Ecotourism Australia Up For Top Travel Award

As I’m writing from Australia at the moment and the country has just celebrated Australia Day, I thought I’d make today’s entry about this hot and dry but rather lovely land.

Australia has long been in touch with their eco side and have had eco lodges around long before the idea of ecotourism became trendy, and they are soon to be awarded for their efforts… maybe.

The World Tourism and Travel Council (WTTC) have just revealed Ecotourism Australia is one of three finalists for a coveted Tourism for Tomorrow Award in the conservation category. The Tourism for Tomorrow Awards showcase a selection of “the world’s leading examples in sustainable tourism development”

Ecotourism Australia encourages members of the travel industry go green through the world’s first Eco Certification Program.

The program offers guidelines to hoteliers, tour operators or anyone involved in the travel industry to help them deliver an authentic ecotourism experience. Awards are granted to those who comply with the environmentally, socially and economically sustainable standards outlined in the program.

The program is now being exported to the rest of the world as the International Ecotourism Standard.

One hundred and fifty applications were accepted from over forty countries for the four categories – conservation, destination, investor in people and global tourism business.

Other finalists in the four categories are:

Grootbos Nature Reserve, South Africa
Turtle Conservation Project, Sri Lanka

Blackstone Valley, USA
Rinjani Trek Ecotourism Programme, Indonesia
Town of Bouctouche, Canada

Fair Trade in Tourism, South Africa
RARE / La Ruta Moskitia, Honduras
Rainforest Expeditions, Peru

Scandic Hotels, Sweden & Global
Serena Hotels and Lodges, Kenya & Global
Six Senses Resorts & Spas, Thailand & Global

Winners will be announced on 21 April 2008 at the eighth Global Travel and Tourism Summit in Dubai.