Image of woman at Wilga Station looking out the window at sheep and view

Moving towards more sustainable tourism is important in 2024, as the world begins to acknowledge the impact that tourism is having on the environment. Travellers have become more aware of their environmental footprint and are looking for places to stay that are making an effort to reduce the impact of their stay.

By incorporating sustainable practices into your accommodation, you can contribute to the development of your destination and be part of the growing market for sustainable tourism.

For some, the idea of moving towards sustainability can seem a bit overwhelming at first (haven’t you got enough to worry about?) but the good news is that there are plenty of easy first practical steps you can take to make your accommodation more environmentally friendly.

First and foremost, you will need to create an environmental policy, so you know what you are already doing and how you can improve.

Your policy will need to set achievable and realistic targets will enable you to continually reduce the negative impacts of your business, while increasing the positive effects your operations have on the social and physical environment.

For inspiration, check out the properties listed on Green Getaways which are similar to yours. Open and read the ENVIRONMENT drop down toggle section on their page. Some people are doing amazing things!



• Conduct a water audit to figure out where your accommodation is consuming the most water
• Offer guests the opportunity to choose cleaning of their rooms and changing of towels every second day or on request in order to avoid water waste.


Image of hand and water



 If you intend to take responsible tourism seriously, recycling and composting are a must.
• Create a composting bin and use it to start your own garden
• Place recycling bins throughout your accommodation. Train your staff to use them properly, and leave information for guests to guide them on what should be thrown away and what should be recycled.

Image off kitchen with recycling bins


  • Source food as locally as possible and serve food that is seasonal to your area, rather than having it transported halfway across the world.
  • Serve fish that has been farmed sustainably.
  • Look for food items that have a fair trade label.
Image of bread at a market



• Install solar panels to generate your own clean electricity.
• Use timer switches and thermostats to control your heating system’s output.
• Get low-energy lighting like fluorescent tubes or LED light fittings.
• Purchase energy-efficient rated units when replacing appliances.



  • Source your supplies locally to support your local community
  • Recommend local guides and suggest to your guests that they eat at locally owned restaurants. Keeping the profit in the community will both ensure that the destination continues to exist and the local community can prosper.
  • Supply information about public transport in the local area.
  • Promote growth within your local economy by hiring nearby residents and using as many locally-sourced goods and supplies as possible.
  • Showcase local products that are unique to your area, or partner with nearby businesses to cross promote local goods and services.
  • Plant indigenous trees/shrubs in your area.
  • Provide information to guests to help them understand the local ecosystem and to minimise damage to the environment, wildlife or marine ecosystems.


• Donate to local conservation groups, and invite your guests to do the same
• Offer information about local conservation efforts to tourists who are interested in getting involved.
• Invite local conservation leaders to lead tours of the local environment, (or lead them yourself) and invite guests to come along and take the opportunity to learn more about conservation.

Image of kakadu tour


The positive impact made by these changes will make your efforts worthwhile.

Quite aside from the knowledge that you are helping to protect the environment, working towards sustainability will help your business become more successful as new marketing opportunities open up in this evolving and expanding space.

Sustainable, responsible, green, eco friendly… these words are appealing to more and more travellers who want to reduce their impact on the planet, but don’t necessarily know how to go about it. Your accommodation business can take the opportunity to allow them to do this.

And if you would like to go further, you can find more information at:

Global Sustainable Tourism Council

Ecotourism Australia Strive4Sustainability Scorecard Sustainable Travel Program


Green Getaways totally supports the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard program offered by Ecotourism Australia.

Any accommodation business which has achieved a 50+ score will be able to list with Green Getaways Australia at no cost with their achievements recognized on our site.

You can apply for the SCORECARD 4 SUSTAINABILITY here on the Ecotourism Australia website. And don’t forget to come back to us to let us know for your free listing.



Images supplied courtesy of Tathra Beach Eco Lodge, Unsplash, Cooinda Lodge and Wilga Station Farmers Hut Credit: Destination NSW

Author: Amanda Lambert
February, 2024


Changes to the Travel Sustainable Program 2024

From March 25 2024, will instigate changes to the Travel Sustainable Program.

What is the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard?

The Scorecard aims to foster genuine, sustainable experiences for travellers while promoting sustainability within the tourism industry. The scorecard is not a certification or accreditation: it is a series of benchmarks for businesses to strive for sustainability, based on globally recognized criteria.

What is the Travel Sustainable Program by

The Travel Sustainable Program by recognizes and supports the efforts and investments on a property’s sustainability journey – whatever stage they may be at. There are three different levels, or, for those with eligible third-party certification, a further dedicated level.

Slow Travel in 2024

Slow travel has become synonymous with responsible or conscious tourism. This approach prioritizes sustainability and immersing oneself fully in a destination. Slow travel contrasts with the rapid pace and carbon-intensive nature of conventional tourism, instead utilising low-impact, eco-conscious accommodation and transportation, thereby minimizing traveller’s carbon footprint.

Covid-19 Aftermath : Is this an opportunity for sustainable travel?

COVID-19 challenges us to think about the type of consumption that underpins the unsustainable ways of the travel and tourism industries. But will it also provide an opportunity for change?

Responsible Travel and Cultural Sensitivity

Following a few guidelines will enrich your travels and turns precious moments of interaction into lifelong memories.

Responsible Travel Trends

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Working Towards Sustainable Tourism Accommodation: First Steps

If you intend to take responsible tourism seriously, start with these few first steps…

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This in-house filtered water has proved popular with hotel guests who are well aware of the urgent need to reduce plastic waste and our carbon footprint.

We acknowledge custodians of Country and their continuing connection to land and waters across Australia. We pay our respects to Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples today.

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