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Geotourism, Ecotourism and Regional Development - Challenges and Opportunities

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Over the past 25 years in Australia, ecotourism has grown in partnership with the development of protected areas such as national parks and reserves, and much of the formal government strategic planning for the growth of nature based tourism generally has been linked to the national park system. However, within other areas of Australia where tourism is well established, ecotourism has found a well supported niche.
Preliminary work undertaken in 2017 in support of the Pre-Aspiring Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark located in in the Gulf Savannah country Far North Queensland has identified a whole range of issues that will impact on the future of ecotourism and geotourism outside of protected areas. A number of these issues relating to community concerns about the potential impact of tourism on existing industries such as grazing and mining as well as a widespread fear of associated environmental controls has resulted in the geopark initiative being deferred by the proponent, Etheridge Shire Council. Whilst much of this concern can be linked to recent UNESCO involvement in the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree World Heritage Areas, the opposition to tourism development generally has proved an unexpected outcome, particularly as strong support for this project has been shown by other groups particularly national park managers, indigenous communities , two major ecotourism operators, the Savannah Guides Network and by township communities which are looking for new avenues for economic development.

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Geotourism, Ecotourism and Regional Development - Challenges and Opportunities

  1. 1. ““Geotourism, Ecotourism and RegionalGeotourism, Ecotourism and Regional Development - Challenges and Opportunities”Development - Challenges and Opportunities” Global Eco 2017, 29 November 2017Global Eco 2017, 29 November 2017 Angus M RobinsonAngus M Robinson Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions®Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions® Geotourism Forum, Ecotourism AustraliaGeotourism Forum, Ecotourism Australia Source: Savannah GuidesSource: Savannah GuidesSource: Savannah Guides
  2. 2. Today’s AgendaToday’s Agenda  Chinese Tourism to AustraliaChinese Tourism to Australia  Ecotourism, Geotourism and Scenic AreasEcotourism, Geotourism and Scenic Areas  Pre-Aspiring Geopark Development in AustraliaPre-Aspiring Geopark Development in Australia  Etheridge ‘Defacto Geopark’ Community IssuesEtheridge ‘Defacto Geopark’ Community Issues and Concernsand Concerns  Sustainability and Community EngagementSustainability and Community Engagement  Take AwaysTake Aways
  3. 3. Chinese Tourism to AustraliaChinese Tourism to Australia  In 2016In 2016,, 1.2 million Chinese visited Australia1.2 million Chinese visited Australia,, somesome 1% of1% of total outbound from China of 122 million.total outbound from China of 122 million.  The most popular other destinations were mainly nearbyThe most popular other destinations were mainly nearby Asian countries.Asian countries.  The top 10 outbound tourism countriesThe top 10 outbound tourism countries were: Thailand,were: Thailand, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, United States,South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Singapore, United States, Malaysia, Maldives, Vietnam and Philippines.Malaysia, Maldives, Vietnam and Philippines.  Capacity constraints asideCapacity constraints aside,, why such a low level of interest inwhy such a low level of interest in Australia?Australia?  Why areWhy are Chinese tourists not visiting our iconic landscapesChinese tourists not visiting our iconic landscapes located in regional, continental landscape areas of Australia?located in regional, continental landscape areas of Australia?
  4. 4. Australia’s Tourism Marketing StrategyAustralia’s Tourism Marketing Strategy  ‘‘There’s Nothing Like Australia’There’s Nothing Like Australia’ is Tourism Australia’s globalis Tourism Australia’s global consumer marketing campaign, highlighting some of the veryconsumer marketing campaign, highlighting some of the very best attractions & experiences Oz tourism has to offer.best attractions & experiences Oz tourism has to offer.  Designed to be long-lasting and flexible, the campaign isDesigned to be long-lasting and flexible, the campaign is evolving to stay relevant for target consumers.evolving to stay relevant for target consumers.  The campaign currently hasThe campaign currently has three key areas ofthree key areas of focus:focus: youth;youth; aquatic & coastal; and food and wineaquatic & coastal; and food and wine..  However, TTF now claims thatHowever, TTF now claims that nature-based tourism is annature-based tourism is an important contributor to the economies of regional Australiaimportant contributor to the economies of regional Australia..  Natural assets are often the primary drivers of visitationNatural assets are often the primary drivers of visitation to ato a region and are the catalyst for jobs and economic growth.region and are the catalyst for jobs and economic growth.
