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Ecotourism Accommodation Australia
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Sustainability in Tourism in Australia

Many people believe that no travel can be eco-friendly or sustainable considering the vast amount of fuel, carbon and resources involved in tourism. As valid as this point is, the fact is that people are just not going to stop travelling. And numbers continue to grow.

So what to do?

Here at Green Getaways we believe that we can at least start to try to lessen the environmental impact of millions of people travelling throughout Australia and the world. While we may not be perfect, we believe that unless accommodation providers are supported and promoted for the environmental initiatives which they do put in place, they may ask themselves: why bother?

In fact, the environmental policies put into place by green hotels such as the Hotel Hotel in the ACT and the Alto Hotel on Bourke in Melbourne, or the extraordinary work being done by smaller operators, should be applauded and supported by every traveller who cares about the future of tourism and the health of the planet.

What is Sustainability in Tourism?

Sustainable tourism is defined as “tourism that respects both local people and the traveller, cultural heritage and the environment” (UNESCO – UNEP International Environmental Education Programme)

Tourism can never be truly sustainable, but the aim of sustainable tourism is to lessen its impact.

The importance of sustainability in tourism cannot be underestimated. It is vital that we continue to work towards a positive overall balance in environmental, experiential, socio-cultural and economic impacts. Experiential impact describes the effect of visitors on each other, while socio-cultural impact refers to the effect of visitors on local residents.

Nowhere is this clash of the local people against tourists more evident than in the current situation facing Venice and Barcelona, where many locals feel that they can no longer live in their own cities due to the impact of tourism.

Any destination will most likely be harmed by tourism if not managed effectively. If areas are damaged or destroyed, they will not be available to future generations. This is where ecotourism and sustainable tourism comes in.

This approach includes:

Ensuring that tourism does not exploit the natural environment or local communities.
Consultation with local communities on planned developments.
Making sure that infrastructure improvements benefit local people and not just tourists.

Definitions of Ecotourism

While we have listed a number of definitions of ecotourism below, the role of Green Getaways is not to produce another scholarly article on the definition of ecotourism. 

What we are really interested in is the people who are doing it and who are trying to make a difference.

And you can find them here

As a concept, ecotourism has been defined in many ways. A simple definition of ecotourism is “travel to enjoy the world’s amazing diversity of natural life and human culture without causing damage to either.” Tikell (1994). Some of the other definitions of ecotourism that have become popular in the present times include:

“Nature-based tourism that involves education and interpretation of the natural environment and is managed to be ecologically sustainable.” It recognizes that natural environment includes cultural components, and that ecologically sustainable involves an appropriate return to the local community and long- term conservation of the resource.” The Australian Department of Tourism (1994)

“Travel to remote or natural areas which aims to enhance understanding and appreciation of natural environment and cultural heritage, avoiding damage or deterioration of the environment and the experience for others”. Figgis (1993)


from the 2017 United Nations Year of Sustainable Development

“Responsible travel to natural areas which conserves the environment and improves the well being of local people.” The Ecotourism Society 1991

“Ecologically sustainable tourism in natural areas that interprets local environment and cultures, furthers the tourists’ understanding of them, fosters conservation and adds to the well-being of the local people”. Richardson (1993)

“A responsible nature travel experience that contributes to the conservation of the ecosystem while respecting the integrity of host communities and where possible, ensuring that activities are complementary, or at least compatible, with existing resource-based uses present at the ecosystem.” Boyd and Butler (1993)

Goodwin (1996) says that ecotourism is “low impact nature tourism which contributes to the maintenance of species and habitats either directly through a contribution to conservation and/or indirectly by providing revenue to the local community sufficient for local people, and therefore protect their wildlife heritage area as a source of income. According to UNESCO, ecotourism involves nature-based tourism where the goal of both tourists and the operators is the observation, appreciation and preservation of nature and traditional cultures."

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One of the earliest adopters of measures to minimise their ecological footprint is the wonderful Paperbark Camp - proving that it is possible to provide a unique and authentic Australian bush experience that is both ecologically and financially sustainable.

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Love these four great spots in Australia: Karijini Eco Retreat, Kingfisher Bay resort, Tanonga Eco Lodges and Paperbark Camp!

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You'll be in tears even before you take off. Love the Qantas new safety video!

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So this is taking recycling to a whole new "level". What do you think?

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Summer is a fantastic time to explore these fabulous glamping options:

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Fabulous and powerful video about knowing the facts behind the choices we make.
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