2020/21 has been a year like no other. A year to reflect, take stock and ask ourselves what truly matters. As individuals, it’s helped us appreciate the outdoors and fostered a strong desire in us to connect with nature. As tourism businesses and destinations, we’ve felt the true value of tourism, the positives, the negatives. As we reflect, now is the time to think about how we build back better. Better for visitors, better for communities and better for our environments. How can we strike a harmonious balance and deliver sustainability on all fronts for our future generations?


Some destinations and businesses have already embraced the need for change and are true leaders in meeting a sustainable balance. They are viewing tourism through a different lens – tourism that comes with a broader range of benefits But how do we achieve this? Ecotourism, sustainability, green business, green destination, culturally responsible, buy local, buy green, enviro friendly…there are so many terms out there nowadays, it can all seem a little confusing and sometimes a bit too hard basket. What does it all mean and how can our business or destination achieve all these things? The bottom line is simple, it’s about tourism for good. Good for people, good for places.

In fact, you’d probably be surprised to find you are already planning, investing, managing and delivering tourism for good in many ways. And you should be recognised for this. Operating in accordance with Ecotourism Australia (representing Australia, New Zealand and the Pacific), the Global Sustainable Tourism Council’s (GSTC) principles and New Zealand Tourism Sustainability Commitment Goals, ECO Certification celebrates best practice – ecologically, economically and socially on a world stage.


  • Sustainable Travel Report 2019 shows that sustainable stays are growing in popularity, with almost three quarters (73%) of global travellers intending to stay at least once in eco-friendly or green accommodation. In addition, 70% of travellers will choose an eco-friendly option over others if it is available.
  • The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) estimates ecotourism to be worth $1 trillion (USD) annually, with an average 12% annual growth.
  • Ecotourism is about respecting communities. Globally, the ecotourism sector employs over 11 million people directly and adds ancillary income for millions more. Many nations on earth are dependent on the economic, social and environmental values ecotourism delivers.
  • 72% of travellers would like companies to tell them more about how they are making a positive difference to society so they can support them
  • 71% of people under 30 say sustainable travel is a priority.

The COVID-19 pandemic has established new travel desires, particularly in nature and regenerative travel – leaving a place better than you found it. It goes beyond traditional ‘minimal impact’ tourism and instead focusses on how visitors can contribute environmentally, economically, culturally and socially. It’s about choosing quality over quantity and measuring success in terms of the health and wellbeing of people and places, as opposed to the ultimate dollar value.


This is where TRC Tourism can help. Our team has a long association with Ecotourism Australia (EA) and GSTC. We are EA members, our company Director Janet Mackay is also a current EA Board Director, EA Independent Auditors and GSTC practitioners. In addition, we have been in your shoes – as national park and protected area managers, tour business owners, Regional Tourism and Destination Managers, Managers of Government Tourism Agencies. We are here to help you along your ecotourism journey, regardless of what stage you are at. We offer:

  • An initial independent assessment of current situation and an action plan of needs
  • Assistance with preparation of documents for Certification assessment – this may include environmental policies and management plans, business and visitor management plans, responsible marketing plans, visitor interpretation and tour guide manuals, sustainable tourism plans, customer service and satisfaction standards
  • Liaison with Ecotourism Australia and other relevant agencies / entities to ensure we provide you with the most up-to-date advice and address the needs of all parties
  • Providing one-on-one mentoring and advice – such as training for tour guides and operators, training and mentoring for dedicated Destination Sustainability Coordinators, and general support throughout the ECO Certification and Green Destination preparation and submission process.


Eco Accreditation or Green Destination status provides:

  • Global recognition of your high standard, which can aid in your application for special licences, leases or permits, awards and grants
  • Marketing and promotion – digitally, at national and international trade shows, in the Green Travel Guide and through collaborative campaigns
  • Membership to your representative ecotourism organisation. Includes networking and forum opportunities, participation in annual general meetings and the ability to nominate for the Board of Directors
  • Support through lobbying, business development and access to new initiatives and opportunities in ecotourism
  • Global best practice sharing and learning and discounts for attendance at the annual Global Eco Asia Pacific Tourism Conference
  • The knowledge that you are making a difference – for people and for places, economically, socially, culturally and environmentally.

Get in touch with one of our consultants today and start your ‘ecotourism, sustainability, green business, green destination, culturally responsible, buy local, buy green, enviro friendly’ or simply tourism for good journey.



Sustainable destination planning

Experience and product development

Feasibility studies and business planning

Indigenous tourism planning

Eco Accreditation


Gippsland Destination Management Plan

Janet and the TRC team did a great job with the Gippsland Destination Management Plan and I would recommend them to any regional tourism organisation.

Terry Robinson | CEO | Destination Gippsland

Kokoda Track Maintenance Program and Operations Manual 

The TRC team mobilised rapidly to PNG to assess and repair Kokoda Track bridges severely damaged in the very heavy wet season of last year being choppered into the remote rugged terrain of the Track. Working in very well with The Kokoda Track Authority Rangers, Kokoda Initiative and local communities their efforts and skill contributed greatly to the Kokoda Track being ready for the 2019 trekking season. Remote communities also benefited from being reconnected across the often treacherous river crossings. TRC also helped build the capacities of The Kokoda Track Authority Rangers and local communities to explore ways for future sustainable bridge building and general track maintenance works. The resultant Track Operations Manual produced by TRC is expected to be a valuable guide for future Kokoda Track works.

