Our region has achieved ECO destination certification with Ecotourism Australia.
Bundaberg is the fifth region in the country and the second in Queensland to become an ECO Destination which champions sustainable tourism growth.
An independent auditor has assessed the community across more than 90 criteria using a globally recognised framework.
The criteria assess management practices across the four pillars of sustainability and covers environment and climate, culture and tradition, destination management and socio-economic impact.
Ecotourism Australia CEO Elissa Keenan says fulfilling global best standard sustainability requirements is no small feat.
“Since beginning their sustainability journey in 2020, the Bundaberg region has made significant strides to achieve ECO Destination certification at the Ecotourism level,” she says.
“Bundaberg’s application demonstrated a passion for and dedication to holistic sustainability within the region, championing initiatives such as the One Million Trees Project and the popular Milbi Festival.
“Achieving ECO Destination certification not only supports local Ecotourism Australia certified operators but inspires local tourism businesses to implement sustainability and achieve certification.”
Ecotourism Australia’s independent auditor applauded the council’s strengthened commitment to climate action in their Towards Net Zero strategy.
“It was a pleasure to note the significant change in sustainable targets for the destination, particularly in relation to [Bundaberg Regional Council]’s reduction in carbon emissions.
“This is a remarkable achievement and shifting of the carbon emissions goalposts for the destination, and one for which the Council should be commended.”
The Bundaberg region is already home to eco-certified businesses including Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort, Lady Musgrave Experience, Mon Repos Turtle Centre and Kellys Beach Resort.
Mayor Jack Dempsey says council had led the certification process with support from a range of stakeholders including Bundaberg Tourism, PCCC and local operators and organisations.
“It is a massive coup for the Bundaberg region to achieve ECO Destination Certification and sees our community become one of only a small number in the country to do so,” Mayor Dempsey says.
“This achievement demonstrates our community’s respect and care for the natural environment and will ensure we continue to grow in a sustainable way into the future.
“Ecotourism Australia’s independent auditor had some wonderful feedback for our region in making their decision and commended council for its proactive approach to sustainability.
“This achievement has obvious benefits for our economy but it will also benefit our environment by providing a framework to constantly maintain and improve sustainability practices.
“It is also wonderful for our community members who can be proud of the role they play in preserving and protecting this place we are lucky enough to call home.”
Ecotourism Australia recently announced Bundaberg will be the host destination of the ECO Think Destination Forum from 28-30 March 2023, a national forum attracting certified and applicant ECO Destinations, federal, state, and regional tourism organisations, local government and national parks representatives, and tourism marketing and destination management specialists.