More ecotourism success for Douglas Shire



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Mossman Gorge Centre was announced as a winner in the Sustainable Top 100 Awards. Image: Supplied.
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The sustainability successes continue for Ecotourism Australia’s first ECO certified destination, the Douglas Shire, who have just taken home the Communities and Culture Award at the Sustainable Destination Awards in Europe.

And Tourism Port Douglas Daintree is celebrating the ecotourism success of the destination’s Mossman Gorge Centre after it was announced as a winner in the Sustainable Top 100 Awards.

The award was received in the Communities & Culture category for its sustainability efforts through innovation and good practices in tourism management.

The Port Douglas Daintree region was one of only two Australian destinations nominated for the Sustainable Top 100 Destinations Awards, which were contested by 29 countries.

A jury representing 12 international organisations announced the winners in the Nature, Communities & Culture, Best of Africa, Best of the Americas, Best of Asia-Pacific and Best of Europe categories.

The flagship award is the ITB Earth Award, recognising global leadership in combating climate change and environmental degradation.

The Sustainable Destination Awards are an opportunity for destinations to be showcased as ‘green leaders’ to the travel sector and media.

Their stories provide inspiration for destination managers, including, for example, how to involve local communities in tourism, and avoid over tourism problems in popular destinations.

Tara Bennett, chief executive officer of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, said being recognised at a global level was a great opportunity to bring the region’s sustainability story to the general public and inspire tourism operators to boost their sustainability offer.

“This Sustainable Destination Award is so timely, following closely on the announcement at the 27th Annual Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference in Cairns in December that the Port Douglas Daintree region had become the world’s first destination to be awarded Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination Certification,” Ms Bennett said.

“Achieving positive social, environmental and financial outcomes is key to ensuring nature and tourism can coexist.”

She said Tourism Port Douglas Daintree would continue to work with local businesses, community groups and locals residents to improve best practice and ways to support sustainable tourism growth.

Ecotourism Australia CEO Rod Hillman said: “Douglas Shire thoroughly deserves this international recognition of its sustainability efforts in an extremely competitive environment.”

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