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Sustainability soars in TNQ: Cairns & Great Barrier Reef Leading the Charge

The region is making significant strides towards achieving a net-zero carbon footprint before 2050

In a groundbreaking move towards eco-conscious tourism, Tropical North Queensland emerges as Australia’s beacon of sustainability, with a slew of innovative initiatives aimed at preserving its pristine natural wonders.

The region, renowned for its breathtaking landscapes and unparalleled biodiversity, is making significant strides towards achieving a net-zero carbon footprint before 2050. Spearheaded by Tourism Tropical North Queensland, in collaboration with various industry stakeholders, the ambitious goal is gaining momentum with each innovative endeavor.

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One such initiative making waves is the transformation of transportation in the region. Tropic Wings, a leading tour operator, is at the forefront of this revolution, unveiling plans to introduce 12 cutting-edge Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs) into its fleet.

Supported by a $4.75 million grant from the Australian Renewable Energy Agency (ARENA), this visionary project aims to reduce carbon emissions while offering tourists an environmentally friendly mode of travel to iconic destinations such as the Daintree Rainforest and Mossman Gorge.

Meanwhile, Sailaway Port Douglas sets sail towards sustainability with the unveiling of the Great Barrier Reef’s first electric glass-bottom boat. Powered by renewable energy sources including wind and solar, this carbon-neutral vessel offers guests an immersive reef viewing experience while minimising environmental impact.

Sailaway VI Low Isles lagoon

On the accommodation front, Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort and Mt Mulligan Lodge, lead by example, achieving prestigious sustainability certifications from Ecotourism Australia. These accolades recognise their unwavering commitment to environmental conservation, cultural preservation, and responsible tourism practices, setting the standard for global sustainability in the hospitality sector.

Mt Mulligan Lodge, credit TTNQ
Novotel Cairns Oasis Resort, credit TTNQ

Even Cairns Airport has joined the green revolution, implementing innovative environmental strategies such as food waste recycling and pioneering sustainability-linked financial agreements. These efforts have not gone unnoticed and led to Cairns Airport being crowned Airport of the Year twice in 2023, winning the Major Airport of the Year category at the Australian Airports Association (AAA) National Airport Industry Awards and being named Airport of the Year at the Australian Aviation Awards.

Cairns Airport also took out the Airport Excellence Award for Sustainability for their Australia-first Sustainability Linked Loan agreement, which features a unique target committing to regenerating threatened species.

Sailaway VI Low Isles lagoon

As Tropical North Queensland continues to blaze a trail toward a greener future, these initiatives serve as a testament to the region’s dedication to preserving its natural treasures for generations to come. With each eco-friendly innovation, Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef solidify their position as leaders in sustainable tourism, inspiring travelers worldwide to explore responsibly and protect the planet.

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