The Eco Certification Program has been developed by industry for industry, addressing the need to identify genuine ecotourism and nature tourism operators in Australia. The program is a world first and is now being exported to the rest of the world as the International Ecotourism Standard.
Under the Eco Certification Program, Ecotourism is defined as:
Ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.
Ecotourism certification provides industry, protected area managers, local communities and travellers with an assurance that a certified product is backed by a commitment to best practice ecological sustainability, natural area management and the provision of quality ecotourism experiences.
The Eco Certification Program accredits products not companies, and certification provides the following benefits to operators, managers, communities and travellers:
- Criteria to assist operators plan and develop their ecotourism product
- A guide to assist operators implement the principles of ecologically sustainable development
- An opportunity for operators to continually improve performance to a standard recognised as best practice
- A recognised logo for operators to use in their marketing material
- A recognised means for protected area managers and travellers to identify genuine ecotourism operators
- A tool for protected area managers to encourage improved practices that lead to less environmental impact
- A tool to help local communities determine a mix of tourism activities that maximizes benefits and minimises negative impacts
- An essential educational and information tool
The criteria for Advanced Ecotourism encourages and rewards innovative best practice that exceeds the Eco Certification Program standards.
With significant diversity in its natural resources, Australia is an environment where enormous opportunity exists for people to learn more about the area’s natural and cultural resources.
The Down Under Tours Group of Companies has made a firm commitment to environmental sustainability through the support and participation of local studies, the implementation of staff accreditation and achieving nationally and internationally recognized company accreditation.
Additionally, best practice operations management is a fundamental component of the Down Under Tours Group commitment to environmental sustainability. It includes the focus on energy management, waste management and contribution to conservation through all levels of the Company.