  5. 5. Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025  Ecotourism Australia & others have been workingEcotourism Australia & others have been working with key industry stakeholders to preparewith key industry stakeholders to prepare Australia’sAustralia’s Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025 && Action PlanAction Plan..  There is currentlyThere is currently no collaborative, nation-wideno collaborative, nation-wide strategystrategy to maximise and realise the potential forto maximise and realise the potential for nature-based tourism.nature-based tourism.  However in June 2017However in June 2017, the Tourism & Transport, the Tourism & Transport Forum (TTF) released a paper urging governments toForum (TTF) released a paper urging governments to refocus on Australia’s National Landscapesrefocus on Australia’s National Landscapes..
  6. 6. Ecotourism and Geotourism ConceptsEcotourism and Geotourism Concepts  Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourismecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing naturalexperiencing natural areasareas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation.  But ecotourismecotourism per se is too narrowly defined and is increasingly seen as a niche marketniche market, particularly from a chinese perspective.  However,geotourismgeotourism is tourism which focuses on an area's geology & landscapegeology & landscape as the basisas the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment.
  7. 7. Repositioning our ‘Nature Based’ Tourism MarketingRepositioning our ‘Nature Based’ Tourism Marketing  The Chinese market is not attuned to marketingChinese market is not attuned to marketing which promotes ecotourism, geotourism, nature- based tourism, and even terms such as national landscapes.  Chinese tourists just want to visit iconic ‘Scenicvisit iconic ‘Scenic Areas’ and take photos.Areas’ and take photos.  Geotourism is simply a process that drives visitation to iconic ‘Scenic Areas’.‘Scenic Areas’.
  8. 8. GeotourismGeotourism comprises the following features of natural & cultural heritage:comprises the following features of natural & cultural heritage: 1.1. AAbioticbiotic – non-living aspects such as the climate & geology– non-living aspects such as the climate & geology e.g. landscape and landforms:e.g. landscape and landforms: GEODIVERSITYGEODIVERSITY 2.2. BBioticiotic – the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and flora– the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and flora (plants):(plants): BIODIVERSITYBIODIVERSITY 3.3. CCulturalultural – past & present, non-living & built– past & present, non-living & built Holistic in scope,Holistic in scope, geotourism is the key drivergeotourism is the key driver for Geoparks,for Geoparks, Geotrails and even World Heritage Areas.Geotrails and even World Heritage Areas.
  9. 9. Founded in 1945 - 193 member states UNESCO Man and the BiosphereMan and the Biosphere World Heritage AreasWorld Heritage Areas UNESCO Global GeoparksUNESCO Global Geoparks
  10. 10. The Geopark ‘Problem’ in Australia – 2008The Geopark ‘Problem’ in Australia – 2008 1.1. The conceptThe concept of global geoparksof global geoparks not supported bynot supported by governmentgovernment planning and tourism agencies; the conceptplanning and tourism agencies; the concept did not fit welldid not fit well into the prevailing public land management arrangements,into the prevailing public land management arrangements, underpinned by a two tier federation.underpinned by a two tier federation. 2.2. ConceptConcept not embraced or understood by the geologicalnot embraced or understood by the geological professionsprofessions – no constituency support.– no constituency support. 3.3. Government Geological Surveys were not supportive ofGovernment Geological Surveys were not supportive of geopark developmentgeopark development and geotourism generally, with concernand geotourism generally, with concern aboutabout impact on access to lands for exploration and miningimpact on access to lands for exploration and mining.. 4.4. Kanawinka UNESCO Global GeoparkKanawinka UNESCO Global Geopark withdrawn through lackwithdrawn through lack of government support and approvalsof government support and approvals..
