Voyages' Ayers Rock Resort achieves Advanced Ecotourism Certification
17 January 2024
Ayers Rock Resort, Uluru has proudly achieved both Advanced Ecotourism and Respecting Our Culture Certification to become the first ECO Certified business of 2024.
Ayers Rock Resort is one of Australia's most significant tourism operators, marking its 40th anniversary this year. It is managed by Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia - a wholly owned subsidiary of the Indigenous Land and Sea Corporation (ILSC) - together with the Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre in Far North Queensland. Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre holds Advanced Ecotourism and Respecting Our Culture certification, and is recognised as a Green Travel Leader for its more than 10 years of certification.
As Voyages operates in some of Australia's most sensitive ecosystems and culturally significant destinations, obtaining Ecotourism certification supports the organisation's goal of ensuring these locations are protected for future generations to experience and enjoy.
"We're incredibly proud Ayers Rock Resort has now been ECO Certified, alongside sister property Mossman Gorge Cultural Centre. We believe responsible tourism is the only way forward for our industry and our planet, which is why we're committed to respectful, cultural tourism that cares for Country and community. This achievement is a testament to all the team who work so hard every day on our sustainable journey," said Matt Cameron-Smith, CEO of Voyages Indigenous Tourism Australia.
Chief Executive Officer of Ecotourism Australia, Ms Elissa Keenan, said this is a wonderful reinforcement of the significant sustainability initiatives implemented at the resort.
"Voyages is a strong leader when it comes to sustainability and community-focused initiatives, and we are honoured to have Ayers Rock Resort formally achieving Advanced Eco Certification as well as Respecting Our Culture with Ecotourism Australia."
"Voyages have committed to sustainable tourism practices for a long period with the Mossman Gorge Centre ECO Certified since 2008. We are delighted to acknowledge and recognise Ayers Rock Resort with global best practice certification."
Alongside its sustainability initiatives of an onsite solar field, drive-through recycling centre and wildlife conservation programs, Ayers Rock Resort offers respectful and responsible cultural tourism in the spiritual heart of Australia, the iconic Red Centre. Simply by staying at Ayers Rock Resort or experiencing one of Voyages' many tours, unique dining experiences and art, visitors can experience Uluru in immersive ways whilst supporting local communities, contributing to cultural preservation and leaving a low-impact environmental footprint.
The organisation's strong commitment to social responsibility means ongoing investment to support the improvement of cultural tourism facilities as well as Indigenous training and employment across Australia. By visiting Kulata Cafe at Ayers Rock Resort, guests help to empower a growing Indigenous workforce by providing on-the-job experience for trainees of Voyages' National Indigenous Training Academy (NITA). Now in its 11th year, so far over 650 young Indigenous and Torres Strait Islanders have graduated with market-leading qualifications in tourism and hospitality.
Through the Anangu Communities Foundation, Voyages funds projects that have a positive impact on the health, education, and culture of Anangu. Since its introduction in 2003, the Foundation has injected over $3 million into vital projects in the region.
And through the Gallery of Central Australia (GoCA), remote communities throughout Central Australia benefit from direct and ethical art sales, with 22 Indigenous community Art Centres now showing their artists' works at the gallery.
Cultural sustainability at Voyages also extends to tours and experiences. Notably, Ayers Rock Resort is home to the ground-breaking Wintjiri Wiru, which sees choreographed drones, lasers and projections take flight to illuminate the desert sky with an ancient Anangu story. Visitors can see and hear, in local Pitjantjatjara language, the ancient Mala creation story, immersing themselves in living history and connecting them authentically to Country and culture.
Wintjiri Wiru is the first time an Indigenous story has been told through such technology at this scale and frequency performed on a regular basis anywhere in the world. Every guest who experiences Wintjiri Wiru plays a role in delivering long-term benefits to Anangu.
ECO Certification, first launched by Ecotourism Australia in 1996, was the world's first national ecotourism certification program and aligns with global best practice and tourism standards. There are currently more than 1,800 ECO Certified accommodation and experience products around Australia.
Learn more about Ayers Rock Resort on the Green Travel Guide: www.greentravelguide.org/listing/ayers-rock-resort