Posted by Georgie Snare on 28 March 2022 | Comments


Ecotourism Australia certified operators have again been recognised at the 2021 Qantas Australian Tourism Awards, representing more than 20 per cent of all award winners this year.

ECO Certified operators were represented across 10 of the 25 award categories, with gold awards won in the categories of Major Tour and Transport Operators, Adventure Tourism, Tourism and Marketing Campaigns, Hosted Accommodation, New Tourism Business and Ecotourism.

Red Cat Adventures QATA 2021

(Pictured: Red Cat Adventures win gold in Adventure Tourism category)

There were 32 nominations between the 26 Ecotourism Australia certified operators and two destination applicants named as finalists. In total, 13 operators and one destination applicant were recognised with six gold, six silver and four bronze awards.

“It’s great to see Australia’s leading sustainability-focused operators being recognised at the pinnacle awards for our industry,” said Ecotourism Australia’s CEO, Elissa Keenan. “The diversity of categories our members were nominated for was inspiring and demonstrates how important sustainable tourism is for the entire sector.  We were also delighted, but not surprised, to see every finalist in the Ecotourism Category was ECO Certified.

“We continue to see a major focus for sustainable tourism operations, and we are proud the certifications of Ecotourism Australia maintain world’s best practice in this regard. An increasing number of operators, as well as destinations, are seeking ECO Certification to uphold best practice in sustainability.

"After the challenges of the past two years, Australia’s tourism operators have remained hopeful and determined, and these awards are a testament to the perseverance and community of the tourism industry as we now look to the future.”

Recognised in multiple awards were ECO Certified operators Pennicott Wilderness Journeys (Wilson’s Promontory Cruises) with two gold (New Tourism Business and Major Tour and Transport Operators) and Red Cat Adventures with one gold and one silver (Adventure Tourism and Major Tour and Transport Operator).

Pennicott QATA 2021

(Pictured: Pennicott Wilderness Journeys win gold for Major Tour and Transport Operator)

These successes reaffirm the remarkably high calibre of Ecotourism operators across the country and the resilience and determination of tourism businesses considering the challenges of the past two years.


Congratulations to our ECO Certified award winners:

Major Tourist Attractions

Silver – Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary (QLD)

Bronze – Taronga Western Plains Zoo (NSW)

Tourist Attractions

Bronze – Oakvale Wildlife Park (NSW)


Gold – Live Ningaloo (WA)

Silver – Murray River Trails (SA)

Bronze – Tasmanian Walking Company (TAS)

Cultural Tourism

Silver – Venture North Safaris (NT)

Major Tour and Transport Operators

Gold – Pennicott Wilderness Journeys (TAS)

Silver – Red Cat Adventures (QLD)

Tour and Transport Operators

Silver – The Hike Collective (WA)

Bronze – Uluru Camel Tours (NT)

Adventure Tourism

Gold – Red Cat Adventures (QLD)

Silver – Bendleby Ranges (SA)

Tourism Marketing and Campaigns

Gold – Gippsland: All Kinds of Wonder (VIC)

Hosted Accommodation

Gold – Narrows Escape Rainforest Retreat (QLD)

New Tourism Business

Gold – Wilson’s Promontory Cruises (Pennicott Wilderness Journeys) (VIC)


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