Damien Mate | Senior Program Manager | Kokoda Initiative Partnership

Queenstown Trails for the future 2015-2025

From the outset the TRC team were responsive, intelligent, forward thinking and always available. The Queenstown Trails Trust worked with the TRC team in 2015 to craft a 10 Year Strategic Plan. The nature of our business involves very important stakeholders, great vision and many face to face meetings to form our plan. . The result of this partnership being a very robust and well thought out plan that we are proud to utilise to assist us in setting the future path of the Queenstown Trails Trust. Interestingly – TRC also formulated the original Trails Trust plan way back in 2004 – it was great to have the opportunity of working with TRC again as they truly understand our business.

Mandy Kennedy | CEO | Queenstown Trails Trust (New Zealand)

Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Visitor Experience Strategy

TRC delivered a quality Visitor Experience Strategy for our organisation in a short timeframe. They took a practical approach that included gaining insight from the project’s key stakeholders and tied together the various elements of the project’s vision into a cohesive, actionable strategy.

Hudson Dodd | General Manager | Brook Waimarama Sanctuary Trust

Baw Baw Destination Action Plan, Marketing Plan & Recreational Vehicle and Tourism Signage Plan

TRC’s expertise in developing successful strategies regarding visitor economies and regional tourism proved extremely helpful to Baw Baw Shire Council when it sought guidance in enhancing its own Tourism Marketing Strategy, as well as in creating detailed action plans for three hero destinations across the Shire.

Mark Kestigian | Executive Manager Communications & Economic Development | Baw Baw Shire Council

Destination Management Plan for Destination Southern NSW

TRC prepared and finalised our Regional Destination Management Plan on time and on budget. TRC provided great professional advice throughout the project – they also took on board the view and guidance we gave. From the outset we wanted a strong partnership with our contractor and that is exactly what we got from TRC – beginning to end.

General Manager | Destination Southern NSW

Wellington Regional Trails Framework

In 2017 TRC worked with land managers and stakeholders from around the Wellington Region to develop the Wellington Regional Trails Framework. TRC’s destination management expertise, experience and professional approach was critical to the success of this ambitious project, that has seen 11 different agencies align their approaches and come together to move Wellington from an ‘under the radar’ network of tracks to a world class trails destination for residents and visitors alike.

Sarah Murray | Community Partnerships Manager | Parks, Sport and Recreation | Wellington City Council

Concept Plan for Adventure Cycling in the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park

TRC Tourism’s Concept Plan for Adventure Cycling in the Tjoritja/West MacDonnell National Park exceeded expectations. The case it presents for a new, nationally significant tourism product is so compelling it has attracted immediate government investment and presents exciting opportunities for private investors and Aboriginal Traditional Owners.

Mac Moyses | Director Planning | NT Parks and Wildlife Commission

Hamilton and Waikato Tourism Opportunities Plan

During 2016, the TRC team worked with Hamilton & Waikato Tourism and regional stakeholders to develop a comprehensive Tourism Opportunities Plan to identify opportunities for new and improved visitor experiences that had the greatest potential to drive growth. The TRC team brought significant experience in destination management and planning and a fresh perspective to the project. They were excellent to work with, engaged effectively with stakeholders and applied critical insights and analysis to complex issues.

Kiri Goulter

Tourism Infrastructure Audit for Northern Tasmania

Tourism Northern Tasmania set out to define the private and public sector investment needed to sustain intelligent growth in the visitor economy for the region. TRC and their associates provided the well-rounded analysis, consultation and reporting that resulted in a clear vision of what to develop, where across Northern Tasmania. Less than six months from endorsing the final work and we are already seeing significant progress on three key infrastructure projects as well as active interest from private sector investors to take on opportunities profiled in work.

Chris Griffin | CEO | Tourism Northern Tasmania

Mulligans Flat Woodland Sanctuary Concept and Interpretation Plan

I really appreciated the TRC Team’s professional and honest opinions in the final report and the thorough and thoughtful approach with our stakeholders.

Jasmine Foxlee | Manager Community and Visitor Programs (Acting) | Parks and Conservation Service (PCS) | Environment and Planning Directorate

Coastal Pacific Trail Feasibility Assessment

With the November 2016 Kaikoura Earthquake, a potential opportunity was raised to develop a cycle trail from Picton to Kaikoura. TRC were engaged to perform an initial feasibility investigation. TRC were very professional and were able to provide independent guidance in their report on how governance structures should be set up should the project proceed, with likely jobs generated for the region. They delivered on time and to budget.

Richard Coningham | Manager Assets and Services | Marlborough District Council

Visitor Experience Strategy for Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve

In engaging TRC Tourism the ACT Parks & Conservation Service was seeking to develop a holistic Visitor Experience Strategy for Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. As an iconic destination Tidbinbilla is ideally positioned to leverage from the emerging nature based tourism appetite for authentic experiences in a natural setting. Working with all stakeholders in a collaborative, intuitive manner TRC Tourism delivered a high quality outcome. A strategic blue print for the future.

Brett McNamara | Regional Manager | Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve, Namadgi National Park

New Zealand National Wetlands Trust Feasibility Study

Being a nationally significant project that will rely on tourist visits for its long-term financial sustainability, it’s crucial we get the best advice from professionals in the industry. TRC was our first port of call for a reality check on the feasibility of our proposal.

Karen Denyer | Executive Officer | National Wetland Trust


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Get in touch, we look forward to discussing your challenge.