Sustainable Development Goals and Tourism


The United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) clearly identifies the role that tourism has in contributing, directly or indirectly, to all the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, tourism has been included as a major potential contributor to goals 8, 12 and 14 on inclusive and sustainable economic growth, sustainable consumption and production and the sustainable use of oceans and marine resources.

Tourism has the opportunity to make a significant positive contribution to the 2030 agenda. To achieve this, a clear framework for implementation is required, adequate finance and investment in technology needs to be sourced and supportive infrastructure and human resources need to gradually be developed. A coordinated approach to these requirements from a federal level to state, regional and local tourism planning documents would be helpful and could be reflected in future strategies and policies. Without commitment across all levels, the collective outcomes would not be as strong as they have the potential to be.

You will see how we are contributing to the 2030 agenda through the SDG icons across our website.

Changing Climate, Changing Business

The Building a resilient tourism industry: Queensland climate change response plan (The Plan) represents an industry-led climate adaptation and mitigation road map for the tourism industry sector in alignment with the Queensland Climate Adaptation Strategy (Q-CAS). The Q-CAS is centred around a partnership approach that recognises that climate change is everyone’s responsibility and that a collaborative approach is needed to ensure resilience is embedded in Queensland’s diverse economies, landscapes and communities.

In the development of The Plan, a consultative committee was formed to represent the industry and drive the direction of The Plan, determine the scope for inclusion and consultation, and lead the advocacy toward the mainstreaming of climate change planning. The consultative committee was engaged throughout the project, and stakeholder workshops were held to refine The Plan and ensure it is relevant to the industry.

The Plan aims to bring climate risks and opportunities to the forefront of industry discussion, raising the profile of mitigation and adaptation strategies. It addresses both adaptation and mitigation needs for the Queensland tourism industry, and as such contributes to Australia's international commitment to the Paris Climate Agreement. The agreement stipulates to limit global temperature rise to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

The Plan also recognises that efforts to address climate change and recognises that these sit within the broader efforts of making progress along the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Australia is highly committed to the Sustainable Development Goals, and this sector plan provides an opportunity to contribute to their achievement.

The objective is to provide a framework for the tourism sector to proactively respond to climate change risks and opportunities and lead the way as stewards for the environment and key contributors to community well-being.

Recognising the urgency of addressing climate change, The Plan considers both a short-term and mid-term time frame, with a long-term view towards the 2050 target of net zero emissions. In other words, the sector can begin immediately to implement actions that reduce risks and lay critical foundations for decarbonising tourism, and it also has to prepare mid- and long-term strategies towards a climate resilient, near-zero emissions industry.

Useful Links


Crisis Ready

Business Continuity Toolkit
Managing your Response
Don’t Risk It

Carbon Neutrality & Carbon Offsetting – What it Means

A short animation from Griffith University 
EarthCheck Carbon Offsets

Queensland Government

Adapting to Climate Change
Climate Change Resources

Bureau of Meteorology

Climate change and variability in Australia

EarthCheck & Griffith Institute for Tourism ClimateCheck Toolkit

The ClimateCheck Toolkit provides a timely, practical resource to help destinations gain an understanding of readiness to address climate change and the action that can be undertaken to help industry respond to climate risks and opportunities. It's most suitable for State, Regional and Local Destination Management Organisations and Local Government.


ecoBiz is a free program run by CCIQ that helps businesses save thousands of dollars across their power, water and waste bills. Through ecoBiz, businesses put sustainable ideas into practice.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)

This Emissions Calculator has been developed for Marine Park tourism operators to allow easy calculation of their carbon footprint.


CoastAdapt is an information delivery and decision support framework. It is for anyone with an interest in Australia’s coast, the risks it faces from climate change and sea-level rise, and what can be done to respond to those risks.

Clean Energy Finance Company (CEFC)

The CEFC invest in businesses and projects that develop and commercialise clean energy technologies or are involved in the clean energy supply chain. They focus on projects and technologies at both the early and later stages of development, investing through debt, equity or a combination of both.


Ecotourism Australia

Regional Tourism Crisis Management 

A guide to assist Regional Tourism Organisations to prepare, respond and recover from a crisis.
EarthCheck CrisisReady Program
Southern Great Barrier Reef - RiskSGBR
Mackay and Whitsundays - RiskWhitMack
Outback - RiskOutback
Tropical North Queensland - RiskCairns

United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO)

Nearly Zero Energy Hotels

Carbon Footprint Calculators

Carbon Neutral
Carbon Assessments
Corporate Social Responsibility Reporting

Water Management 

Water Management and Responsibility in Hotels
Tourism and Water

May contribute to the following SDGs: