Australia’s Northern Territory Champions the Responsible Holiday

The Northern Territory in Australia has teamed up with the world’s leading travel agent for ethical, environmentally kind holidays, responsibletravel.com, to raise awareness of the destination as a fantastic eco-friendly getaway amidst increasing consumer concern for the environment. The Northern Territory is home to Australia’s most dramatic, beautiful and varied scenery including the awe-inspiring Red Centre icons of Uluru (Ayers Rock), Kata Tjuta (The Olgas) and Kings Canyon as well as the Top End adventure and wildlife destinations of Katherine Gorge and dual World-Heritage listed Kakadu National Park. The Territory is hugely important culturally – home to the world’s oldest continuous living culture with rock art which is over 50,000 years old! The six month campaign, launching this week, will highlight the wealth of tourism product across the Top End and Red Centre that meets the strict guidelines that responsibletravel.com sets. Downloadable destination guides, bookable packages, tour tips, news alerts and e-zines will all feature on the site as part of the activity. Justin Francis, managing director, responsibletravel.com said: “Since we launched in 2001 responsibletravel.com has seen a massive increase in demand from travellers who are looking for enjoyable and authentic holiday experiences which are better for local people and environments. This new campaign showcases some of the very best responsible holidays on offer in The Northern Territory. We welcome the destination’s commitment to responsible tourism.” Fleur Burrows, consumer marketing manager - niche for Tourism NT commented: “We are very pleased to be working with responsibletravel.com –a business held in high regard within the sustainable tourism arena. Tourism businesses within the Northern Territory have long been considering their effect on their environment and are mindful of their rich cultural heritage. This new partnership provides us with a great platform to raise awareness of our exciting range of eco activities and accommodation that people can experience on a visit to Australia’s Outback.” Much of the work that the Northern Territory government has undertaken in recent years has been to ensure that indigenous tourism businesses are supported and environmental issues considered. Here are some of the latest initiatives: Green Government Launches NEW Accreditation Programme Showing the commitment to the preservation and the protection of the natural and cultural assets, Tourism NT has been spearheading a new accreditation programme. The scheme offers businesses the chance to be certified and promoted on different criteria including “Respecting Our Culture” and “Eco Certification” and both of these programs move the local tourism industry towards a responsible and sustainable future – two causes that responsibletravel.com champions across the globe. Sustainable Eco Systems The fragile eco systems that exist in such magical places like dual World-Heritage listed Kakadu National Park are extremely vulnerable. The Northern Territory recognises that these systems are also of great interest to responsible travellers so their protection and education of visitors are key themes which underpin most of the park’s day to day running. Some of the rangers who are employed to safe guard the heritage, beauty and history are indigenous people who were born and raised in the park and so appreciate and understand the environment more than most. Award-winning Eco Accommodation Accommodation providers across the Northern Territory are also keen to consider the environment and address any negative effect on their local area. Crowne Plaza, Alice Springs only last month won a national environmental award for is multi-million pound solar photovoltaic system which was part of the Solar Cities Programme and was also the largest building mounted solar panel system in Australia. Independent accommodation providers are also getting involved with the protection of natural and cultural assets; newly opened Alice Station B&B also in Alice Springs is constructed from railway sleepers from the famous Ghan railway – stylish and environmentally friendly! Supporting Sustainable Indigenous Tourism Enterprises Three new tourism hubs across The Northern Territory have been introduced to safe-guard the area’s cultural heritage by assist indigenous tourism. Offering training and advice on setting up and running a successful tourism business are just some of the skills offered by the hub. It also provides booking agents with a one-stop shop for tour information and prices and with 10 businesses involved the government-run model is establishing authentic, sustainable indigenous tourism enterprises. ENDS For more information and photography contact Suzanne Holiday or Tryphena Greenwood on T: +44 207 839 2140 or tourismntmedia@keenepa.co.uk and visit: www.australiasoutback.com. NOTES TO EDITORS 1. Australia’s Northern Territory is a leading nature and culture destination where Australia’s Outback meets the tropics and is home to Australia’s most dramatic, beautiful and varied scenery including the awe-inspiring red centre icons of Uluru, Kata Tjuta and Kings Canyon as well as the Top End adventure and wildlife destinations of Katherine Gorge and Kakadu National Park. 2. Darwin International Airport is an international gateway to Australia offering connections to Singapore, which is just over four hours away. 3. The peak visitor time is during the dry season, from May to September, but the Tropical Summer from October to April brings spectacular lightning shows and lush growth. 4. www.australiasoutback.com is an essential resource for travellers planning a trip to the Northern Territory. About responsibletravel.com: responsibletravel.com is the world’s leading travel agent for responsible holidays. The site offers over 3,500 richer, deeper and more locally distinctive travel experiences that are better for destinations and local communities. Whether you’re after an action-packed adventure, a relaxing beach escape or a charming countryside getaway closer to home, there’s something to suit all tastes and budgets. Co-founder, Justin Francis had the idea for the website after meeting Jackson, a village headman in Zambia. He subsequently launched the site with backing from Dame Anita Roddick in 2001. Based in Brighton, England the company also campaigns for positive change in the travel and tourism industry. Press contact: Krissy Roe, press@responsibletravel.com, Mob: 07717 348368

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