Responsible tourism in Victoria
Tourism Victoria has developed the Environmentally Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan 2009-2012 in consultation with State Government representatives and key tourism bodies.
It addresses the key challenges of implementing environmentally sustainable tourism practices in Victoria’s tourism industry. It also addresses issues associated with climate change and assisting the Victorian tourism industry to adapt to a range of national and international measures to mitigate its impacts.
This Strategic Plan encourages businesses to adopt more sustainable practices in order to reduce their environmental impact. It promotes the use of State and Federal Government programs such as ‘CarbonDown’ and ‘Grow Me the Money’ and urges the industry to develop partnership opportunities for the enhancement of environmentally sustainable tourism in Victoria.
The key aims as set out in this Environmentally Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan are:
- Reduce the tourism industry’s carbon footprint
- Meet growing consumer demand for sustainable practices
- Improve business performance through sustainable tourism
- Minimise resource use and the production of waste
- Assist the tourism industry in adapting to climate change
Businesses and the industry need to position themselves to meet these challenges and take advantage of new opportunities arising from changing consumer preferences as well as changing environmental and business practices. To achieve this the Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan also aims to:
- Promote businesses which demonstrate environmental credentials through accreditation programs
- Develop and distribute a carbon footprint toolkit for use by businesses and destinations
- Develop and implement a responsible visitor communications plan, including a responsible travel section on visitvictoria.com
- Work with the Victorian Employers’ Chamber of Commerce and Industry to ensure that tourism is an integral part of the ‘Grow Me the Money’ and ‘Carbon Down’ programmes
- Prepare guidance notes for event organisers on carbon footprint measurement and reduction strategies
- Promote and continue to enhance the Sustainability in Tourism section of the Tourism Excellence program, in order to assist businesses to become more sustainable
- Provide advice to regional and metropolitan tourism organisations on engaging with tourism businesses on sustainability matters, including climate change
The key measures of success of the Environmentally Sustainable Tourism Strategic Plan will be:
- Increased number of tourism businesses participating in carbon measurement, reduction and offset programs
- Increased recognition of leading environmentally friendly tourism businesses
- Increased number of industry professionals with expertise in sustainability issues
- Increased number of consumers seeking sustainable experiences and acting in a more environmentally friendly manner
- Increased number of businesses participating in environmental improvement programmes
- Increased number of businesses with Tourism Victoria endorsed environmental accreditation
Tourism Victoria will play a leadership role in advocating green tourism and promoting ways that tourism businesses can reduce resource use.
This includes encouraging recognised carbon offset programs and educating both tourist operators and visitors to Victoria to make more informed choices regarding sustainability.
What will Tourism Victoria do?
- Through increased consultation and development programs, Tourism Victoria will work in partnership with the tourism industry to measure and reduce the carbon footprint of tourism in Victoria
- In addition to broader government initiatives, Tourism Victoria will conduct an audit of its own carbon footprint and aims to incorporate more energy saving and environmentally sustainable practices into its activities
- Although there are limited opportunities for the Victorian tourism industry to directly reduce the environmental impact of tourism-related air travel, Tourism Victoria will work with the aviation industry to actively inform consumers about the impacts of tourism and encourage airlines to improve fuel efficiency
- In terms of car travel, tourism planners and businesses should, where appropriate, work together to promote a shift towards the use of more environmentally friendly forms of transport for tourism (train, buses, bicycles, foot) both to and within tourist destinations
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Responsible Travel would like to thank Tourism Victoria for their sponsorship of this guide