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Opportunities for developing a
sustainable tourism industry within
Noosa Biosphere Reserve
A Sustainable
Tourism Industry
• Who – Cathie Withyman & Jamie Knight
• What - Aim of the project
• How – Review / Research / Recommend
• Why - Do we hav...
Sustainable Tourism:
Tourism that seeks to minimise negative
impacts & maximise positive impacts
‘Tourism that takes into ...
Ecotourism
‘Responsible travel to natural areas
that conserves the environment and
improves welfare of local people’ TIES
...
Certification of Tourism Businesses
Mechanism for ensuring that an activity or
tourism product meets certain standards
Use...
There are 6 Certification Programs that are
applicable to Noosa’s Tourism Industry
• ecoBiz
• Ecotourism Australia – Eco C...
The Research Findings
• High level of interest from operators to
become more sustainable – 66%
• Currently low level of ce...
Where to from here
The report recommendations:
Detail a range of opportunities to support and
promote sustainable tourism
...
A Sustainable
Tourism Industry
Questions?
A Sustainable
Tourism Industry
Questions?
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Sustainable tourism reserach project noosa biosphere - presentation 2 -150413

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The objective of this research project is to identify opportunities to promote Noosa Biosphere Reserve as a sustainable tourism destination. Included is a review of the current literature and information regarding sustainable tourism trends globally and how this relates to Noosa’s tourism industry. Eco-certification programs that are currently available to Noosa tourism operators have been researched and summarised, including the process and cost involved in gaining certification.

Qualitative research was also conducted by way of an industry online survey of Tourism Noosa members, to gain an insight into the level of certification currently held by tourism businesses within Noosa Biosphere, business owner’s knowledge of certification programs and/or their desire to learn more about eco-certification. Questions were also asked relating to the business owners knowledge of Noosa Biosphere, their perceptions of what the designation means to them and if they include any information about the Biosphere in their marketing material to visitors. They were also asked about their current involvement in Noosa Biosphere Ltd activities and/or their desire to be involved.

Through secondary research interviews with, a range of eco-certified and non-certified operators further information was gathered about tourism business owner’s motivations, experiences and knowledge of eco-certification programs.

The research results highlighted that within Noosa’s tourism industry there is a high level of interest shown by tourism operators in moving towards more sustainable business practices. Many are taking action through the implementation of a wide array of environmental and sustainable activities. Also, while currently there is not a significantly high level of eco-certification within Noosa’s tourism industry there is a strong foundation and potential to grow the level of certification as the majority of non-certified operators stated they were interested in learning more about eco-certification.

The additional research interviews conducted further highlighted that there are many businesses within the tourism industry that are implementing innovative, best practice environmental management techniques and activities but who have not sought certification or recognition. This again demonstrates that there is potential to educate, encourage and support these businesses to achieve eco-certification or at a minimum their achievements can be showcased and promoted, both to consumers and to other tourism operators to enhance the marketability of Noosa Biosphere as a sustainable tourism destination.

