A case study of
Sustainable tourism certification within a Biosphere Reserve
Cathie Withyman
Cathie Withyman
Biosphere Reserves – Testing sites for sustainable development
Master of Business - Research
Sustainable tourism
Certification as a tool
to develop and promote the
sustainability
of the...
Certification – More than a marketing tool
• What - Sustainable tourism certification in Biosphere
Reserve
• How –
• What ...
Biosphere Reserves –
Learning sites for sustainable development
Environment

Humans

Harmonious
balance
between
humans
& t...
Noosa achieved Biosphere
status in September 2007

The Noosa Biosphere
area is based on the
local government
boundary of t...
VISION: Promoting harmony between people and nature
through education, conservation and sustainable activities

• Tourism ...
Changing Tourism Industry

Best
Practice

Improve
Sustainability

Changing
Marketplace

?

Meet
Consumer
Expectations

Con...
What is Certification
Mechanism for ensuring that an activity or tourism
product meets certain standards
Useful tool for b...
Which Certification Program?
Globally: 113 certification
programs focused on eco or
sustainable tourism
certification
GSTC...
Which Certification Program?
Quality Standard

Sustainable or Eco
Certification goes beyond
service quality

It includes:
...
Global Average: Less than 1% tourism businesses have
certification

Noosa Biosphere Reserve:
• 10 products – Eco Certifica...
Moving Forward in Noosa Biosphere Reserve
Industry need to understand the VALUE of greening tourism
Noosa Biosphere Reserv...
Need to understand the VALUE of greening tourism
• Further Research exploring the motivators, barriers,
experiences and pe...
Conclusion
More than a Marketing Tool……

Tourism
business
Tourism
business

Networks

Clusters

Noosa
Biosphere

Tourism
b...
Thought to take away……

“When people can see a vision and simultaneously
recognise what can be done step by step in a
conc...
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Final sustainble tourism certifiction in a biosphere reserve c.withyman-eco conference_20NOV2013

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Sustainable Tourism Certification in Biosphere Reserves - Presentation given at the Global Eco Conference, Noosa, Queensland, Australia. November 2013

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Final sustainble tourism certifiction in a biosphere reserve c.withyman-eco conference_20NOV2013

  1. 1. A case study of Sustainable tourism certification within a Biosphere Reserve Cathie Withyman
  2. 2. Cathie Withyman
  3. 3. Biosphere Reserves – Testing sites for sustainable development
  4. 4. Master of Business - Research Sustainable tourism Certification as a tool to develop and promote the sustainability of the tourism industry operating within Biosphere Reserves
  5. 5. Certification – More than a marketing tool • What - Sustainable tourism certification in Biosphere Reserve • How – • What are Biosphere Reserves? • Noosa Biosphere Reserve • Changing Marketplace • Certification as a sustainability tool • Operator Involvement • Clusters and Networks • Sustainable Destination = Marketing & Promotion
  6. 6. Biosphere Reserves – Learning sites for sustainable development Environment Humans Harmonious balance between humans & the environment
  7. 7. Noosa achieved Biosphere status in September 2007 The Noosa Biosphere area is based on the local government boundary of the former Noosa Shire, and the adjacent coastal waters to 3 kilometres offshore. The Noosa Biosphere one of 14 in Australia. Worldwide there is 621 across 117 countries. Intended to be a testing grounds for actions / experimentation through the concept of ‘learning laboratories’.
  8. 8. VISION: Promoting harmony between people and nature through education, conservation and sustainable activities • Tourism is Noosa’s biggest economic contributor • 1.8 million visitors • Nearly $900 million • 8,000 full time jobs • Employing 14,000 people • Rich biodiversity • Scenic natural environment • Involved Local Community • Relaxed Atmosphere • Beautiful beaches • Cosmopolitan village atmosphere (Tourism Noosa, 2013)
  9. 9. Changing Tourism Industry Best Practice Improve Sustainability Changing Marketplace ? Meet Consumer Expectations Continuous Improvement
  10. 10. What is Certification 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 Certification is not the end product It is a tool to motivate businesses to improve performance across the areas of: • Environmental Educational component of going • Social through the process that is of value • Economic
  11. 11. Which Certification Program? Globally: 113 certification programs focused on eco or sustainable tourism certification GSTC Recognised: Globally: 13 programs Australia: 2 programs
  12. 12. Which Certification Program? Quality Standard Sustainable or Eco Certification goes beyond service quality It includes: • Environmental Responsibility • Social & Cultural Responsibility • Economic and corporate responsibility
  13. 13. Global Average: Less than 1% tourism businesses have certification Noosa Biosphere Reserve: • 10 products – Eco Certification (5 Businesses) • 1 Business – Earth Check • 1 Business – Gumnut Award • 1 Business – ATAP • 21 businesses - EcoBiz 5.8% of businesses with some form of certification
  14. 14. Moving Forward in Noosa Biosphere Reserve Industry need to understand the VALUE of greening tourism Noosa Biosphere Reserve Ltd Research Project – Opportunities for developing a sustainable tourism industry within Noosa Biosphere Reserve Key findings: • Enhance the Biosphere concept and brand by involving the tourism industry • Operators want to improve sustainability – Need more education & support • Operators want more information about certification • Encourage certification by showcasing the certified products – Lead by example Australia’s Nature Coast • Potential to endorse current certification programs - Biosphere Endorsed Logo • Opportunity to develop a localised Biosphere Certification program that reflects the unique characteristics, values and vision of the Noosa Biosphere Community.
  15. 15. Need to understand the VALUE of greening tourism • Further Research exploring the motivators, barriers, experiences and perceptions of certification from the operators perspective Improved Understanding of the process Support and encouragement Education and information Commitment and Benefit Networks and Clusters for knowledge sharing & support
  16. 16. Conclusion More than a Marketing Tool…… Tourism business Tourism business Networks Clusters Noosa Biosphere Tourism business Certification Industry Sustainability Sustainable Tourism Destination
  17. 17. Thought to take away…… “When people can see a vision and simultaneously recognise what can be done step by step in a concrete way to achieve it, they will begin to feel encouragement and enthusiasm instead of fright". Erich Fromm, To Have or To Be?

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