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Sunday, December 1, 2019

New sustainable events initiative launched to protect the reef

New initiative recognises the importance of the natural environment by the sector

Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef have today launched a new initiative at their annual Sell TNQ event. The new program, named 'Nurturing Nature', sees five Cairns' hotels commit to donating $5 per delegate to local environmental and wildlife causes for events booked and held in participating hotels next year. The program is part of larger efforts to nurture the natural environment on which the local business events sector is built on.

"Without our natural environment in Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef, we wouldn't have a visitor economy or business events sector. This new program is one of many ways the industry is giving back to local environmental causes whilst providing another way for delegates to leave a legacy," commented Rosie Douglas, General Manager of Business Events Cairns and Great Barrier Reef.

Hilton Cairns, Pullman Cairns International, Pullman Reef Hotel Casino, Riley, A Crystalbrook Collection Resort and Shangri-La The Marina Cairns are all taking part in an effort to shine a light on the sustainability credentials of hosting a business event in Cairns. The donations per conference attendee will go to one of four locally based charities including Citizens of the Great Barrier Reef, Cairns Turtle Rehabilitation Centre, Tropical Animal Rehabilitation Centre and North Queensland Wildlife Trust.

In addition to the donation from each hotel, the properties undertake their own initiatives to conserve energy, water, shop local and give back to the local community. Hilton Cairns have a ban on plastic straws, single use plastic, soap aid and is piloting a number of other initiatives for the hotel group in the Asia-Pacific region. The Crystalbrook Collection boasts recycled wooden key cards, paperless check-in and check-out and coat hangers made from recycled cardboard. Low food miles is the mantra for their restaurants with the Crystalbrook Station beef farmed just a three-hour drive away.

Douglas continued to outline the environmental sustainability credentials of Cairns and the Great Barrier Reef saying: "In Cairns, one of the most notable factors for conferences is the fact delegates can reduce their footprints significantly compared to other destinations. Our airport is a short drive to the city centre and once here, delegates can move from venue-to-venue on foot or take an electric bus," she said.

To take part, conferences need to have a minimum of 20 attendees and they must book and have their event within 2020 although Douglas says some exceptions might apply if planners speak directly to participating venues.

For more information on the initiative visit

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