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  • Who: Cathie Withyman & Jamie Knight – Background on each of us Cath – 20 years in the tourism industry – Bachelor degree in Tourism Management, 17 years working in the industry – business owner & Masters student Jamie – What: Research Project instigated by Noosa Biosphere Tourism Working Party – Scott Richardson Aim of the Project is to identify opportunities to promote Noosa Biosphere Reserve as a sustainable tourism destination Noosa Biosphere ’ s Tourism Industry – Needed a starting point - Do we have a sustainable tourism industry? What level of operator involvement and commitment do we currently have? No point in promoting sustainability - if we are not walking the walk we should not talk the talk How Review of current literature and information regarding sustainable tourism global trends, domestic focus and specifically how does this impact and relate to Noosa ’ s tourism industry? Review of certification programs – processes, costs, those that are available to Noosa operators & benefits & constraints of each Research – Online Survey of Tourism Noosa Members & interviews with eco-certified and non-certified operators This research is summarised in the report findings and from this a set of recommendations is made to move forward Why – Why do this project? Tourism is Noosa ’ s biggest employer Where are we? Do we actually have a sustainable tourism industry to promote? Valuable to gain an insight into where the industry is at – once we know this we can move forward. Do not want to risk the integrity of the Noosa brand by “ Greenwashing ” . Demand - Significant shift in what consumers are demanding and the type of information they require when they are making their travel choices. A 2012 TripAdvisor survey found that 71% of members said they plan to make more eco-friendly choices – but they are hungry for more information from the providers. So there is a number of reasons that this project was instigated
  • Quite simply it is - tourism that seeks to minimise negative impacts and maximise positive impacts Definition given by UNEP & UNWTO is Tourism that takes into account the full, current & future economic, social and environmental impacts. It addresses the needs of visitors, the industry, environment and host communities’ So that is it looks at current & future impacts and not just one area ie - economic, social or environmental – but all areas as in Triple bottom line – People, Planet & profit If we are to be a Sustainable tourism destination requires informed participation from all stakeholders Strong political leadership Wide participation and consensus Continuous process Requires constant monitoring and adaptive processes – ongoing Not something you can tick and say it is done Differs from Ecotourism
  • Ecotourism defined as Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves welfare of local people – TIES - The International Ecotourism Society is a term that refers to a particular segment of the industry Focus on nature based or taking place in nature – Not all tourism products can be considered Eco-tourism But all forms of tourism can strive to be more sustainable – ongoing business process – becomes a way of thinking and doing business The process of the tourism industry becoming more Sustainable is generally referred to as greening tourism - Sustainable tourism is also being referred to as Green tourism
  • Certification simply is a mechanism for ensuring that an activity or tourism product meets certain standards Global movement towards a set of globally recognised criteria or standards – Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria Difference between Certification & Accreditation Currently Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Canada use the term accreditation instead of certification to refer to systems for rating products. However the globally accepted terms of certification and accreditation are Certification is the formal process under which an independent body certifies that a tourism provider complies with a specific standard Accreditation is a higher stage process whereby a body not associated with any particular certification scheme, certifies that the certification schemes themselves meet an appropriate standard. - “Certify the certifiers” Certification programs can be process or performance based or a combinations of both Process based is where there is documented business systems and processes for assuring the improvement of quality or environmental performance. Most well know Process Based certifications are the ISO standards ISO 9000 for quality management systems and ISO 14001 for environmental management systems. Measured against their own business & must show improvement but only against themselves – Logo given for process NOT for achieving fixed goals Performance Based – Certifies based on weather a business meets objective outside criteria. EG how many liters of water per guest per night? Can be compared against other hotels. Measures achievements and results not intent. Real life implementation is complex – Good to have a mix of both.
  • There are 6 Certification Programs that are applicable to Noosa’s Tourism Industry ecoBiz – State Govt initiative available to any type of business – Small to Medium – Free for businesses to take part – Rolled out through Council - Measures and benchmarks environmental impacts and Carbon footprint Ecotourism Australia – Eco Certification program –Not for profit Industry Association - 3 levels of eco certification – Only available to Nature Based products – Looks at business processes – Does not measure or benchmark – Since 1991 – Globally recognised GSTC EarthCheck – Private company – Global certification – Was Green Globe – Backed by scientific evidence – Looks at business processes & measures and benchmarks - relatively expensive for small business – Currently some discounts available – Might be a goo option to look at for a destination wide push – Businesses can just be assessed to begin with AAA Tourism – Eco Friendly Star – Part of AAA tourism **** rating – industry association – additional criteria – basic environmental achievements- cost effective way to get the accommodation sector involved. Does not measure or benchmark – pretty basic Carbon Reduction Institute – Private business – NoCo2 or LowCo2 – measures Environmental impacts – Energy, waste, travel & Carbon Footprint – Process and performance based Climate Action Australia – Part of Ecotourism Australia – Industry Association – Available to all tourism sectors not just Nature based – Process based The report contains a comparison matrix – Each program has benefits and constraints and will suit particular businesses in certain ways
  • Details on the research are in the report – Survey was sent to all Tourism Noosa members 490 & one on one interviews were conducted to gain a further insight. 47 responses were received – 9.6% response rate – Not fantastic but again is a starting point – May also be skewed towards those operators who are already working towards sustainability and interest in learning more about the Biosphere and incorporating into their business practices. Good to work with the operators who are keen at the outset – Others may then follow. Results showed: CLICK High level of interest in tourism operators moving towards more sustainable business practices, many (66%) are taking some action through the implementation of a wide array of environmental and sustainable activities. CLICK Not a significantly high level of eco-certification – 3.4% --this level is higher than the industry average of less than 1%. This points to a strong foundation and potential to grow the level of certification as 51% of non-certified operators stated they were interested in learning more about eco-certification. Biosphere fact sheet is a great start – many more fantastic examples – that can be showcased. Endorsing the eco-certification is one step to beginning to showcase the sustainability leaders.
  • There is a series of recommendation presented in the report that NBL can choose to act on and implement to encourage, support and promote sustainability within Noosa’s tourism industry. The most important factor is that a strong relationship with the industry body is critical - There needs to be a partnership approach so that all stakeholder are working towards the same common goal. Long term approach is required – Need first to educate and support the industry to implement change. Support those operators that are making change and being innovative – showcase them Promote the value adding benefit of cert. programs through recognition and local encouragement of businesses who use/have/qualify for them. Welcome to Noosa Biosphere Kit for operators – bring them into the Biosphere – make them feel part of it and make it easy to explain the Biosphere to visitors. Promote a strong partnership with Tourism Noosa and Noosa Biosphere Ltd by sending all TN member businesses a letter and ‘welcome to the Biosphere Kit and sticker,’ with some information about recent Biosphere activities and suggestions on how local businesses and visitors can be involved. This letter could also introduce eco-certification programs. Additionally it may also be a simple way to gather further feedback form tourism business on their sustainability achievements by requesting they inform Noosa Biosphere of their sustainable activities so their achievements can be promoted through Noosa Biosphere and Tourism Noosa.
  • Thank You – Any Questions??????
  • Transcript of "Sustainable tourism reserach project noosa biosphere - presentation 2 -150413"

