The Role of Tourism Businesses on World Tourism Day
As we think about World Tourism Day and the wonders of experiencing new environments, and cultures near and far, there’s no denying that being able to travel is a privilege and most would agree that travel can open minds and hearts.
Tourism is a tremendous economic success story around the world, but if not managed well, there is the risk of spoiling the precious destinations we’re drawn towards in the first place. It actually comes down to all of us. Visitor litter is everyone’s business. In NSW for example, 71.8 million visitors spend $22.3bn during their 91.6 million overnight stays annually, but 25,000 tonnes of visitor litter is left behind.
The past 18 months has seen Take 3 tackle this very issue in NSW underpinned by NSW EPA Community Litter Grants. In 2021 more than 80 tourism businesses took part in a pilot project, First Wave, which informed the creation of whole-of-industry NSW Visitor Economy Litter Prevention Strategy 2030, and a NSW Visitor Economy Litter Prevention Toolkit.
Hot on its heels in 2022, Take 3 rolled out Ground Swell, empowering tourism businesses across the state to work together, to own it and act, to lead the way and commit to keeping our destinations clean and free of litter… especially plastic. 120 business are currently taking action, implementing positive change in their day-to-day operations, educating their staff, guests and customers, communicating the expectation to manage their waste well and be conscious of the impacts good and bad.
‘We love it! Facilitating the Litter Labs where tourism businesses share their litter issues, collaborate, find the underlying reasons and solutions together is exciting. Bit by bit you can feel the overwhelm fade, replaced by a sense of ownership, action and positivity. The action plans are the heartbeat of Ground Swell.’ Bec Dawes, Tourism Manager
‘Our objective is to assist tourism and visitor economy businesses step up, to own it and act, and work together to reduce visitor litter. Our project goals align with the EPA and NSW government goals and you can connect the dots all the way back to the UN SDGs. And that’s the way it should be – everyone working together locally – to find solutions, to act to make positive changes to protect our beautiful, natural environments and precious wildlife.’ Juliette Myers, Project Manager, Ground Swell
It’s not too late to join Ground Swell. If you’d like to receive more information on Ground Swell and the resources available to the visitor economy industry, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org