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Sustainable Travel and Tourism: Applying the Green Globe Program to Aardvark Adventures Tasmania

posted on 2023-05-26, 13:47 authored by Buaban, S
Travel and tourism have become significant industries in the global market place over the last decade. Consequently, the negative environmental impacts associated with the growth of travel and tourism have been a major concern. These concerns extend to ‘adventure tourism’ sector which is a distinct form of nature-based tourism that has rapidly grown in demand. The concept of sustainability, based on Agenda 21 principles, was introduced to the travel and tourism industry. The Green Globe travel and tourism certification program was developed in response to Agenda 21 and recognised the need for a global comprehensive certification scheme. Since its emergence, Green Globe has been criticized for its framework and protocol. The effectiveness of its implementation and the awareness of members have been raised as a concern. This research aims to apply the Green Globe environmental auditing methodology to a Tasmanian adventure tourism company, and assess the overall relevance of the Green Globe certification program. Aardvark Adventures Tasmania, a tour operator company was approached to participate in this research. The Green Globe Lite program, the latest form of the Green Globe brand, was adopted in the auditing process. Interviews with the Aardvark owner and staff were conducted. The company’s performance was assessed against five key social and environmental areas: sustainability, energy, CO2, water, and waste. Qualitative and quantitative data were collected both from the office and during field operations. The research found that there was strong environmental ethic evident in all levels of the company’s operations. The results of energy consumption, CO2 emissions, water consumption, and solid waste production corresponded with other relevant studies. However, the company’s environmental management system needs to be more formally implemented. Knowledge, attitude, time, and cost are relevant issues in the adoption of certification schemes by small tourism enterprises like Aardvark. The research highlighted that the Green Globe protocol does not closely fit with the adventure tourism activity sector. Various operational factors made the data gathering process difficult. In order to be more effective and comprehensive, Green Globe should define the protocol specific to each sector within the travel and tourism industry. Associated standards and methods should also be more explicit and more widely available to the public.





School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences


University of Tasmania

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