Understanding Ecotourism in Australia

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What is Ecotourism?

That is a question many of us ask, and we may get many different answers depending where we may be in the world. Ecotourism can be defined as travel that avoids harm to people, the planet or animals – Instead seeking out travel that supports positive social and environmental initiatives.
It can encompass all nature-based activities that promote appreciation and understanding of the natural environment and cultural values.

Ecotourism in Australia

Tourism in Australia has been well established for many years but only recently has a trend occurred adopting more sustainable and ethical practices on a larger scale.

Ecotourism Australia (EA) is a not for profit organisation founded in 2002, the International Year of Ecotourism, to deliver eco-certification programs for tourism products and operators.

EA represents more than 500 environmentally responsible operators and 1,600 products across Australia.


Tree Hugger Travel - What is eco-tourism - Intrepid Travel and Adventure Tours Australia offering carbon neutral eco-certified experiences Australia-wide.
Small Group Travel in the Red Centre (Intrepid & ATAG)
Tree Hugger Travel - What is eco-tourism - Lady Elliot Island Eco-Certified Tourism
Lady Elliot Island | an Ecotourism success story


Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.

Certification Programmes

EA deliver the following certification programs for tourism products.

Eco Certification
The ECO Certification program assures travellers that certified products are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provides high quality nature-based tourism experiences.

Climate Action Certification
Climate Action Certification is designed for all sectors of the tourism industry including hotels, attractions, tours, transport, restaurants, travel agents, tourism commissions and industry bodies.

Tree Hugger Travel - What is eco-tourism - Eco Certification
Tree Hugger Travel - What is eco-tourism - Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council

The Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) is an international body that has established and manages global standards for sustainable tourism to ensure certification programs and destinations perform to a universal level of best practice. The aim of the GSTC is to make it easier for travellers to identify genuine sustainable tourism products.

Ecotourism Australia is recognised by GSTC.