  11. 11. UNESCO ProgramsUNESCO Programs (after Dowling, 2016)(after Dowling, 2016) Program Sites Countries World Heritage 1052 165 Man and the Biosphere 669 120 UNESCO GlobalUNESCO Global GeoparksGeoparks 127127 3535
  12. 12. Australia’s UNESCO SitesAustralia’s UNESCO Sites (after Dowling, 2016)(after Dowling, 2016) Program Sites World Heritage 22 Man and the Biosphere 14 UNESCO Global GeoparksUNESCO Global Geoparks 00
  13. 13. Australia’s 16 National Landscapes – ‘Scenic Areas’Australia’s 16 National Landscapes – ‘Scenic Areas’
  14. 14. Australia’s National Landscapes ProgrammeAustralia’s National Landscapes Programme Partnership between tourism and conservation that aims to:Partnership between tourism and conservation that aims to:  PromotePromote world class, high qualityworld class, high quality visitor experiencesvisitor experiences  Increase theIncrease the value of tourism to regional economiesvalue of tourism to regional economies  Enhance theEnhance the role of protected areasrole of protected areas in those economiesin those economies  Build support for protecting our natural and cultural assetsBuild support for protecting our natural and cultural assets  EngageEngage local communitieslocal communities A long termA long term strategicstrategic approachapproach ‘‘To differentiateTo differentiate Australia’sAustralia’s iconic natural and culturaliconic natural and cultural destinationsdestinations from anything elsefrom anything else available in the worldavailable in the world’
  15. 15. Key FactorsKey Factors Geopark Development In Australia - 2017Geopark Development In Australia - 2017  Pre-Aspiring Geopark development needs to bePre-Aspiring Geopark development needs to be state/localstate/local government agencygovernment agency initiatedinitiated and supportedand supported..  AA high level of community (including other land-user)high level of community (including other land-user) engagementengagement is essential to meet UNESCO requirements.is essential to meet UNESCO requirements.  The key driver of geopark development must be focused on regional developmentregional development – i.e.– i.e. jobs and growth andjobs and growth and demonstratedemonstrate economic benefit to offset perceived political riskeconomic benefit to offset perceived political risk..  TheThe approval of Government Geological Surveysapproval of Government Geological Surveys for individualfor individual projects is an absolute necessity.projects is an absolute necessity.  Australian Government approval for UNESCO nomination mayAustralian Government approval for UNESCO nomination may well be achieved ifwell be achieved if state/territory government endorsementstate/territory government endorsement and funding is clearly establishedand funding is clearly established..
  16. 16. Melbourne Sydney Brisbane Warrumbungle Etheridge Cairns Australia’s Pre-Aspiring UNESCO GlobalAustralia’s Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark Development Efforts in 2017Geopark Development Efforts in 2017
  17. 17. Geological Society Assumes Role of VettingGeological Society Assumes Role of Vetting UNESCO Global Geopark ProposalsUNESCO Global Geopark Proposals In May 2017, the Governing Council of the Geological SocietyIn May 2017, the Governing Council of the Geological Society of Australia decided to assign the Geotourism Standingof Australia decided to assign the Geotourism Standing Committee the role ofCommittee the role of assessing the international geologicalassessing the international geological merit of the current (and any future) pre-aspiring UNESCOmerit of the current (and any future) pre-aspiring UNESCO global geopark proposalsglobal geopark proposals, based on the advice provided by, based on the advice provided by the appointed geoscience/mining heritage reference groups.the appointed geoscience/mining heritage reference groups. It was also decided that that any assessments are to beIt was also decided that that any assessments are to be endorsed by the Governing Council before they are madeendorsed by the Governing Council before they are made known publicly.known publicly.
