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World Responsible Tourism Day 2012 has shown Australia to be amongst the world leaders in Responsible Tourism with two operators winning prestigious awards and a regional NSW government body acknowledged for ‘ world best practice’.
“This demonstrates that increasingly Australian businesses and government are recognising the commercial and environmental benefits of taking responsibility for tourism,” says Christopher Warren, Director of the International Centre for Responsible Tourism – Australia.
World Responsible Tourism Day is a United Nations World Tourism Organisation support event which showcases ‘best practice’ in Responsible Tourism from around the world. The day culminates in the Virgin Holidays Responsible Tourism Awards held at the World Travel Market in London. This year Australia achieved significant recognition.
Centroc (Central NSW Regional Councils), became the first local government group in the world to participate in World Responsible Tourism Day (WRTD) as an official supporter. Their positive approach, by seeking to make tourism more sustainable and beneficial for communities, has been commended.
“Centroc’s recognition by the official panel for WRTD, demonstrates that Responsible Tourism is not a niche market, it is about making places better for people to live in and better for people to visit,” says Christopher Warren. “As consumers are increasingly discerning, seeking real authentic holiday experiences, destinations need to create more appealing tourism by reflecting the Local Distinctive qualities of their region and then ensuring that tourism directly benefits their communities. Centroc’s efforts to maximise the visitor economy through Responsible Tourism practices demonstrates the application of a deeper matrix of sustainability principles rather the superficial use of the term ‘sustainability’”.
The Responsible Tourism award winners were:
Moonraker Dolphin Swims won ‘Best in a Marine Environment’. They provide visitors the opportunity to swim with Burranan Dolphins and Australian Fur Seals. The company monitors the population and health of the marine life to ensure that visitation does not negatively impact the natural wild environment.
‘Best in Responsible Transport’ (joint winners) was won by Green Tomato Cars (UK and Australia) who offer low emitting vehicles using the shortest route.
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The International Centre for Responsible Tourism is a member of the Tourism Industry Council NSW