As of 2018, one third of Ecotourism Australia’s certified operators are Green Travel Leaders, which means they have been certified for 10 years or longer.  It’s proof that being sustainable goes beyond just being ‘green’– it’s also about positioning yourself to excel in an increasingly saturated industry.

For Ecotourism Australia’s longest-certified operators – 10 of which have this year been certified for 20 years or longer – being part of the Ecotourism Australia family means lots of different things:

“As proud ambassadors for environmentally responsible, ethical and sustainable tourism, our Advanced Ecotourism Certification, status as a Green Travel Leader and especially being one of only ten operators Australia-wide to have been certified for 20 years, is something our entire team is very proud of,” says Jan Claxton, Owner/Operator of Ocean Rafting, who achieved certification in 1998.

Ocean Rafting FB

Photo: Ocean Rafting [Facebook]

Craig Wickham, Managing Director of Advanced Ecotourism Certified Exceptional Kangaroo Island, says that being certified helps him stay strategically focused:

“In business you get so caught up with the everyday that the strategic stuff [like annually updating business, marketing, operational and environmental management plans to maintain certification] can get lost. I really appreciate having a team in our corner providing the drive and encouragement to get this stuff updated.”

Exceptional Kangaroo Island

Photo: Exceptional Kangaroo Island [Facebook]

Shane O’Reilly, Managing Director of O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat, agrees:

“ECO Certification informs our guests – and reminds ourselves – of what we are doing. However, certification also motivates us to strive further and achieve more in the sustainability space.”

OReillys Rainforest Retreat FB Ben Southall

Photo: O’Reilly’s Rainforest Retreat [Ben Southall]

In the Northern Territory, Gecko Canoeing and Trekking, who lead Advanced Ecotourism certified canoeing, kayaking and hiking experiences in the Katherine Region, Nitmiluk National Park and Kakadu National Park, consider their 20-year certification as a source of pride:

Gecko Canoeing and Trekking Jatbula Trail Nitmiluk Park by Peter Eve Monsoon Australia

Photo: Gecko Canoeing and Trekking [Peter Eve Monsoon Australia]

“Gecko Canoeing and Trekking takes pride in our Ecotourism Accreditation as it reinforces our goals of building the respect, knowledge and appreciation of the environment through direct interaction and experience when joining us on one of our wilderness touring experiences, explains Mick Jerram, Managing Director.

“Through these experiences we provide our guests with a unique opportunity to immerse themselves completely in a natural world which they leave ‘feeling a part of’ and understanding that our role in preserving its integrity is an important obligation in our lives.

“Thank you, Ecotourism Australia, for maintaining an important pathway to assist businesses to communicate their commitment to looking after the environment.”

To find out more about Ecotourism Australia’s Green Travel Leaders, check out the full list on the Green Travel  guide


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