The new brand, Conservation Travel Australia (CTA), will launch at this year’s Australian Tourism Exchange (ATE), and is an alliance between internationally recognised wildlife tour company, Echidna Walkabout, and the not-for-profit koala conservation organisation, Koala Clancy Foundation.
CTA has been formed to expand the offering of educational, immersive conservation travel opportunities to the leisure, corporate, educational and volunteer travel sectors. It is tourism leading conservation as opposed to the other way around and will provide greater opportunities for travellers to act on climate change
Co-director of Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours, Roger Smith, believes that climate change is the biggest reality check tourism in Australia has ever faced.
“The Great Barrier Reef is in peril; wildfires are decimating our national parks; our iconic wildlife is disappearing; our country is getting hotter and drier faster than most other countries,” said Smith.
“Conservation travel is growing across the world and people want to give back as part of their travel experience,” he said.
“Before the pandemic hit our business was growing exponentially based on our catch-cry ‘Help nature while you enjoy it’. ”
“Recent surveys are telling us that 70% of Australians are concerned about climate change and we’re hearing those same words from participants on our tours.”
“At a climate strike in 2019 I photographed a student dressed up in protective clothing with a sign saying ‘Future Environmental Tourist’ – the message could not be clearer to the travel industry, these future travellers expect more than the status quo”
Smith hopes that other travel companies will take up the challenge to face climate change head on and win the next generation of travellers, by creating tours that include conservation actions.
Echidna Walkabout is a founding member of Australian Wildlife Journeys (AWJ), a collaboration of locally-owned wildlife tourism businesses across Australia that work with wildlife in the wild.
“Conservation Travel Australia is working closely with other members of AWJ to create tours that give back to wildlife and the environment” said Mr Smith
“Two new tours have been built with AWJ members Exmouth Dive & Whale Sharks Ningaloo and FNQ Nature Tours.” said Mr Smith
James Boettcher, Owner of FNQ Nature Tours, said
“Echidna Walkabout has been a global leader of conservation-style tourism for nearly three decades.”
“Echidna Walkabout tours and its Koala Clancy Foundation not-for-profit have been inspirational to us at FNQ Nature Tours.” said Boettcher
“Using the same concept we built a new conservation tourism program of our own and Echidna Walkabout is involved in promoting it,” he said.
“Conservation Travel Australia is the way to the future for travel. This is a thrilling and natural progression for Echidna Walkabout and Koala Clancy and we’re excited to be a part of it.”
Debbie Ferguson, Co-owner of Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo, said:
“Last year Echidna Walkabout came to Exmouth to work with us to build a new land-based program as an extension to our current water-based tours.”
“Together we’ve created two 8 day citizen science and conservation experiences built around our Whaleshark and Humpback Whale tours.” said Ferguson
“To be one of the first AWJ operators to be included in CTA is a privilege and an exciting new era for ethical, conservation based touring in Australia,” she said.
John Daw, CEO Australian Wildlife Journeys, said
“Over many years I’ve watched Echidna Walkabout give back to wildlife especially to wild koalas through their not-for-profit Koala Clancy Foundation,”
“Giving back is a great message that increasingly resonates with travellers,” said Daw.
“They have also given advice, support and mentoring to other members of Australian Wildlife Journeys and to the wider wildlife tourism community throughout Australia,” he said.
I have no doubt that CTA will change the face of tourism in Australia.”
Further quotes attributable to Roger Smith can be found here:
Contact: Roger Smith +61 427 808 745
Mobile contacts for attributable quotes for:
James Boettcher +61 400 732 883 (FNQ Nature Tours)
Debbie Ferguson +61 412 712 623 (Exmouth Dive & Whalesharks Ningaloo)
John Daw +61 438 454 259 (CEO Australian Wildlife Journeys)
Conservation Travel Australia: https://www.conservationtravel.com.au/
Echidna Walkabout: https://www.echidnawalkabout.com.au/
Koala Clancy Foundation: https://www.koalaclancyfoundation.org.au/
Exmouth Dive & Whale Sharks Ningaloo: https://www.exmouthdiving.com.au/
FNQ Nature Tours: https://fnqnaturetours.com.au/
Australian Wildlife Journeys: https://australianwildlifejourneys.com/
ABOUT CONSERVATION TRAVEL AUSTRALIA
Conservation Travel Australia is a new alliance between Echidna Walkabout Nature Tours and Koala Clancy Foundation to bring educational, immersive conservation travel opportunities to the leisure, corporate, educational and volunteer travel sectors. Conservation Travel Australia will have its own itineraries, chiefly for conservation travel for groups, and will also promote Echidna Walkabout leisure travel itineraries and Koala Clancy Foundation koala-based volunteer itineraries.