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Tourism Australia launches national CSR audit

A new report released by Tourism Australia indicates that the business events sector in Australia is taking the issue of sustainable tourism seriously, with a significant proportion of the sector actively engaged in seeking corporate social responsibility (CSR) accreditation.

The National Corporate Social Responsibility Audit, commissioned by Tourism Australia’s Business Events Australia unit, assessed the level of accreditation across 278 organisations representing the business events sector.

Tourism Australia Managing Director Geoff Buckley said Australia is one of the first national tourist offices to conduct an audit to identify businesses with solid CSR credentials.

"The feedback we have been receiving from our international customers in the business events sector indicates that there is a greater need to deliver corporate meeting and incentive programs that have a stronger social or environmental focus," Buckley said.

"We are pleased to report that one in three audit participants – 35 percent – reported holding at least one accreditation. The level of accreditation among major players like hotels and convention centres is even higher at 46 percent," he added.

According to the CSR Audit the Green Globe Bronze and Silver, Tourism Accreditation Australia and Ecotourism Australia accreditations were the most popular with respondents. Green accreditation was also considerably higher among large organisations employing over 100 people and international chains, where around 60 percent hold at least one accreditation. Two thirds of respondents had written policies, strategies and plans relating to environment, sustainability and CSR.

Tourism Australia’s Head of Business Events Australia Joyce DiMascio said, "The CSR Audit is a major step forward for our industry. As a result of our research we can better inform our customers about Australia’s green and socially responsible operators – from convention centres, conference and incentive hotels to staging companies."

(Source: Tourism Australia)