WHAT IS ECO TOURISM?
Ecotourism is defined under the Eco Certification Program as: “Ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.”
WHAT IS INVOLVED TO BECOME ECO TOURISM ACCREDITED?
To gain Eco Certification a rigorous process of self assessment is required to ensure we have met specific criteria which address the principle of ecotourism; this is then verified by an independent assessor from Ecotourism Australia before an independent on-site audit of our operations is undertaken within the 3 year life of the program. This involved satisfying the criteria for :
- Business management and operational planning
- Business ethics
- Responsible marketing
- Customer satisfaction
- Natural area focus
- Environmental management
- Interpretation and education
- Contribution to conservation
- Working with local communities; and
- Cultural respect and sensitivity
The accreditation program is designed to identify genuine Ecotourism operators within Australia and give guests an assurance that the operators have a commitment to ecological sustainability and provide a quality Ecotourism experience.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT AND OPERATIONAL PLANNING
We have sound management and operational planning, which include documented Business, Marketing, Financial, Advertising, Maintenance and Risk Managements plans as well as fulfilling the criteria for legal compliance.
Our ethical business practices include commitments to natural area management, best practice environmental sustainability and the provision of environmentally sound experiences.
All our marketing is accurate and presents realistic expectations through our brochures and web site.
Guests are encouraged to make comments in our guest book and a customer satisfaction form is available to make further comments. This feedback is acted upon where practical
NATURAL AREA FOCUS
Presenting the attributes of the region which includes protected areas within the Ningaloo Marine Park and Cape Rage National Park
Ningaloo Whaleshark-n-Dive are committed to protecting the marine environment of the Ningaloo Marine Park by ensuring that all staff are trained to promote good reef etiquette, which includes:
- Take only photos, leave only bubbles
- No removal of anything natural from the sea
- No pollution of the environment
- Maintain a respectful distance from marine animals
- Highlight the fragility of the reef ecosystem
- Where possible DePaW mooring bouys are used, where this is not feasible a patch of bare sand a suitable distance from sensitive habitats is used to weight anchor.