Coffs Harbour targeted as a future Ecotourism Destination

Coffs Harbour has been targeted to become a certified ECO Destination and establish further ecotourism attractions like Sealy Lookout at Bruxner Park. Photo: Coffs for Kids Facebook page.


COFFS Harbour has been singled out as one of six new Australian bushfire affected regions targeted to become a certified ECO Destination, which will attract tourists through its nature-based tourism initiatives.

A new partnership between Ecotourism Australia and WWF-Australia will support Coffs Harbour and five other additional bushfire affected destinations to enable them to revitalise their local economies through nature-based tourism.

Other destinations include the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, and Port Macquarie-Hastings regions in NSW, Kangaroo Island in South Australia, and Scenic Rim in South East Queensland, which will also benefit from the partnership and begin their journey to become certified ECO Destinations.

Each destination will be supported by WWF-Australia, with Coffs Harbour City Council to receive a two-year $30,000 package that covers all costs to progress through Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Destination program.

Coffs Harbour City Council’s Industry and Destination Development section leader Fiona Barden said, “Obtaining ECO Destination status for Coffs Coast will enable our destination, the communities, environments and values, to thrive through long-term sustainable tourism management.

“By working together with our key stakeholders, businesses and communities we can unite in the importance of becoming an ECO Destination, and deliver multiple benefits for our people and places,” Ms Barden said.

Ecotourism Australia’s chief executive officer Rod Hillman said he was delighted to have the six new destinations join East Gippsland in Victoria and Quandamooka Country in Queensland in the program.

“We are working hard to support our tourism industry that has been hit hard in 2020 by bushfires and COVID and can see tangible benefits for regional tourism through this funding program,” Mr Hillman said.

WWF-Australia’s chief executive officer Dermot O’Gorman said the partnership would help to restore the local economies in bushfire-affected destinations.

“The devastating double blow of the fires and pandemic has left many communities that depend on tourism hurting like never before,” Mr O’Gorman said.

“This partnership will help Australia’s nature-based tourism sector get back on its feet and support tourism activities that are good for both people and the environment.”



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