SeaLink Whitsundays, part of SeaLink Marine & Tourism – Australia’s leading marine transport and tourism operator, has achieved the highest tourism product certification from Ecotourism Australia’s ECO Certification Program.
SeaLink Whitsundays has been awarded Ecotourism Australia’s Advanced ECO Certification as an exemplary operator in terms of sustainability and provision of authentic, high-quality nature-based tourism experiences.
Ms Donna Gauci, CEO SeaLink Marine & Tourism, said attaining the Advanced Ecotourism Certification demonstrates SeaLink Whitsundays’ unwavering commitment to sustainability and ecotourism to protect and promote the natural beauty of the region.
“At SeaLink, we pride ourselves on being a leader of Ecotourism best practice in the industry and the country and this latest achievement is the third operations within our Group that has achieved this independent certification.
“I want to congratulate the passion and commitment our team has shown by stepping up and being a leader in preserving and promoting the natural wonders of the Whitsundays,” she said.
Ms Gauci said while most organisations usually work up through the ECO Certification Program before reaching Advanced Ecotourism, SeaLink Whitsundays secured the top certification on its first application.
“SeaLink earned Advanced ECO Certification for our Whitehaven Beach and Big Island Day Tour, which offers an immersive and unique above and below the water educational experience for our guests,” she said.
Guests on the SeaLink Whitsundays tour take a journey through time, uncovering the history of the iconic Whitsundays including First Nations, European Settlement, recent history, geological features and events, Flora and Fauna.
“The experience showcases the world heritage values and highlights the positive impact of being environmentally sustainable,” she said.
Through the experience, SeaLink Whitsundays encourage guests to become ambassadors for the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park by developing an understanding of not just the reef but all other habitats that encompasses the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
“Achieving Advanced ECO certification assures customers that when they book with us, they can be confident that we have designed an experience with sustainability at its core,” she said.
Earlier this year, SeaLink’s North Queensland operation also received Ecotourism Certification while SeaLink K’gari (Fraser Island) has also achieved Advanced Ecotourism Certification and Green Travel Leader status from Ecotourism Australia’s certification program for their eco-friendly commitments at Kingfisher Bay Resort.
"We value the endorsement from independent organisations like Ecotourism Australia, as this enables us to benchmark our operations against global standards of excellence.
“These independent certifications also offer guests a guaranteed way to identify operators who genuinely prioritise fostering environmental and cultural awareness, appreciation, and conservation," she said.
Interpretive resources and materials for SeaLink guests include onboard educational guides, guided bushwalks, onboard library, Whitsundays specific fauna education and posters, a dedicated Eye on the Reef Sightings App, and safety briefings for in-water activities, and pest management.
Rob Mitchell, General Manager of SeaLink Whitsundays, expressed his immense pride in his team for achieving this certification first go.
"We are very proud to have achieved the highest level eco certification from Ecotourism Australia as well as recently being listed on Tripadvisor’s 2023 Best of the Best List for our exceptional customer reviews.
“Our team’s focus is on creating brilliant customer experiences but sustainably, honouring and safeguarding the magnificent environment we get to share with our guests,” he said.
SeaLink Marine & Tourism’s environmental achievements from around Australia also includes:
- SeaLink North Queensland achieving Ecotourism Certification for its popular tours, Nature Tourism Certified for its ferry services to Magnetic and Palm Islands, and Respecting Our Culture Certified for recognition of their work with local Traditional Owners
- SeaLink K’gari (Fraser Island)’s Ecotourism Australia certification for its environmental, cultural and community programs at Kingfisher Bay Resort
- SeaLink South Australia’s commitment to Kangaroo Island partnering with Flinders University’s Citizen Science Passport 2 Recovery program following the devastating 2019-20 bushfires and its grassroots CommunityLink Program
- SeaLink Sydney Harbour reducing ocean plastic in a partnership between SeaBin and Captain Cook Cruises
- The design of a world-first internationally compliant hydrogen-powered passenger ferry.
“As the leading provider of marine transport and tourism in Australia, we are deeply committed to safeguarding the environments we live and work in so we can help share them with people from all corners of the globe for many generations to come," said Ms Gauci.
To choose eco-friendly and responsible operators keep an eye out for the ECO certified logo.