  18. 18. Status of Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global GeoparksStatus of Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geoparks  Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark proposals arePre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark proposals are those undergoing assessment to obtain community &those undergoing assessment to obtain community & government supportgovernment support PRIOR to any applicationPRIOR to any application..  EtheridgeEtheridge Scenic Area is a ‘defacto geopark’ and isScenic Area is a ‘defacto geopark’ and is nownow NOTNOT subject to any assessment process.subject to any assessment process.  WarrumbungleWarrumbungle Pre-Aspiring UNESCO Global GeoparkPre-Aspiring UNESCO Global Geopark is currently subject to discussions with the Stateis currently subject to discussions with the State Government as to the scope and size of the project,Government as to the scope and size of the project, a processa process which allows two more years for preparingwhich allows two more years for preparing a nomination application.a nomination application.
  19. 19. Etheridge ‘Defacto’ Geopark, QueenslandEtheridge ‘Defacto’ Geopark, Queensland Comprising theComprising the entire Shire ofentire Shire of EtheridgeEtheridge, and including areas, and including areas of outstanding volcanic andof outstanding volcanic and mining heritage - some 40,000mining heritage - some 40,000 sq km in area.sq km in area. Embracing 1.7 billion years ofEmbracing 1.7 billion years of geological history.geological history. Only 950 people, mainly cattleOnly 950 people, mainly cattle farmers.farmers.
  20. 20. ..
  21. 21. Etheridge Scenic Area – A ‘Defacto’ GeoparkEtheridge Scenic Area – A ‘Defacto’ Geopark  GeositesGeosites –– In abundance, with Undara as a global icon.In abundance, with Undara as a global icon.  Geo villagesGeo villages –– Four small townships, all with communityFour small townships, all with community engaged geosites (including agate, sapphire and gold fields);engaged geosites (including agate, sapphire and gold fields); key establishedkey established ecotourism resortsecotourism resorts of Undara & Cobboldof Undara & Cobbold Gorge; and the indigenousGorge; and the indigenous Talaroo Hot SpringsTalaroo Hot Springs development.development.  GeotrailsGeotrails –– The Savannah Way (Lava tubes, Gems and GorgesThe Savannah Way (Lava tubes, Gems and Gorges Trail) with connections to nearby mining heritage locations.Trail) with connections to nearby mining heritage locations.  National ParksNational Parks –– Undara Volcanic Park & six other park areas.Undara Volcanic Park & six other park areas.  TerrEstrial Mineral/Fossil MuseumTerrEstrial Mineral/Fossil Museum– Most significant mineral– Most significant mineral museum in Qldmuseum in Qld..  ManyMany heritage mining sitesheritage mining sites & small gold mining operations& small gold mining operations underscores Etheridge’s status of one Australia’s mostunderscores Etheridge’s status of one Australia’s most diversified mineralised areas.diversified mineralised areas.
  22. 22. Kalkani Cone, UndaraKalkani Cone, Undara
  23. 23. Undara Lava TubesUndara Lava Tubes
  24. 24. Hawaiian Lava FlowsHawaiian Lava Flows
  25. 25. Undara Lava Tubes
  26. 26.  State of New South Wales:State of New South Wales: GeoTreat supported ‘GeoJourney’ in theGeoTreat supported ‘GeoJourney’ in the Australian Coastal Wilderness National Landscape.Australian Coastal Wilderness National Landscape.  State of Victoria:State of Victoria: Volcano Discovery Trail (Kanawinka related).Volcano Discovery Trail (Kanawinka related).  State of Western Australia:State of Western Australia: Various geotrail project proposals (e.g.Various geotrail project proposals (e.g. Murchison, Coolgardie) and potential ‘geopark concept’ opportunitiesMurchison, Coolgardie) and potential ‘geopark concept’ opportunities  State of SouthAustralia:State of SouthAustralia: is not actively progressing any geopark potentialis not actively progressing any geopark potential projects, but is very keen to support the development of geotrails andprojects, but is very keen to support the development of geotrails and geotourism through exceptional geological heritage, especially throughgeotourism through exceptional geological heritage, especially through Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges National Landscapes.Kangaroo Island and the Flinders Ranges National Landscapes.  State of Tasmania:State of Tasmania: West Coast ‘Living Earth’ – CradleCoast GeoTrail.West Coast ‘Living Earth’ – CradleCoast GeoTrail.  Northern Territory:Northern Territory: Potential Geotrails (Red Centre, Savannah Way).Potential Geotrails (Red Centre, Savannah Way).
