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Tasmania sets its sights on becoming the world’s greenest tourist destination

August 14, 2014 Destination Global No Comments Email Email

More than 70 per cent of Tasmania’s entire lineup of tourism operators will today sign up for a new destination program aimed at positioning Tasmania as the world’s leading green destination.Untitled

This initiative has been developed in partnership with EarthCheck, the tourism and travel industry’s leading environmental management and certification program. The EarthCheck Evaluate program will assist 711 operators to measure and track their environmental and social performance against global standards and to deliver outstanding ecotourism and cultural experiences.

Operators will be able to use the Evaluate program to improve operational efficiency, reduce waste, and present and safe guard Tasmania’s rich heritage and natural environment.

The launch of the EarthCheck Evaluate program is the brainchild of the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) and comes just weeks after the Tasmanian government announced a bold new vision to unlock the state’s Wilderness and World Heritage Area and become the environmental tourism capital of the world.

Luke Martin, CEO of TICT, said Tasmania is the first state in Australia to recognise the need for a wholesale approach to sustainability; one that encompasses to the full swag of tourism operators, from hoteliers to wineries and boat tours.

“Tourism is worth $2.4 billion annually to the Tasmanian economy and employs 28,000 Tasmanians which makes it the second largest contributor to employment in the state,” said Mr Martin.

“In the past three years, visitation to Tasmania has increased by six percent, almost double the national average. However, the star performer has been nature-based tourism with a massive 31 percent jump (in three years), proof that first-hand eco-experiences in Tasmania’s UNESCO-listed reserves are what today’s travellers want.

“We need to create greater awareness of the range, quality and diversity of the natural experiences Tasmania has to offer. At the same time, we need to enhance and position Tasmania to compete more effectively with other global destinations for the tourism dollar.”

“Tasmania doesn’t just want to claim to be a sustainable destination. We want our operators to undergo transparent evaluation and be endorsed by a credible international organisation, which is why we turned to EarthCheck.

“Ultimately, we want all visitors to know that at every touch point they are travelling in one of the greatest, greenest destinations in the world, and that the people of this state are working hard to protect and sustain that.”

CEO and Founder of EarthCheck, Mr. Stewart Moore, said that with tourism contributing to five percent of the world’s GHG emissions, the industry had to face up to its responsibility to minimise the traveller’s environmental impact.

“In the new green economy there are now increasing expectations on large and small companies to deliver improved sustainability efforts. By evaluating operations against global standards, operators will be able to gauge and monitor their economic, social and environmental performance,” said Mr Moore.

Shannon Wells, Managing Director of Airlines of Tasmania (Par Avion), said “Tasmania is renowned for its vast and special places of extraordinary natural values including the internationally significant Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. At Par Avion we are privileged to fly our guests over the State’s most remote and rugged landscapes, historic penal settlements, beautiful islands and spectacular beaches known for their white sands and turquoise waters. We know that this privilege comes with the responsibility to look after these places for future generations, that is why we are supporting the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania’s Environmental Leaders Program, backed by the global sustainability science of EarthCheck”.

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