First, we recommend having a look at the guidance tab. You will often find more information or examples. The Best practices tab can also be a great source of inspiration. For some topics, we have developed templates or fact sheets that you can download from the guidance tab, or the Toolkits in the Resources menu.
If none of this helps you to answer the criteria, then you can contact your coach. You can leave a note using the Remarks tab, send an email to email@example.com or give us a call on 07 3256 6777.
If a criterion is not applicable to your business but the N/A tab isn’t available, please let us know by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), and we will assess the situation.
If your business cannot meet some Advanced criteria, you can still obtain certification. Only 75% of Advanced criteria are required to reach the Advanced level of the ECO Certification.
If you cannot meet some core criteria, we advise that you book a coaching session with our coach to discuss your situation. Send an email to email@example.com or give us a call on 07 3256 6777.
It is normal that the auditor will identify some areas for improvement as some elements of certification criteria have changed since your last audit, and there may have been changes within your business.
If your auditor finds any areas that are not meeting the required standard for your level of certification, they will highlight this with you during the audit and include a corrective action in your audit report. EA will then allocate a timeframe within which you will need to complete the corrective action/s. EA will also provide any available resources that may assist with addressing your corrective action/s and certification coaches will be available to provide further advice and assistance where needed.
This is different for each business and will depend on the following factors:
If we took an example of a simple B&B applying for nature tourism with no real staff, who has implemented a large number of sustainability initiatives and has a good business and marketing plan – they could complete an application within a couple of weeks.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org
A form will be sent to you and you may need to answer a few additional criteria if your additional product includes different activities than the already certified product(s).
In the overview of your certifications, you have access to all the levels of the ECO Certification. We encourage continuous development and won’t charge you extra to upgrade.
You can start filling the criteria for the next level at any time. Once you are ready to upgrade, email your coach at email@example.com for a review. When complete, your upgrade application will be sent to an assessor.
The Green Travel Leader logo celebrates ten years of ECO Certification and represents a long-standing commitment to sustainability from our certified operators. It is awarded to businesses which have consistently proven their commitment to sustainable tourism management over ten years.
If you want a list of ECO Certified operators in your region, we recommend using the Green Travel Guide.
If you want to connect with other ECO Certified operators in Australia, we recommend joining our Facebook group. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The first Ecotourism Australia certification was launched in 1996 and has been revised many times over the years to ensure the criteria accurately reflects current global best practice standards for sustainable, minimal impact tourism. Many experts from various backgrounds give feedback and input on the criteria. Contributors to the latest revision are listed here.
The program’s credibility is maintained through a number of avenues:
HTSO stands for High Standard Tourism Operator, a program implemented by the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA). GBRMPA is committed to rewarding Marine Park operations certified to the Ecotourism and Advanced Ecotourism levels. Incentives include the opportunity for longer permit terms (eligible to apply for 20-year permits).
Your certification will last for the life of your business! All you need to do is upkeep your annual fee, agree to the occasional audit and address any new criteria that is developed due to legislative, technological or scientific changes/developments.
Ecotourism Australia is committed to continuous improvement and will review the criteria regularly to ensure that its certification programs maintain a best practice standard. Ecotourism Australia also works with operators to understand and adhere to new criteria developed through this process.
The auditor will review the documents you were required to have when applying and then go through a range of criteria you answered within your application. The auditor doesn’t have to go on tour; however, they will need access to the accommodation, attraction and/or your main method of transportation for the guests (if applicable) so we will try and arrange the audit for a suitable time for access.
This process is to verify that what you put in your application translates to what you are doing in practice. It is also an opportunity to talk through any new ideas or issues with the environmental auditor and get their feedback on current best practice.
If a business is sold, the new owner can continue certification for the business if they are committed to maintaining the standards set by previous owners. There is no additional cost to process the transfer of ownership. Please contact the EA office for further information (email@example.com or call 07 3256 6777).