Australia Leads the Way in Encouraging Eco-Tourism Initiatives

Saving the environment is not simply a matter best left to the hands of specialized non-profits such as Greenpeace. It’s a matter of personal accountability and long-term vision, which affects any and all aspects of day-to-day human life. As such, it’s reassuring to see that authorities in various parts of the globe are up to task and assuming responsibility for a greener future. Specifically, in late August this year, several hundred representatives of the tourism industry took part in a dedicated conference, whose end-goal was to devise a twenty year plan for a more environmentally aware tourism strategy in Queensland, Australia.

The conference, titled Destination Q, took place at a location in Queensland’s famous Gold Coast, one of the most sought-after tourist destinations in the southern hemisphere. At the conference, the chief exec of the Gold Coast Tourism agency said the area is responsible for the success of the strategy, since it makes up for over 27 per cent of the state’s tourism activity. The conference was also one point on a larger agenda, which aims to fully reform the tourism industry in the state. Among others, the Queensland Tourism Industry Council has been changing the way alcohol is bought and sold in the state and how building permits and authorizations are awarded. Bureaucracy was also a focal point of legislation changes, as was the emerging field of ecotourism.

In terms of making Queensland’s tourism ‘greener’ and more friendly for the environment, sustainability seemed to be the buzzword during the talks held at the forum. The CEO of the state’s tourism council declared that it is pivotal to use Queensland’s natural resources both with economic efficiency in mind, but also with sustainability as one of the main priorities. To this end, Daniel Gschwind explained that private-public partnerships are essential, since members of the tourism industry will need the help of the state government, in order to see their plans materialize.

Many of the participants expressed their satisfaction with the government’s involvement in their efforts. One particularly helpful partner, they stated, was the state’s grant of access to its National Parks portfolio. Queensland is particularly rich in this respect, and this is likely to act as a major incentive for visitors. Many tourism operators expressed their interest in creating memorable experiences in the wild.

A seven-year strategy for greener tourism in Queensland was launched at Destination Q. It was announced by the state’s National Parks Minister, Steve Dickson, who stated that operators could henceforth apply for ‘eco accreditation’. With respect to the more ample, twenty-year strategy, the minister highlighted its importance for the economy. It will certainly help create more employment opportunities in the area, but it will also help maintain the national parks. And, as far as running eco-friendly accommodation, Australia certainly has a wide range of resources and tools, at the disposal of its tourism operators.

Hills clothes lines, for instance, are part of a diverse range of products, which are both suitable for properties in the hospitality industry, as well as for regular homeowners. One of their best selling products can be fully customized in terms of size, cover, and heavy-duty clothes pegs. It is completely made out of galvanized steel and its price also includes installation – if you’re thinking of opening your own eco-friendly hostel or B&B, it might just make your laundry tasks far easier to handle. To boot, unlike an electrically powered tumble dryer, it’s completely ‘green’, since it neither produces any CO2, nor does it use up any resources. Add to this the prevalence of photovoltaic solar panels, which have also become more affordable in recent years, thanks to the federal government’s involvement in developing a long-term climate change strategy. There are plenty of incentives to benefit from in Australia, when it comes to making the environment healthier – all it takes is enough interest to profit off of them.

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