Peak industry body Accommodation Australia (AA) is pushing for a more sustainable industry through a new partnership with Ecotourism Australia.

Accommodation Australia President, Leanne Harwood, said the partnership aims to promote “genuine and measurable sustainability” to its thousands of member hotels, motels and caravan parks.

“There’s no doubt sustainability is one of the most critical issues for our guests, our members and the wider community,” Harwood said.

“Guests want to see their favourite hotels do the right thing and implement eco-friendly and sustainable practices and our members are invested in doing what is right for the community in the long-term.”

Members will be encouraged to begin their sustainability journey with pre-certification benchmarking tool, the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard. They can then go on to earn one of Ecotourism Australia’s global best practice certification standards – ECO Certification (for nature-based tourism businesses) or the Sustainable Tourism Certification (for non-nature-based tourism businesses.

Ecotourism Australia Chief Executive, Elissa Keenan, says “sustainability is no longer recognised as a unique selling point, but a minimum standard expected of accommodation”.  

“It is more important now than ever to ensure our industry meets guests’ sustainability expectations in an authentic way,” she said.

“More than 120 accommodation providers have achieved global best practice sustainability standards through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification or Sustainable Tourism Certification programs to date. We look forward to supporting more accommodation providers on their sustainability journey.”

Accommodation Australia CEO Michael Johnson said the partnership will be “vital” for members to improve their sustainability practices and credentials.

“It’s a win-win for everyone involved,” Johnson said.

Ecotourism Australia is one of only two global sustainable tourism certification standard providers in Australia.

Its Sustainable Tourism pathway program supports the tourism industry to meet international best practice standards across four pillars of sustainability: sustainable management, environmental, socioeconomic, and cultural.