Big Red Group and Ecotourism Australia pave pathway to sustainable tourism
The peak body of eco and sustainable tourism, Ecotourism Australia, and Australia and New Zealand’s largest experience network, Big Red Group, have entered a strategic partnership to amplify and support a pathway to sustainability for experience operators.
Big Red Group, which includes experience platforms Adrenaline, Experience Oz, and RedBalloon, is committed to promoting sustainable and responsible tourism operators across their 14,000+ experiences to help travellers choose authentic operators with a commitment to sustainability.
Operators on the platforms will be able to showcase their sustainable approach by starting their journey with their Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard result as well as their ECO or Sustainable Tourism Certification.
Chief Sustainability Officer at Big Red Group, Ms Jemma Fastnedge, said, “We are moving toward a travel industry where sustainable tourism is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential component of running a successful operation.
“As the largest marketplace of experiences across Australia and New Zealand, we recognise our responsibility to incorporate sustainability into our ethos and encourage tourism experience providers to do the same.
“Our partnership with Ecotourism Australia will help make sustainability information more accessible so businesses can responsibly share their sustainability achievements and travellers can book and spend according to their values,” she said.
Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive, Ms Elissa Keenan said, “To see industry leader Big Red Group seek opportunities to build sustainability capacity through our program is incredible. Their support to showcase operators who are making a difference and ensuring their customers can see those sustainability credentials, is a significant commitment and a true demonstration of one of Australia’s largest tourism organisations to ‘walk the talk’ on sustainability.
“Sustainability is no longer a theme or a trend, it is a critical part of any business. The expectations of travellers are rapidly changing – they want to choose an experience committed to minimising environmental impact, supporting culture and community, and that they may even spend more to ensure an authentic, sustainable and responsible travel experience.
“We also know that more and more visitors are actively looking for authentic experiences backed by credible brands, particularly those holding a valid, credible and current certification or can clearly demonstrate the actions they are taking to improve in this space. Travellers want to be able to easily identify operators who will deliver the experience they are expecting.
“As Big Red Group’s supply chain makes strides to incorporate sustainability practices based on their comprehensive Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard report, we look forward to seeing them progress toward achieving global best practice sustainability certification through our ECO and Sustainable Tourism Certification programs,” Ms Keenan said.
The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard, launched in late 2022, is a pre-certification tool allowing businesses to see where they are at on their sustainability journey by measuring their practices against the four pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, environmental impacts, socio-economic impacts, and cultural impacts.
Businesses on the Big Red Group’s platforms that have completed the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard will have the option to display an icon on their listing indicating they have a score of 50% or more.
For businesses that progress to achieving global best practice sustainability standards through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO and Sustainable Tourism Certification programs, they will soon have the opportunity to display their certification on their listing.
The Sustainable Tourism Certification program, launched in late 2022, meets international best practice for sustainability, and the standard is recognised by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC). This new certification is for non-nature-based businesses to be recognised at global standard as ECO Certified operators (for nature-based operators) are and is part of Ecotourism Australia’s priority to make starting a journey to sustainability more accessible across the entire industry.
Media Contacts: Big Red Group: email@example.com
“We are moving toward a travel industry where sustainable tourism is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential component of running a successful operation.”