Responsible Travel to the Great Barrier Reef with ISV and Passions of Paradise

by isvolunteers on Sunday, 10 May 2015

ISV is excited to announce that we have selected a new operator to take our volunteers to explore the World Heritage Listed Great Barrier Reef as part of the Australia Adventure Tour. Most significantly, we’re excited about the reasons we selected Passions of Paradise: their leadership in ecotourism practices and commitment to responsible travel.

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Snorkelling in the spectacular Great Barrier Reef. (c) Passions of Paradise

The word “sustainability” seems to be in the marketing materials of most tour operators these days. But you need to ask yourself, are they using it as a marketing gimmick or do they actually “walk the talk”? For ISV, a big part of “walking the talk” starts with carefully selecting our tour operators.

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Enjoying the high seas aboard a Passions of Paradise boat. (c) Passions of Paradise

As part of the process to decide on which operators to use each year, ISV’s International Program Director (Narelle Webber) and Australia Tour Director (Leanne Roberts) recently inspected a number of tour operators in Cairns in Northern Queensland. Narelle has personally screened and selected hundreds of tour operators during her time with ISV:

“Our site inspection day-trip with Passions’ ticked all the boxes. ISV selected activity operators must run trips that are safe, professional, smooth and super-fun. However, more than this, we were also looking to be impressed by an operator’s ecotourism standards, and with Passions’ we were not disappointed. Not only did they have the qualifications that we were looking for, there were several other aspects that demonstrated their leadership in sustainable practices. I was especially impressed by their real commitment to action on Climate Change, their educational talks about the Reef by knowledgeable and passionate staff, and the little details, like sourcing their food locally to limit food miles and support local businesses. They even served us tea from the nearby Daintree area.”

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Sea turtle. (c) Passions of Paradise

Passions of Paradise offer snorkelling, scuba diving and glass bottom boat trips where you can see the splendours of the Great Barrier Reef.  Leanne, herself a certified diver, tested out the introductory dive which is available to uncertified divers (subject to passing a medical screening) at an additional cost:

“I was very satisfied with my experience and feel like it’s a great opportunity for ISV participants that want to try scuba diving for the first time. There were a maximum of four students per instructor, and Passions used well-maintained, high quality equipment, assuring me that safety is their number one priority, as it should be. However, if participants aren’t keen to scuba dive, there are ample opportunities to snorkel and there are few places better in the whole world to snorkel than the Great Barrier Reef!”

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(c) Passions of Paradise

Passions of Paradise Sales and Marketing Manager Adam O’Malley was equally pleased to secure ISV’s business:

“As a small local owned company, Passions of Paradise is proud to be giving back to the environment we work in and it is really rewarding to win a new customer like ISV based purely on our company’s commitment to operating sustainably on the Great Barrier Reef.”

Passions of Paradise are an ECO Certified Advanced Ecotourism operator, certified Climate Action Leaders and a carbon neutral business. Passions are active in the “Eye on the Reef” monitoring program, and through Project Aware, their Save A Shark Program raises awareness of the issues facing sharks and they have donated $25,000 in funds for student research into sharks. Check out their eco-credentials.

The company’s commitment to research, education and conservation of the Great Barrier Reef has earned Passions of Paradise the 2014 Queensland Tourism Award and the 2014 Tropical North Queensland Tourism Award for Excellence in Sustainable Tourism, Ecotourism Australia’s 2013 Innovation in Ecotourism Award and a partnership with PADI’s 100% Project Aware.

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Soaking up the suns rays in the spectacular waters of the Great Barrier Reef. (c) Passions of Paradise

ISV’s commitment to genuine ecotourism and projects that deliver real results is what separates ISV from our competitors.

To learn more about ISV, our programs and our responsible travel philosophy, please visit our website.

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(c) Passions of Paradise


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