NSW Central Coast wins global sustainability award for promoting ecotourism at ITB

NSW Central Coast wins global sustainability award for promoting ecotourism at ITB
Edited by Travel Weekly

    The Central Coast was recognised for its range of sustainable tourism initiatives at ITB Berlin last week.

    The region was awarded first place in the Destination Management category of the Green Destinations awards at the annual travel trade show, confirming its status as a global leader in ecotourism best practice.

    Central Coast Council CEO, David Farmer, acknowledged the vision and hard work of the Destination Central Coast marketing team as well as the community of “Eco Advocates” working in the industry.

    “Taking home this award is testament not only to Council’s ability to lead tourism management for the region, but to the commitment from our local industry who are taking up the mantle and leading with sustainability in their tourism offerings,” Farmer, said.

    NSW Central Coast Eco industry event. (Supplied)

    The region, which has been a certified ECO Destination since 2022, has seen rapid growth in the number of domestic visitors in recent years. The Green Destinations Award win this year celebrates the initiatives that have been put in place to ensure the region can sustainably manage this increase in visitation.

    Central Coast Administrator Rik Hart said the win is a testament to Council’s support and investment in the tourism sector on the Central Coast.

    “Our investment is being reflected in visitor numbers – for the year ending June 2023 in comparison to June 2022, total domestic visitor numbers have increased by 52.3 per cent with 5,946,000 domestic visitors to the Central Coast.

    “Council’s destination marketing and management initiatives have also resulted in winning accolades and major awards over the last few years, including this current global win, but equally significantly, Council’s support has also helped grow local business, economic growth and jobs in the sector” Hart, said.

    The Coast’s winning submission outlined its strategy to “rollout a refreshing new era of eco-conscious experiences respecting nature, culture, place and people, to naturally make you feel whole again.”

    Elissa Keenan, CEO of Ecotourism Australia, congratulated Central Coast Council for its win, which comes after three years as a consistent finalist in the category.

    “The Council has worked tirelessly over many years to achieve ongoing global best-practice sustainable destination standards and support their local tourism industry on their own sustainability journey with Ecotourism Australia’s Certifications and Programs.

    “Their winning is a testament to the whole region’s commitment to sustainability and is an inspirational model for other Australian and international destinations to grow sustainability from the ground up,” Ms Keenan said.

    The Central Coast was the third region in Australia to be certified as an ECO Destination, and is home to eight ECO Certified operators, with more coming soon.

    The eight currently in operation offer a spectrum of unique experiences; some adventurous, some luxurious, some educational:

    • Aquafun Avoca Lake
    • Central Coast Marine Discovery Centre
    • TreeTops Adventure Park
    • Iris Lodge Alpacas
    • Terrigal Ocean Tours
    • Noonaweena
    • Rocky Trail Entertainment
    • Sydney Oyster Farm Tours

    For more information email tourism@centralcoast.nsw.gov.au

    For more detail about the region and its prestigious new award click HERE, and find the region’s sustainability pledge HERE.

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