  27. 27. Cobbold GorgeCobbold Gorge
  28. 28. Talaroo Hot Springs – Ewamian Aboriginal CorporationTalaroo Hot Springs – Ewamian Aboriginal Corporation
  29. 29. TerrEstrial Museum and Global Peace MonumentTerrEstrial Museum and Global Peace Monument
  30. 30. Assessment Process – Etheridge ProjectAssessment Process – Etheridge Project 1.1. Appointment of Steering Committee andAppointment of Steering Committee and GeoscienceGeoscience & Mineral Heritage Reference Group& Mineral Heritage Reference Group.. 2.2. Consultation with all key stakeholders (e.g.Consultation with all key stakeholders (e.g. indigenous communitiesindigenous communities, national parks, tourism, national parks, tourism resorts, and theresorts, and the Savannah GuidesSavannah Guides).). 3.3. Consultation with key State Government agencies.Consultation with key State Government agencies. 4.4. Community consultationCommunity consultation – information bulletins,– information bulletins, public meetings involving Shire Councillors.public meetings involving Shire Councillors. A relatively short 12 month period allowed for theA relatively short 12 month period allowed for the assessment and application completion process.assessment and application completion process.
  31. 31. Savannah Guides Workshop, Forsayth, April 2017: Presenter Russell Boswell
  32. 32. Community Raised Issues – Etheridge ProjectCommunity Raised Issues – Etheridge Project 1.1. National Parks, indigenous groups, the Savannah Guides, andNational Parks, indigenous groups, the Savannah Guides, and residents of townships are very supportiveresidents of townships are very supportive, because they, because they understand the economic benefits of tourism.understand the economic benefits of tourism. 2.2. However,However, agricultural, small scale mining groups & gemstoneagricultural, small scale mining groups & gemstone fossickers not supportivefossickers not supportive with a vigorous programwith a vigorous program implemented to dissuade Council from finalising theimplemented to dissuade Council from finalising the applicationapplication because a Global Geopark upsets the status quo!because a Global Geopark upsets the status quo! 3.3. Issues raised were essentially fears of UNESCO control, moreIssues raised were essentially fears of UNESCO control, more environmental regulation and increased levels of tourism.environmental regulation and increased levels of tourism. 4.4. The labels ofThe labels of UNESCO, GEOPARK, EcotourismUNESCO, GEOPARK, Ecotourism etc raised aetc raised a range of concerns and fears.range of concerns and fears.
  33. 33. Basis of Landowner Resistance to the then Pre-Basis of Landowner Resistance to the then Pre- Aspiring Etheridge Global GeoparkAspiring Etheridge Global Geopark 1. The proposed UNESCO affiliation promoted a1. The proposed UNESCO affiliation promoted a fear of further regulation and restrictions curbing current and futurecurbing current and future activities and potentially leading to a World Heritage Listing.activities and potentially leading to a World Heritage Listing. 2.The large area of the application across the whole Shire2.The large area of the application across the whole Shire which included large land tracts which were consideredwhich included large land tracts which were considered unlikely to be of interest for tourism.unlikely to be of interest for tourism. 33.The use of the term ‘geopark’.The use of the term ‘geopark’ which was interpreted bywhich was interpreted by many to imply some form of existing or potentialmany to imply some form of existing or potential environmental protection (aligned to an expanded nationalenvironmental protection (aligned to an expanded national parks network).parks network).
