Australian tourism companies face increasing pressure on their natural assets, so one wildlife tour operator is leading the way by turning a negative into a positive.
International award-winning tour operator Janine Duffy believes that being pro-active about endangered species and habitats is good for the environment, good for her clients and good for business.
“In Australia, most tourism operators rely on some aspect of the natural environment,” said Ms Duffy.
“As an industry we can’t hide our heads in the sand and hope environmental problems will go away,” she said.
“The natural environment is our bread-and-butter, we need it to make a living.”
“The tourism industry is sensitive to negative publicity, so at times when we should raise our collective voice, we don’t.”
“My company – Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours – bucks this trend.”
“We admit publicly, sadly, that wild koalas are declining, but we are determined to do something about it.”
“We started our own not for profit Koala Clancy Foundation to connect the travel community with landowners to plant trees.”
“The idea is so exciting and different that our upcoming launch on May 4th has attracted travel industry high flyers and celebrities – including Getaway Presenter Catriona Rowntree – who all want to do their bit to help our fluffy icon.”
“Having a positive, pro-active message addressing a known problem inspires travellers, travel agents, in fact everyone in travel.”
Ms Duffy said any travel company can do the same:
- Identify the environmental issues that concern your team/your clients. A staff meeting and/or a survey of clients is a quick way to do this and has the benefit of helping people to feel involved.
- Brainstorm with your team about solutions – coal-face staff can be a valuable source of knowledge and ideas.
- Start small, but do something asap! Don’t lose the momentum. An idea starts small then takes hold, refinements come and bigger ideas grow out of it.
- Don’t forget to publicise it to your clients. They want to know they are involved in something good.
To learn more and meet the industry leaders who are saving koalas, register to attend the launch party in Melbourne on Wednesday May 4th atwww.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au