Bass Coast Shire Council recognises the importance of the natural environment to its economy and has now achieved Bronze Benchmarking, a significant milestone towards Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC) certification.
Bass Coast is the only destination in Victoria and one of three in Australia to reach this benchmarked status, placing it among a worldwide network of destinations focussed on achieving tangible sustainability outcomes.
Council worked closely with EarthCheck, a leading sustainability benchmarking organisation, to measure the environmental performance of Bass Coast as a destination.
Since the Phillip Island and San Remo Visitor Economy Strategy 2035: Growing Tourism was adopted by Council in 2016, officers have been working towards gaining international certification as a sustainable destination under the GSTC.
Achieving certification through the GSTC was identified as a ‘Game Changer’ action of the Strategy.
Bass Coast Shire Deputy Mayor Cr Bruce Kent said it was a great achievement to become the first destination in Victoria to reach Bronze Benchmarked status.
“Council and the Community Tourism Reference Group have been working with our local communities for a long time to achieve this outcome, which is a real credit to them,” Cr Kent said.
“Now, the next step will be to work towards full certification, to help Phillip Island and San Remo become a leading tourist destination worldwide.
“By joining some of the world’s most ecological destinations we are not only demonstrating our commitment to a sustainable future, we are also promoting ourselves as a place where visitors can come to enjoy a pristine and protected natural environment.”
By working towards certification, Bass Coast needs to demonstrate a commitment to sustainability and to improving environmental and social performance.