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Sustainable Tourism News: Australian Certified ECO Destinations recognised on the global stage at ITB Berlin

The time of tourism fairs and expos is slowly finishing while, at least in Europe, the spring tourist season is starting. I am glad to share with you the news of the Australian destinations (involved with the certification Ecotourism Australia).  I am reporting here the media release I received earlier in March.

Two Australian destinations have been recognised at the prestigious Global Green Destinations Story Awards in Berlin at ITB, the world’s leading travel trade show.

Coffs Coast was awarded third place in the Culture and Tradition Category. Coffs Coast and Central Coast were nominated in the People’s Choice Category in the global competition run by Green Destinations, Ecotourism Australia’s global partner.

Ecotourism Australia CEO, Ms Elissa Keenan commended the two regions for this outstanding achievement.
“Coffs Coast and Central Coast are two of our six ECO Certified Destinations in Australia, and we are immensely proud to see them recognised on the global stage.
“Being ECO Destination Certified recognises a regions’ commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism.  Our program covers the four pillars of sustainability of environmental, socio-economic, cultural and sustainable management.
“It is particularly powerful to see Coffs Coast recognised for their commitment to culture and tradition in their region and the wonderful story celebrating Indigenous tourism in the region,” she said.

Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC) CEO Mr Clark Webb said, “we are over the moon that our story was celebrated in Coffs Coast’s winning entry of this prestigious global award.
“We couldn’t quite believe that we were even nominated in the first place, so for the Coffs Coast to win in this elite group of culture and tradition tourism stories from around the world is simply mind blowing.
 “We’re honoured and proud that the story of our Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School and our cultural tourism businesses on the Coffs Coast can be told far and wide,” said Webb, who is also the owner-operator of Wajaana Yaam Gumbaynggirr Adventure Tours, an ECO Certified business in the Coffs Coast region.

Both the Coffs Coast and Central Coast are committed to working with their operators and their community to increase sustainability initiatives, including promoting ECO Certification and Sustainable Tourism Certification, across their entire region.

The Coffs Coast’s winning entry is Two Path Strong  which celebrates Aboriginal tourism on the Coffs Coast and the rich culture that has supported the establishment of the first bilingual school of an Aboriginal language in NSW – the Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School (GGFS).

Coffs Coast was awarded ECO Destination certification in 2021, and Central Coast closely followed in 2022. Both destinations continue to demonstrate an ongoing commitment to sustainable tourism practises across four pillars of sustainability.


Sara – tourism sector consultant

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