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Friday, January 16, 2015

Great Barrier Reef volunteer travel program



Passions helps volunteers understand the Reef

Around 400 student volunteers who are learning about sustainable travel will visit the Great Barrier Reef with Passions of Paradise when they visit Cairns later this year.

Passions of Paradise Sales and Marketing Manager Adam O'Malley said the United States-based international volunteer program ISV had selected Passions of Paradise to host the students during their four-week trip to Australia.

"Groups of the students will arrive from June to September and their stay in Cairns will include a day trip on the Passions of Paradise catamaran to two pristine Great Barrier Reef locations," he said.

ISV International Program Director Narelle Webber said ISV's responsible adventure travel programs aimed to educate and inspire student volunteers to become more active global citizens.

"We selected Passions of Paradise to show the students the Great Barrier Reef as Passions is a like-minded company which will pass on the values of sustainable travel while offering a personalised adventure experience," she said.

"We were impressed with Passions' commitment to the Great Barrier Reef by becoming carbon neutral, assisting in the Reef's conservation and sharing that passion with passengers by educating them about the World Heritage area they were visiting."

Mr O'Malley said an eco-guide would give the students an informative briefing on the way to the Reef so they would understand the ecosystem they were about to experience.

"Passions of Paradise offers passengers the opportunity to participate in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority's Eye on the Reef program which the students may wish to participate in," he said.

"We also raise awareness of the issues facing sharks with the on-board Save A Shark Program.

"Through this program, Passions has donated $25,000 in funds for student research into sharks.

"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."

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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