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Eastern Australia Introduces New Sustainability Standards for Park Tourism Users | Travel And Tour World

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Today, the Tourism Council of Western Australia unveiled new standards for operators in WA’s national and marine parks at an industry forum, with the backing of the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). These standards aim to elevate park tourism operators to achieve better Sustainable Tourism Accreditation, conduct comprehensive accessibility assessments, and commit to emission reductions.

During the Sustainable Tourism Forum, hosted by the Tourism Council WA, Environment Minister Hon Reece Whitby MLA announced that the DBCA would be waiving the annual $406 T-Class licence fee. This move is intended to alleviate financial pressures on operators and acknowledge their commitment to high sustainable tourism standards within national parks.

T-Class licenses, which are required for the majority of commercial activities in National Parks such as guided tours by foot, vehicle, boat, and charters, ensure that operations meet environmental, cultural, and visitor management standards.

ourism Council WA CEO Evan Hall said the WA tourism industry wanted to achieve the highest standards in sustainable tourism, especially in WA’s world-class national parks.

“The next generation of visitors to WA are looking for low emission, accessible, and sustainable tourism experiences in our unique natural environment,” Mr Hall said. 

“A recent survey commissioned by Tourism Council WA found 81 per cent of tourism businesses reported using measures to assess, mitigate, develop, or promote their sustainability.”

Deputy Premier and Tourism Minister Hon Rita Saffioti MLA highlighted the importance of building a sustainable tourism sector as a central element of the Western Australian Visitor Economy Strategy 2024 (WAVES).

“Reducing expenses for our operators plays a crucial role in continuing to attract visitors to our magnificent national parks and conservation areas, which have experienced a surge in visitors following COVID,” Minister Saffioti remarked.

“Sustaining our industry is another vital focus to ensure the longevity and prosperity of tourism in Western Australia, and we are eager to embrace the new industry standards set by the Tourism Council of WA.”

Environment, Energy and Climate Action Minister Hon Reece Whitby MLA acknowledged the significant contribution of tour operators to the Western Australian economy.

“The Cook Government is committed to working with and supporting Tourism Council WA to encourage greater standards in sustainability and accessibility in WA’s tourism industry,” Minister Whitby said.

“We want WA to be a sustainable and accessible destination while supporting our tourism businesses to be the best they can be.”

The Tourism Council WA introduced the Tourism Emissions Reduction Program today, which offers tourism operators a chance to conduct an online emissions evaluation and formulate a customized emissions reduction strategy. This plan can be showcased on their websites to signify their dedication to enhancing sustainability.

“By providing information about the sustainability of their tourism business operations, businesses can appeal to guests who value sustainable practices,” Mr Hall said.

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