Cash Subsidy and Marketing Benefits for Tourism Businesses Seeking ECO Certification

By February 15, 2021 February 16th, 2021 Sustainable Tourism

A partnership between MRBTA and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River is offering local tourism operators the opportunity to strengthen their appeal to high yielding, environmentally conscious visitor markets, by becoming ECO Certified through Ecotourism Australia.

With consumer interest in sustainable travel expected to accelerate further in the wake of Covid-19, ECO Certification is a way for tourism businesses to signal to visitors that they provide high quality experiences which are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices.

MRBTA and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are supporting local operators to become ECO Certified by offering a range of benefits and incentives.

Benefits and Incentives

From the Shire of Augusta Margaret River:

  • A $500 cash subsidy to offset the first annual Certification fee* for up to ten businesses.

From MRBTA**:

  • One-to-one business coaching through certification process.
  • Business listing on dedicated ecotourism landing page at margaretriver.com.
  • Inclusion in ecotourism related blogs and itinerary.
  • Promotion via Margaret River Region social media channels.
  • Business listing on eco-tourism visitor centre printed handout.
  • Dedicated business TV screen advertisement in the region’s visitor centres (conditions apply).
  • Inclusion in ecotourism destination image library for access by media and travel trade.
  • Priority inclusion in destination PR opportunities relating to eco-tourism.

From Ecotourism Australia**:

  • Listing and promotion on the Green Travel Guide once the business is certified.
  • Successful businesses will join an established global network offering visitors an easy way of finding genuine and authentic ecotourism experiences.

*Annual certification fees start at $580 per year for businesses with a turnover of $250,000 or less.
**Also available to businesses already certified with Ecotourism Australia.

Eligibility Criteria

In order to receive the benefits, businesses must meet the following eligibility criteria:

  • Must be located in AMR Shire
  • Must be a financial MRBTA member
  • Must offer an experience where the visitor’s time is spent mainly within a natural area or with a focus on the natural or cultural values of the area.
  • Eligibility will be fully confirmed in consultation with Ecotourism Australia.
  • More information on eligibility and processes available via Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Essentials Guide.

Next Steps

You are invited to attend the following information session to learn more about the benefits of Certification and how to access the associated benefits:

ECO Certification Information Session
Tuesday 23 February 2021
4.00-5.00pm
Council Chambers, 41 Wallcliffe Road, 6285
Hosts and speakers will include Ecotourism Australia (via video conference),
MRBTA and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River.

The session will be accompanied by a glass of wine and refreshments. The session is free to attend and you are not required to prepare anything in advance.

RSVP HERE

More on Ecotourism

Across the world, the travel industry is predicting an acceleration in consumer appetite for sustainable and nature-based travel in the wake of Covid-19. More and more, travellers are expected to actively seek ways to make sustainable travel choices, and to be seen to be doing so among their peers.

MRBTA and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are working together to support the development of a sustainable local tourism industry and to ensure that the region is competitively positioned to attract high yielding, environmentally conscious visitors.

Collaborative projects include:

Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference

For the first time in over 10 years, Ecotourism Australia’s Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, was held in Margaret River from 1-3 December 2020.

Over three days, more than 220 delegates representing all states of Australia and five different countries heard from leaders and innovators in ecotourism academia, industry and governance.

MRBTA procured the contract thanks to partnerships with Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Tourism WA, the Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions, and the South West Development Commission. Learn more.

ECO Destination Certification

The ECO Destination certification program is a recognisable, trusted guide for travellers that approves destinations committed to sustainable practices and to quality, nature-based tourism experiences.

The destination auditing process is taking place throughout 2020 and 2021, and assesses the extensive work underway in the Shire of Augusta Margaret River to look after the environment and community.

If successful, the Shire of Augusta Margaret River will join an established global network of like-minded certified destinations offering visitors an easy way of determining where genuine and authentic ecotourism experiences are found. Learn more.

ECO Certification Support for Tourism Operators

ECO Certification is for tourism products with a primary focus on nature. It assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.

In 2021, MRBTA and the Shire of Augusta Margaret River are providing operators registering for ECO Certification with a range of marketing benefits and incentives.