Gumbaynggirr’s ‘Two Path Strong’ tourism experience celebrating local Aboriginal culture and country knowledge has secured Coffs Harbor a place on the list of the World’s Top 100 Green Destinations for 2022.
Each year, the international sustainable tourism organization Green Destinations receives outstanding entries from companies around the world telling their stories to entice travelers to visit and tourism professionals to promote the region.
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The Coffs Coast is one of only two Australian destinations to make the prestigious Top 100 list, the other being the Central Coast.
The region’s chosen story, Two Path Strong, celebrates Aboriginal tourism on the Coffs Coast and the rich culture that supported the establishment of the first bilingual Aboriginal language school in New South Wales, Australia.
“We are honored and proud that the story of our Gumbaynggirr Giingana Freedom School and our award-winning cultural tourism businesses have been selected in this prestigious international competition,” said Clark Webb, CEO of Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC).
“It is exciting that the story of our living Gumbaynggirr culture around Coffs is being shared with the world,” he added.
The announcements were made on September 27 during the Green Destinations 2022 Future of Tourism Summit in Athens, Greece.
Coffs Harbor Town Chief Executive, Natalia Cowley, told News Of The Area: “In the process of becoming NSW’s premier eco-destination, Coffs Coast’s authentic Aboriginal tourism products have stood out as a significant contributor to that goal and this story is one of many. examples of what is on offer in this space.”
As the first anniversary of Coffs Coast’s ECO Destination certification approached, Ms Cowley congratulated “the town team, our tourism businesses and the community on this outstanding achievement”.
“Our region is further cementing its status as an ecotourism hub with an important cultural history that will be shared around the world.”
Australia’s first bilingual Aboriginal language school is located in Coffs Coast, along with an array of award-winning tours, cafes and cultural experiences run by the Bularri Muurlay Nyanggan Aboriginal Corporation (BMNAC).
Green Destinations is a Netherlands-based organization that aims to make tourism better and more sustainable, leading a global partnership of over 50 representatives, made up of sustainable tourism experts, consultants and non-profit organisations.
By Andrea FERRARI