What Do All The Ticks Mean?
The WCBIA (Whitsunday Charter Boat Industry Association) is an active Whitsundays association that grades boats according to a VRS (Vessel Rating System). The numbers used are not released to the public, but if an operator's boat is not up to the regulations set down by the WCBIA committee, then its possible that the boat or boats will not be allowed to remain members of the WCBIA; thus, lose their tick
Many years back, the Whitsundays boat owners got together to form an association that listed a new set of rules of minimum standards for all operators to follow. Those that used misleading advertising or ran faulty old boats were asked to comply or they would be unable to use the tick status. Ten years later, the WCBIA remains the premium Whitsunday organization that helps keep the standards high across the fleets. Always look for boats that are WCBIA members (advertise a red tick) and you be confident there is a governing body that cares about the quality of your sailing holiday!
The definition Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. Eco accreditation allows tour operators the ability to sell their tours as eco friendly.
The yellow tick will become a very important factor in 2012 for vessel operators. If you do not have Eco accreditation and the yellow tick, then the Australian Government through their Department of Environmental Management will disallow access to many sensitive areas in the Whitsundays. The beautiful lookout overlooking Whitehaven beach is one of the sites that will only be accessible to vessels with Eco Accreditation.
This one is very important to travellers! The blue tick means your agent or tour operator is a member of the Government accredited travel Agency Compensation Fund, most often referred to as the TCF Fund. If your booking agent cannot show you the blue tick on their documentation, then do not book with this operator. The Blue Tick is your way of knowing that the operator has paid your money into a Government audited trust account; no running away with your money if the tour operator or agent goes broke. The TCF fund can and will give you a refund in full. Excellent peace of mind when you are booing a holiday. Here at Mr Travel we are registered Travel Agents and all funds are kept in audited bank trust accounts.
The green tick is for TQUAl accreditation. This represents the new national Tourism Accreditation Framework developed by the Australian Government and industry to promote quality experiences for travelers and consumers by recognizing sustainable and capable high quality operators. All boats that have earned the Australian Eco tourism tick automatically receive the new T qual tick
The BOTTOM LINE, Pick the TICK.