In an Australian first, Tasmania’s tourism industry has developed a new accreditation program to help local operators identify themselves as ‘gay friendly’.

The Minister for Tourism, Scott Bacon, said the new Rainbow Tasmanian Tourism Accreditation program had been developed by the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania in conjunction with representatives of the state’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) community.

“This accreditation program is a fantastic way to send the message to members of the LGBTI community that our state is a great place to visit,” he said.

“It’s a way of telling potential visitors that these tourism operators will treat everyone with respect and in the same, non-discriminatory manner.”

Under the accreditation program, businesses have to demonstrate that they:

acknowledge their responsibilities under the Anti-Discrimination Act 1998;
have taken reasonable steps to ensure their workplace is free from harassment and discrimination;
have undertaken or introduced anti-discrimination training as part of their staff induction and workforce development processes; signed a Code of Ethics Statement on behalf of their business that they aspire to meet basic standards in their service delivery to LGBTI communities; and committed to display within their business information on LGBTI services and other Rainbow Tasmania tourism-accredited operators.
Mr Bacon commended the partnership between the TICT and Rainbow Communities Tasmania that led to the new standards.

“This is the first of its kind in Australia, and again sees Tasmania leading the way when it comes to this important tourism market,” he said.

“The TICT and Julian Punch of Rainbow Communities Tasmania are to be congratulated for this work in helping promote our state as a progressive, welcoming place to visit.

“I would encourage all Tasmanian tourism operators who are keen to attract and welcome Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex visitors to their business, to sign up and complete this new accreditation module,” he said.

The Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania is offering the new LGBTI accreditation module to all accredited tourism operators in Tasmania who register before December 30, 2013, at no extra cost.

Once the module is completed, the accreditation will be valid for two years and the tourism operator will be able to display the new Rainbow Tasmania logo throughout their business, on their website and in their marketing.

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