Balloon Aloft achieves Eco Certification

5 July 2024


Media Release


Balloon Aloft first to achieve Sustainable Tourism Certification on sustainability pathway


In a milestone achievement, Balloon Aloft has become the first tourism operator in Australia to progress through the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard and then achieve Ecotourism Australia’s globally recognised Sustainable Tourism Certification. 

Operating in stunning regional areas of New South Wales, including The Hunter Valley, and Bourketown in outback northern Queensland, Balloon Aloft is a family owned and operated business committed to providing sustainable and accessible ballooning experiences for all adventurers.   

Matthew Scaife, pilot and director of Balloon Aloft said their commitment to sustainability and quality tourism experiences were at the heart of their certification.

“Our Balloon Aloft team is committed to preserving the environment, reducing our carbon footprint and promoting sustainability through a range of initiatives across our ballooning operations,” said Mr. Scaife. 

“We partner with Greenfleet to include carbon offsetting in every ticket we sell and are proud ambassadors of the Sea Shepherd organisation, flying the Sea Shepherd balloon in an effort to raise awareness for the organisation’s vital work in marine conservation. 

“Our participation in the Ecotourism Australia Strive 4 Sustainability program in July last year was a great way for us to review all of our sustainability goals and outcomes with our scorecard benchmark score of 97% giving us the confidence of taking the next step towards certification.

“We are thrilled to have achieved Ecotourism Australia’s Sustainable Tourism Certification and will continue to work with our Balloon Aloft team and our amazing passengers in an effort to make a positive impact on the environment and the communities in which we operate our flights.”

Ecotourism Australia’s Chief Executive Officer, Elissa Keenan, offered her congratulations to the iconic business. 

“Balloon Aloft have proved their commitment to sustainable tourism practices and identified themselves as an ideal candidate for our global best-practice Sustainable Tourism Certification,” Ms Keenan said. 

“We created the Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard as a precertification pathway program, to help tourism operators start their sustainability journey and it is wonderful to see Balloon Aloft go from a benchmark assessment to taking the next step and achieving global best practice certification in sustainable tourism.

“We have seen enormous interest from industry and in 2023 we partnered with Big Red Group to support operators on this sustainability journey. To see an industry leader like this seek opportunities to build sustainability capacity through our program is incredible.  

“Their support to showcase operators who are making a difference and ensuring their customers can see those sustainability credentials, is a significant commitment and a true demonstration of one of Australia’s largest tourism organisations to ‘walk the talk’ on sustainability.”

Chief Sustainability Officer at Big Red Group, Ms Jemma Fastnedge, said, “We are moving toward a travel industry where sustainable tourism is no longer a nice-to-have but an essential component of running a successful operation. 

“As the largest marketplace of experiences across Australia and New Zealand, we recognise our responsibility to incorporate sustainability into our ethos and encourage tourism experience providers to do the same.  We are delighted to see Balloon Aloft go from a very high Scorecard result to achieving full certification.”

The Strive 4 Sustainability Scorecard was launched by Ecotourism Australia in partnership with Founding Partner Tourism Australia in late 2022. To compliment Ecotourism Australia’s world first and leading ECO Certification for nature focused experiences, the Sustainable Tourism Certification for non-nature focused businesses was also developed.  

Sustainable Tourism Certification assesses tourism businesses against our internationally recognised sustainable tourism standard across the four pillars of sustainability: environmental, cultural, and socio-economic impact and sustainable business operations. 

Discover Balloon Aloft on the Green Travel Guide: 

Read the case study on Balloon Aloft’s experience through the Strive 4 Sustainability scorecard program:



Ecotourism Australia Media Contact – CEO Elissa Keenan, e: [email protected], ph: 07 3256 6777, Balloon Aloft Media Contact – Marketing Manager Michelle Wills e: [email protected], ph: 02 4990 9242

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