    1. 1. Opportunities for developing a sustainable tourism industry within Noosa Biosphere Reserve A Sustainable Tourism Industry
    2. 2. • Who – Cathie Withyman & Jamie Knight • What - Aim of the project • How – Review / Research / Recommend • Why - Do we have a sustainable tourism industry to promote under the Noosa Biosphere umbrella? Tourism Research Project
    3. 3. Sustainable Tourism: Tourism that seeks to minimise negative impacts & maximise positive impacts ‘Tourism that takes into account the full, current & future economic, social and environmental impacts. It addresses the needs of visitors, the industry, environment and host communities’ UNEP & UNWTO
    4. 4. Ecotourism ‘Responsible travel to natural areas that conserves the environment and improves welfare of local people’ TIES • Nature based • Is a segment of the industry • All sectors can strive to be more sustainable
    5. 5. Certification of Tourism Businesses Mechanism for ensuring that an activity or tourism product meets certain standards Useful tool for businesses to plan, implement and validate their sustainability efforts and achievements
    6. 6. There are 6 Certification Programs that are applicable to Noosa’s Tourism Industry • ecoBiz • Ecotourism Australia – Eco Certification • EarthCheck • AAA Tourism – Eco Friendly Star • Carbon Reduction Institute • Climate Action Australia
    7. 7. The Research Findings • High level of interest from operators to become more sustainable – 66% • Currently low level of certification but high level of interest in learning more – 51% • Lots of innovation and enhanced business practices towards sustainability that can be showcased
    8. 8. Where to from here The report recommendations: Detail a range of opportunities to support and promote sustainable tourism Top Priority – Strong partnership with NB Tourism Noosa and the industry *** Welcome to Noosa Biosphere Kit for operators ***
    9. 9. A Sustainable Tourism Industry Questions?
    10. 10. A Sustainable Tourism Industry Questions?
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