  34. 34. Basis of Gulf Cattleman’s Association ObjectionsBasis of Gulf Cattleman’s Association Objections Pre-Aspiring Etheridge Global GeoparkPre-Aspiring Etheridge Global Geopark  Don’t trust the Council regarding the costs.Don’t trust the Council regarding the costs.  Don’t trust the State and Federal Government not toDon’t trust the State and Federal Government not to introduce further regulation as a consequence of achievingintroduce further regulation as a consequence of achieving Geopark status.Geopark status.  Don’t want to expose themselves to tourists.Don’t want to expose themselves to tourists. – getting lostgetting lost – driving onto their propertydriving onto their property – bringing weeds into the area etc.bringing weeds into the area etc. Note:Note: Graziers appear uninterested in small townshipGraziers appear uninterested in small township developmentdevelopment because they source supplies and servicesbecause they source supplies and services directly from large regional centres.directly from large regional centres.
  35. 35. An Alternative Strategy for the EtheridgeAn Alternative Strategy for the Etheridge ‘Defacto Geopark’‘Defacto Geopark’  Council has now approved the development of anCouncil has now approved the development of an alternative major geotourism initiative whichalternative major geotourism initiative which captures the aspirations of a pre-existing tourismcaptures the aspirations of a pre-existing tourism strategy,strategy, providingproviding additional natural and culturaladditional natural and cultural heritage contentheritage content..  Through collaboration with other local governmentThrough collaboration with other local government areas,areas, the establishment of strong geotrail linkagesthe establishment of strong geotrail linkages with geotourism attractions outside of the Shire.with geotourism attractions outside of the Shire.  Engaging graziersEngaging graziers in geotourism pilot projects.in geotourism pilot projects.
  36. 36. Etheridge Scenic Area – The Rationale forEtheridge Scenic Area – The Rationale for A ‘Defacto’ GeoparkA ‘Defacto’ Geopark Council recognises that a ‘geotourism’ project should takeCouncil recognises that a ‘geotourism’ project should take account ofaccount of ‘georegional’ characteristics based on geological‘georegional’ characteristics based on geological and mining heritageand mining heritage and embraced principles that could serveand embraced principles that could serve toto pre-qualify the area for a UNESCO application at somepre-qualify the area for a UNESCO application at some future timefuture time, in other words meeting the designated, in other words meeting the designated requirements of a ‘defacto’ geopark.requirements of a ‘defacto’ geopark. By raising awareness of the importance of the area’sBy raising awareness of the importance of the area’s geological heritage in history & society today, Councilgeological heritage in history & society today, Council believes that thisbelieves that this project must provide local communitiesproject must provide local communities with a sense of pride in their region and strengthen theirwith a sense of pride in their region and strengthen their identification with the area.identification with the area.
  37. 37. Sustainability & Community EngagementSustainability & Community Engagement Etheridge ‘Defacto Geopark’Etheridge ‘Defacto Geopark’ Emulating a program being undertaken in the UnitedEmulating a program being undertaken in the United Kingdom, it is proposed that aKingdom, it is proposed that a ‘geovillage’ approach be‘geovillage’ approach be adopted for the Shire of Etheridgeadopted for the Shire of Etheridge; thus enabling individual; thus enabling individual townships to take unique ownership of any activity e.g.townships to take unique ownership of any activity e.g. community operated museum which has a natural or culturalcommunity operated museum which has a natural or cultural heritage characteristic.heritage characteristic. Two of the small townships have strong associations withTwo of the small townships have strong associations with agates and gems, and another has strong mining industryagates and gems, and another has strong mining industry heritage. The main township ,Georgetown, already has theheritage. The main township ,Georgetown, already has the TerrEstrial Centre mineral and fossil museumTerrEstrial Centre mineral and fossil museum which mightwhich might benefit from even a higher level of community involvementbenefit from even a higher level of community involvement and the recently establishedand the recently established Peace MonumentPeace Monument has alreadyhas already made its mark.made its mark.
