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Businesses reduce their carbon footprint

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WHITSUNDAY Regional Council (WRC) has recruited 37 ambitious businesses partners from the tourism sector to start tracking and reducing their carbon emissions.

The Whitsunday ‘Healthy Heart’ project aims to support the decarbonisation of the tourism sector.

This is done by providing the tools and knowledge for businesses to measure and reduce emissions, improve sustainability, and work together to achieve a ‘sustainable destination’ accreditation for the region.

Climate Change Resilience Officer Lee Hawkins said the four-year project could not have come at a better time for the local tourism industry. 

“The rise of environmentally conscious travellers is rewarding tourism businesses that are making an effort to reduce their carbon footprint,” she said.

“More visitors are looking for eco-tourism options that have a low, or even non-existent, environmental impact.”

WRC has recently been awarded funding through the Queensland Government’s Eco-Certified Tourism Destination Program.

The program is a key initiative under the ‘Towards Tourism 2032’ strategy to assist Local Governments and Regional Tourism Organisations to attain destination-level certification.

The funding will be used to expand the number of businesses that can access the online emissions portal and fast-track the Whitsundays to achieve an EarthCheck Sustainable Destination Certification.

Additional training and support sessions will also be implemented.

The project has been attracting partners from the marine tourism sector, island resorts, and marinas, since July 2021.

“As of December 2022, all tourism related businesses are invited to join the project and access the free online carbon calculator to measure their operational carbon footprint,” Ms Hawkins said.

“Through our 37 partners, we are able to gain a snapshot of our regional tourism emissions and put plans in place to reduce them.”

For more information or to register interest in the Whitsunday Healthy Heart Project, email info@whitsundayrc.qld.gov.au

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