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Fiji becomes first nation to join Leading Destinations of the World program

Earthcheck’s new program benchmarks and certifies environmental, cultural, social, and economic performance for sustainable destinations and tourism organisations.

Responsible tourism is a phrase that’s appearing more frequently within the travel industry. It refers to the practice of working with sustainable operators at every point throughout the travel journey, from staying in eco-friendly hotels to joining ethical tours and conservation efforts. It also refers to the battle against over-tourism in the world’s most popular destinations and reducing environmental impact on delicate ecosystems and wildlife. Brisbane-based EarthCheck is the world’s leading certification, consulting and advisory group for sustainable destinations and tourism, and it’s leading the charge of change with a new program, Leading Destinations of the World™.

Leleuvia Island, Fiji.
Leleuvia Island, Fiji. © Unsplash/Josaia Cakacaka

Why travellers need to know about EarthCheck

Established in 1987, EarthCheck aims to help businesses, communities and governments deliver clean, safe, prosperous and healthy destinations for travellers.EarthCheck’s client list boasts some of the biggest names in the tourism and hospitality sector, such as Hyatt. Marriott International, Belmond, Capella Hotels & Resorts, The Ritz London, COMO Hotels and Resorts, One&Only, Langham Hospitality Group and many, many more, including tourism groups right here in Australia. In 2023, EarthCheck launched the Leading Destinations of the World™ program.

Zurich, Switzerland.
EarthCheck partner, Zurich, Switzerland. © Unsplash/ Henrique Ferreira

Leading Destinations of the World program by EarthCheck

Pioneered by EarthCheck, the Leading Destinations of the World™ program is a global network of destinations that work collaboratively to benchmark and certify their environmental, cultural, social, and economic performance. The program is a worldwide network of destinations that share a vision and a passion for achieving improved sustainability outcomes and acts as a forum for Destinations to openly share ideas. On 3 October 2023, Fiji became the first nation to join the program, which currently includes sustainable cities, regions, and communities such as Zurich, Switzerland; The Azores, Portugal; Sierra Gorda, Mexico; Westfjords, Iceland; Gero Onsen, Japan; Ras Al Khaimah, United Arab Emirates; and EarthCheck’s hometown of Brisbane, Australia.

Brisbane city from above at night.
EarthCheck partner, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. © Unsplash/Jesse Collins

Fiji: A sustainable, eco-friendly and responsible destination

As part of benchmarking and certifying the destination, EarthCheck’s partnership with Tourism Fiji will include Loloma Fiji, an accreditation program for Fiji’s tourism industry. Loloma Fiji gives local tourism businesses the ability to benchmark their performance in 10 key areas, including water, waste, and energy usage, and have their efforts audited and certified by an independent third party. Tourism Fiji’s partnership with EarthCheck will also include sustainability training for their personnel, for businesses participating in the Loloma Fiji program and for the wider community.

Tourism Fiji CEO Brent Hill said Fiji’s inclusion in this program reflects Fiji’s firm dedication to preserving its abundant natural beauty, unique ecosystems, and rich heritage. “We are thrilled to have the backing of EarthCheck as we progress our sustainability journey,” he said. “Fiji’s rich biodiversity and culture are not only our greatest assets, but also our responsibility to protect. Through science-driven strategies, a focus on capacity building and sustainability efforts aligned to international best practices, we aim to ensure our paradise remains a cherished destination for generations to come.”

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