tourism Awards were held last friday, 15 February 2013 and once again this year, the efforts of many of our certified operators have been recognised!


Congratulations to the following award winners for this great achievement!

Bruny Island Cruises , TAS – Tourist Attractions Award & Ecotourism Award Winner

Advanced Ecotourism–

Emaroo Port Hughes, SA – Deluxe Accommodation Award Winner

Nature Tourism –

Narnu Farm, SA – Standard Accommodation Award Winner

Climate Action Business –

Ocean Rafting, QLD – Tour and/or Transport Operators Award Winner

Advanced Ecotourism & Climate Action Innovator –

Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, TAS – Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Award Winner

Advanced Ecotourism –

The Maria Island Walk, TAS – Adventure Tourism Award Winner

Advanced Ecotourism & Climate Action Business –

Venture North Australia, NT – Heritage and Cultural Tourism Award Winner

Advanced Ecotourism & ROC –

YellowWater Cruises – Gagudju Lodge Cooinda, NT – Major Tour and/or Transport Operators Winner

Ecotourism –

Congratulations go out also to the operators who have won Silver and Bronze awards in diverse categories:

  • Eco Beach Broome, WA – Unique Accommodation Silver Award
  • Jacob’s Restaurant, Jacob’s Creek Visitor Centre, SA – Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services Bronze Award
  • Mutawintji Eco Tours/Tri State Safairs, NSW – Indigenous Tourism Silver Award
  • Ocean Rafting, QLD – Adventure Tourism Bronze Award
  • Out of Sights Tours, WA – Ecotourism Bronze Award
  • Quicksilver Group, QLD – Major Tour and/or Transport Operators Silver
  • Rawnsley Park Eco-Villas, SA – Unique Accommodation Bronze Award
  • Sinclair’s Gully, SA – Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism Silver Award
  • The Maria Island Walk, TAS – Tour and/or Transport Operators Bronze
  • Tri State Safari’s, NSW – Tour and/or Transport Operators Silver

To see a full list of the 2012 Award Winners please visit the website.

Certified Operators Walk Away Winners

The Australian state tourism awards held recently have announced Ecotourism Australia’s Certified operators as winners.

A big congratulations goes out to Quenten Agius and Aboriginal Cultural Tours and Sinclair’s Gully who were inducted into the SA Tourism Hall of Fame. Quenten Agius and Aboriginal Cultural Tours won the Indigenous Tourism  category for a third year in a row. Quenten also walked away with a Silver for Heritage and Cultural Tourism.

Sinclair’s Gully was inducted in to the SA Tourism Hall of Fame for receiving the Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism for a third year in a row. They also claimed the Ecotourism Award and received a gold medal for the Tourism Wineries, Distilleries and Boutique Breweries category.

See below for the full list of Ecotourism Australia’s Certified operators who won at the 2012 State Tourism Awards:

The Brolga Northern Territory Tourism Award Winners

RACV 2012 Victorian Tourism Awards

The NSW Tourism Awards

  • Indigenous Tourism – Mutawintji Eco Tours/Tri State Safaris Climate Action Leader & Advanced Ecotourism Certified
  • Major Tour and/or Transport Operators – Moonshadow Cruises Ecotourism Certified
  • Tour and/or Transport Operators – Tri State Safaris Climate Action Leader & Advanced Ecotourism Certified
  • Unique Accommodation – Somewhere UniqueClimate Action Innovator & Nature Tourism Certified 

The Queensland Tourism Awards

  • The Steve Irwin Award for Ecotourism – Wings Diving Adventures Advanced Ecotourism
  • Major Tour and/or Transport Operators – Quicksilver Group Climate Action Innovator & Advanced Ecotourism
  • Tour and/or Transport Operators – Ocean Rafting Climate Action Innovator & Advanced Ecotourism
  • Adventure Tourism – Ocean Rafting Climate Action Innovator & Advanced Ecotourism
  • Qantas Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism – Reef HQ Aquarium ROC, Climate Action Business & Advanced Ecotourism Certified
  • Health and Wellbeing Tourism – Gwinganna Lifestyle Retreat Ecotourism Certified

The South Australian Tourism Awards

The Tasmanian Tourism Awards

The WA Tourism Awards