Douglas in top 100 Ecotourism destinations for second year


Victoria Stone-Meadows


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The Douglas Shire has been awarded a place in the prestigious 2019 Sustainable Destinations Top 100 list with the help of Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination Certification program.

This is the second year the region has made the list that promotes the top eco-destinations around the world and is one of only two destinations in Australia to make the cut.

Tara Bennett, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree Executive Officer, said the inclusion on the list is great for the region.

“Making the list two years in a row helps to strengthen the destinations’ sustainability message, giving us a competitive advantage over other destinations, particularly for high-value travellers who seek sustainable tourism experiences,” she said.

“With a growing concern for environmental protection globally, the Douglas Shire’s submission allows us to demonstrate what we are doing to improve the management of the destination and we hope to inspire other regions to follow our lead.”

All nominating destinations had to provide extensive evidence and be judged by an international team of experts.

Douglas Shire Deputy Mayor, Abigail Noli, said everyone can be proud of the efforts made to make the region as sustainable as possible.

“Being named in the Sustainable Destinations Top 100 has been a very positive experience for the Douglas Shire and has enhanced the destination’s sustainability credentials,” she said.

Ms Bennett said the submission to the list included a wide range of projects currently in place in the Douglas Shire including from private enterprise, Douglas Shire Council, management plans from government agencies and initiatives being undertaken by community groups.

“The submission criteria are aligned with the comprehensive Ecotourism Australia destination certification the region is currently progressing through,” she said.

“This will strengthen our credentials in the delivery of well managed sustainable tourism; a hot topic that is becoming a factor in decision making for discerning travellers.”

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Rod Hillman, said that it’s important for destinations claiming to be ‘green’ to be able to back up their claims.

“Our most recent membership survey showed that 73 per cent of our certified tourism operators feel that there is growing consumer demand for certified, sustainable travel experiences,” he said.

“For a visitor to enjoy a truly sustainable holiday, the entire destination needs to be involved, and leadership is needed at the highest level.”

See the rest of the destinations on the list on the Sustainable Destinations Website.

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