  38. 38. UNESCO Global Geopark and SustainabilityUNESCO Global Geopark and Sustainability ‘‘Even if an area has outstanding, world-famous geologicalEven if an area has outstanding, world-famous geological heritage of outstanding universal valueheritage of outstanding universal value it cannot be ait cannot be a UNESCO Global Geopark unless the area also has a plan forUNESCO Global Geopark unless the area also has a plan for the sustainable development of the people who live there.’the sustainable development of the people who live there.’ ‘‘Unless a UNESCO Global Geopark has the support of localUnless a UNESCO Global Geopark has the support of local people it will not succeedpeople it will not succeed. UNESCO Global Geopark status. UNESCO Global Geopark status does not imply restrictions on any economic activity inside adoes not imply restrictions on any economic activity inside a UNESCO Global Geopark where that activity complies withUNESCO Global Geopark where that activity complies with indigenous, local, regional and/or national legislation.’indigenous, local, regional and/or national legislation.’ Source: UNESCO Global Geopark Brochure
  39. 39. Take-Aways - Sustainable Community EngagementTake-Aways - Sustainable Community Engagement  More focusMore focus needs to be appliedneeds to be applied to communicatingto communicating the ‘georegionalthe ‘georegional’ nature of geoparks; the application’ nature of geoparks; the application of the UNESCO brand is a ‘two edged sword’.of the UNESCO brand is a ‘two edged sword’.  More work is needed to overcomeMore work is needed to overcome perceived fearsperceived fears about the detrimental impact of geoparksabout the detrimental impact of geoparks on otheron other existing land users such as miners and farmers.existing land users such as miners and farmers.  Geopark proposalsGeopark proposals must be supported by Geologicalmust be supported by Geological Survey communitiesSurvey communities..  More time must be allowedMore time must be allowed to gain communityto gain community engagement/support to ensure geoparkengagement/support to ensure geopark sustainability.sustainability.
  40. 40. Take-Aways – Future Issues for Tourism DevelopmentTake-Aways – Future Issues for Tourism Development  It cannot be assumed that outside of national parksIt cannot be assumed that outside of national parks that nature based tourism is welcomed by graziers.that nature based tourism is welcomed by graziers.  National parks are not generally supported byNational parks are not generally supported by CouncilsCouncils for a range of reasons which include loss offor a range of reasons which include loss of rateable land & the cost of providing accessrateable land & the cost of providing access services.services.  ManyMany cattlemen equate ‘ecotourism’ with morecattlemen equate ‘ecotourism’ with more environmental controls from city based ‘greenies’.environmental controls from city based ‘greenies’.  Based on the success of several families in FarNQ,Based on the success of several families in FarNQ, there is a realisation thatthere is a realisation that ecotourism & geotourismecotourism & geotourism ventures can deliver additional farm revenue.ventures can deliver additional farm revenue.
  41. 41. Take-Aways – Tourism from the China RegionTake-Aways – Tourism from the China Region  To attract a higher level of ‘geotourists’ from China, we mustTo attract a higher level of ‘geotourists’ from China, we must considerconsider marketing the concept ofmarketing the concept of Australia’s iconic ‘Scenic Areas’ with geotourism as the principal driver..  Much developmental work is needed in regional Australia tois needed in regional Australia to meet Chinese tourism expectations and needs.meet Chinese tourism expectations and needs.  The Australian tourism industry needs to understand thatThe Australian tourism industry needs to understand that tourists from North Asia are now accustomed to a digitaltourists from North Asia are now accustomed to a digital platform which is currently unavailable in Australiaplatform which is currently unavailable in Australia..  Researching product development options for theResearching product development options for the 18-25 age,18-25 age, soft adventure/nature focused, overseas market segmentssoft adventure/nature focused, overseas market segments might be well worth pursuing.might be well worth pursuing.
  42. 42. Contact DetailsContact Details angus@leisuresolutions.com.auangus@leisuresolutions.com.au Tel: + 61 418 488 340Tel: + 61 418 488 340 http://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/index.php/geotourism-industry-groups/http://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/index.php/geotourism-industry-groups/ Information about Australian Geotourism and Geopark Development Activities:Information about Australian Geotourism and Geopark Development Activities: https://tinyurl.com/yb7yceyhhttps://tinyurl.com/yb7yceyh

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