Eco Destination Certification

MidCoast to become an ECO Certified Destination

MidCoast Council, in partnership with key local, state and national stakeholders, is on the journey to certifying the Barrington Coast as an Eco Destination by late 2024.

Embracing the 195 towns and villages across our vast geographical area of 10,000km2, including the world heritage listed Barrington Tops, and home to the Biripi and Worimi Aboriginal people, MidCoast Council is committed to protecting, supporting and enhancing our natural environment for future generations.

Eco Destination Certification status will position the Barrington Coast as a world class destination, backed by our commitment to ongoing sustainable practices, and providing high-quality nature-based experiences. With travellers becoming more environmentally conscious and looking to minimise their impact on the environment, this certification highlights the businesses committed to sustainability, and the authentic experiences our region has to offer.

The certification process has 91 criteria across six categories that must be met and maintained:

  1. Destination Management
  2. Nature and Scenery
  3. Environment and Climate
  4. Culture and Tradition
  5. Social and Well-being
  6. Business and Hospitality

The ECO Destination Certification program is the only one of its kind and is managed by Ecotourism Australia. The program assures travellers that certified destinations are backed by a strong, well managed commitment to sustainable practices and provide high quality nature-based tourism experiences.  

 

ECO Business Certification Programs

MidCoast Council encourages all tourism businesses to consider completing the certification programs offered by Ecotourism Australia.

These certification programs assure travellers that certified products and businesses are backed by a strong, well-managed commitment to sustainable practices. Tourism businesses and experiences are certified using international best practice standards.

ECO Certified Businesses in the Barrington Coast;

 

Expression of Interest to achieve ECO Business Certification

MidCoast Council will provide funding and support for up to four (4) local tourism businesses to undertake the ECO Business Certification Program. Applications close 4:30pm Friday 21 June 2024.

Submit your expression of interest

Successful applicants will be announced by the end of June 2024. MidCoast Council will reimburse the application fee for each of the successful applicants upon verification they have completed and achieved their certification within 12 months of commencement.

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the ECO Business Certification?

The ECO Certification program certifies tourism products (tours, accommodations, attractions) 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.

The ECO certification program is a world first and it has been developed to address the need to identify genuine nature and ecotourism operators.

ECO certification is product-specific – this means you will need to answer criteria as it applies specifically to each of your products. This also means you are able to apply for ECO certification even if not all your products are nature based.


Who is this program for?

The program is designed for all businesses and operators in the tourism supply chain that want to be recognised for their commitment to sustainable and responsible tourism.


Why should you apply?

As the program is endorsed by different government authorities, you can gain access to government grants and promotion, as well as other marketing initiatives. Depending on where you operate, you may have the opportunity to apply for and obtain longer permits and licences for operations within protected areas and parks.


Industry recognition of ECO Certification:

Google: You can add your ECO Certification to your Google Business Listing (accommodation only).

Booking.Com: A Sustainable Travel Badge will be added to your listing (accommodation only).


Program duration & Structure:

The ECO Certification program has eight sections:

  1. Business Management and operational planning
  2. Responsible marketing
  3. Customer Satisfaction
  4. Environmental Management
  5. Interpretation and education
  6. Contribution to conservation
  7. Working with local communities
  8. Cultural respect and sensitivity

You have 12 months to achieve the certification, including the audit by Ecotourism Australia.


Who can I contact to find out more?

For help completing the EOI please email:

[email protected]

For more information on the ECO Business Certification visit the Ecotourism Australia website.

Expression of interest question weighting

Question
Weighting                
Business Details (Businesses must be a registered business in the MidCoast Local Government Area. Businesses not registered within the LGA are not eligible)

 

0%

 

How many staff are employed (Full Time Equivalent) OR number of rooms (if you are an accommodation provider)

 0%

How is your business currently committed to sustainability? Describe what actions you are currently
implementing to create a sustainable business.

 30%

How and why do you want to improve sustainability within your business?

If you were successful in this process, describe what actions you are planning on implementing to improve sustainability within your business, and why you want to implement these actions.

 30%

 

How do you think the Barrington Coast region as a whole could be better committed to sustainability?
 30%
 Are you able to commit to the process of eco-accreditation over the next 12months?  10%