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Townsville among world’s best with new ECO Destination Certification

Townsville among world’s best with new ECO Destination Certification. Townsville City Council | BDmag | July 2024

Townsville has achieved a major international milestone by receiving ECO Destination Certification at the Nature Tourism level with Ecotourism Australia.

Townsville is the third destination in Queensland to become an ECO Destination, solidifying the city’s reputation as a leader in sustainable ecotourism and placing it in a network of more than 200 certified international destinations.

The ECO Destination Certification application was led by Townsville City Council with collaboration from key stakeholders including Townsville Enterprise Limited, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney said she was proud to see the region achieve ECO Destination recognition from Ecotourism Australia.

“Council is incredibly proud to have worked with Ecotourism Australia, Townsville Enterprise and our other key stakeholders to secure ECO Destination Certification for our city,” Cr Greaney says.

“As a Council we are continuously working to enhance our existing tourism offerings and creating new landmark tourism destinations, capitalising on our city’s position between the rainforest, wetlands, and the Great Barrier Reef.

“We are thrilled to have achieved ECO Destination Certification and are looking forward to seeing how tourism and hospitality businesses across Townsville go the extra mile to showcase our city well into the future.”

Ecotourism Australia Head of Destinations and Member Services Alyssa Sanders says it was great to travel to Townsville in April to officially hand over the city’s certification.

Ecotourism Head of Destinations and Member Services Alyssa Sanders awards Townsville Mayor Troy Thompson with the city’s ECO Destination Certification

“Being adjacent to such remarkable environmentally and culturally significant natural wonders, it is important for, and indeed a responsibility of, the local tourism industry and all who visit and reside in Townsville to adhere to strong sustainability principles,” Ms Sanders says.

“Townsville’s ECO Destination Certification not only inspires tourism businesses to implement responsible practices and achieve formal recognition, it also helps communicate expectations to tourists, and enhances visitor and community engagement with local sustainability initiatives.”

Townsville City Council was a recipient of the Queensland Government Department of Tourism and Sport’s Eco-Certified Tourism Destination Grant in 2022 to expand their destination sustainability certification.

Member for Townsville Scott Stewart says this certification helped bring even more eyes to the great tourism experiences in the region like Magnetic Island.

“The Queensland Government is working to position Queensland and our tourism destinations as leaders in sustainable tourism.

“It is great to see Townsville has achieved ECO Destination Certification under the program which provided up to $150,000 to eligible applicants to achieve certification.

“In line with Towards Tourism 2032 this program will help our tourism destinations meet a growing demand from tourists for the places they visit to prioritise low impact travel, a high-quality nature-based experiences and an ongoing commitment to sustainability.”

Townsville City Council

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Main image: Townsville City Council Chief Sustainability Officer, Greg Bruce and Councillor Ann-Maree Greaney

Image credits: All images supplied by Townsville City Council

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Compiled by the BDmag editorial team
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Compiled by the BDmag editorial team