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Leading the Way in Ecotourism for Port Douglas and Daintree Region
A bold new plan to recognise the Port Douglas and Daintree Region as Australia's first eco-certified region in Australia has been welcomed by the industry.
By: Tourism Port Douglas Daintree
"We live in an area of outstanding natural beauty that is globally significant – the Great Barrier Reef and the Daintree Rainforest.
"Our operators are committed to protecting, preserving and ensuring long-term, sustainable tourism experiences that are authentic, memorable and safe."
Ms Bennet said many of the Douglas region's ecotourism businesses are small to medium sized enterprises.
"Ecotourism is about ensuring best practices across the board, whether you are a small independent tour guide or are larger commercial operation.
Under the new program being driven by the Douglas Shire Council, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, and Ecotourism Australia, operators will be given guidance and assistance to complete their eco-accreditation.
"Our industry continues to set the benchmark high, and I look forward to working with trade to showcase these tourism operators as more and more become officially accredited.
"We held our first workshop last week and this was very well attended by industry.
"The pilot program will see Douglas Shire Council provide financial assistance to kickstart the process, with Ecotourism Australia providing mentoring for businesses to help guide them along the way."
Currently, there are 21 operators providing eco-certified tourism experiences as as per the Green Travel Guide on www.ecotourism.org.au.These are:
Daintree Specialised Tours
Jungle Tours and Trekking
Thala Beach Nature Reserve
Wavelength Marine Charters
Silky Oaks Lodge and Healing Waters Spa
Daintree Discovery Centre
Hartley's Crocodile Adventures
Jungle Adventures Cape Trib
Ocean Safari Cape Tribulation
Aquarius Sail & Snorkel
Back Country Bliss Adventures
Reef and Rainforest Connections
Tony's Tropical Tours
Mossman Gorge Centre
Daintree Ecolodge & Spa
Daintree Wilderness Lodge
Ferntree Rainforest Lodge
Ms Bennett said the European markets, particularly Germany, are showing the strongest interest in eco-accreditation, while the younger generations in the US and China Japan have a rapidly growing appreciation for environmental credentials.
"There is a real opportunity here for the Douglas Shire to turn its unrivalled environmental reputation into a competitive advantage through the delivery of sustainable authentic sustainable tourism practices."
Douglas Shire Mayor Julia Leu said eco-accreditation was a clear and recognisable brand that showed the world you practice leading environmental standards
"Everyone knows Douglas Shire has a strong environmental charter and now we
have a real chance to beam this across the globe and draw more visitors in," she said.
For more information, please contact:
Tara Bennett, Executive Officer
Tourism Port Douglas & Daintree
Phone: 07 4099 4588
Web: www.visitportdouglasdaintree.com (http://www.tpdd.com.au/)
Issued by Tanya Snelling
P 0417 202 663