Topics:  noosa biosphere, noosa tourism

Green glow for Noosa tourism Reflection of an eco ethic

LOW IMPACT: Rod and Cath Withyman (left), from Kayak Noosa, celebrate with clients Hayley Pearce and Becky Lumsden, from the UK, as their eco credentials are recognised with an Advanced Ecotourism certification.
LOW IMPACT: Rod and Cath Withyman (left), from Kayak Noosa, celebrate with clients Hayley Pearce and Becky Lumsden, from the UK, as their eco credentials are recognised with an Advanced Ecotourism certification. Geoff Potter

KAYAK Noosa's latest award means another gentle, green footprint up the ladder of global prominence for Noosa Biosphere.

Biosphere chairwoman Dr Sue Davis congratulated the Noosaville company, owned by Rod and Cath Withyman, on its advanced ecotourism certification, saying this was what was needed to position the biosphere reserve globally as a leading eco-tourism and sustainable tourism destination.

"Sustainability certification shows that businesses are looking at their impact on the environment, reducing their carbon footprint and, in most cases, it also saves them money.

"We need to have more businesses who are willing to demonstrate their leadership in such ways," she said.

The eco certificate is a reflection of the couple's strong philosophy of sustainabilty and the values they practise in every area of their life.

"We are not here to be the biggest," Cath Withyman said.

But it's pretty obvious that they intend to be the best.

"The Advanced Eco Certification Level IV from Ecotourism Australia is the highest level of sustainable business certification that a tourism business can achieve," she said.

The couple lives on an 8ha farm at Pomona with their two young children.

It's there they grow fresh food to feed their family and Kayak Noosa guests. And if a little extra is needed they buy at Greater Noosa farmers' markets and Pomona stores.

Cath said her family's goals for conservation and sustainability were simple.

"Do all that we can to protect and conserve the environment so that our kids will be able to enjoy and appreciate the same wonders of nature that we have," she said.

Rod Withyman echoed the sentiment: "We take great pride in our environmental ethics and ensure our guests have an awakened sense of appreciation and respect for the environment when they come kayaking with us."

Tourism Noosa general manager Damien Massingham congratulated Kayak Noosa, saying the award showcased their business as a sustainable tourism business working within a global tourism industry.

Noosaville Business Association president Andy Slavin said we should all promote their experience and reward their commitment to the environment.

Ecotourism Australia's eco-certification program is one of 13 certification programs globally that has been recognised by Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Kayak Noosa has received a number of awards for sustainability achievements.

This year it has been nominated for the 2013 Queensland Premier's Sustainability Awards.



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