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Geotourism – The Key Driver of Tourism for Regional Australia

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There is currently no collaborative, nation-wide strategy to maximise and realise the potential for nature-based tourism by bringing key stakeholders together to build on current state and territory based plans, previous successes, lessons and learnings.

Ecotourism Australia’s stated vision is that Australia should realise the potential of nature-based tourism to make a major contribution to the development of more diverse, sustainable and resilient regions. Regional Australia is suffering from declining resource sector jobs and investment, a dwindling revenue base and demographic shifts as people move to seek employment opportunities in cities. Whilst nature-based tourism is offered as part of the solution with the recognition that a focused, co-ordinated, innovative and co-operative approach can make a meaningful difference to many regional communities, this strategy does need to embrace geotourism as a key delivery mechanism.

Geotourism inspired initiatives, detailed in this presentation, are now emerging throughout regional Australia and globally.

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Geotourism – The Key Driver of Tourism for Regional Australia

  1. 1. ““Geotourism – The Key Driver of Tourism forGeotourism – The Key Driver of Tourism for Regional Australia” – SEGRA 2016Regional Australia” – SEGRA 2016 Angus M RobinsonAngus M Robinson Chair, Geotourism Standing CommitteeChair, Geotourism Standing Committee
  2. 2. Today’s AgendaToday’s Agenda  Natural & Cultural Heritage, and GeotourismNatural & Cultural Heritage, and Geotourism  Australian National LandscapesAustralian National Landscapes  Australian Geotrail DevelopmentAustralian Geotrail Development  Aspiring Geopark Development in AustraliaAspiring Geopark Development in Australia  Opportunities for Australia- China CollaborationOpportunities for Australia- China Collaboration  Take AwaysTake Aways
  3. 3. Understanding Natural HeritageUnderstanding Natural Heritage Natural heritage is the legacy of naturalNatural heritage is the legacy of natural objects and intangible attributesobjects and intangible attributes encompassing theencompassing the countrysidecountryside andand naturalnatural environmentenvironment, including flora and fauna,, including flora and fauna, scientifically known asscientifically known as BIODIVERSITYBIODIVERSITY, and, and geology, landforms and soil landscapes, i.e.geology, landforms and soil landscapes, i.e. GEODIVERSITYGEODIVERSITY..
  4. 4. Environment, Natural & Cultural HeritageEnvironment, Natural & Cultural Heritage comprises the following:comprises the following: 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 PartsParts B+CB+C are well interpreted within tourism, especially throughare well interpreted within tourism, especially through ecotourism and cultural tourism,ecotourism and cultural tourism, butbut AA has typically not been wellhas typically not been well addressed in Australia.addressed in Australia. Source: Dowling, 2013
  5. 5. Geotourism incorporatingGeotourism incorporating all types of ‘nature-based’ tourismall types of ‘nature-based’ tourism Sightseeing Cuisine Agritourism Indigenous Tourism Heritage Tourism Cultural Tourism ECOTOURISM GeotourismGeotourism i.e. ‘experientiali.e. ‘experiential tourism’tourism’
  6. 6. Geotourism – Diversity of SitesGeotourism – Diversity of Sites Geotourism (‘nature-based’) IconsIcons ((Inc National Landscapes)Inc National Landscapes) Mine Sites National Parks/Reserves/ Urban Parks GeotrailsGeotrails Geo-sitesGeo-sites GeoparksGeoparks/ PaleoParks Caves/Karst Areas Landforms WHAsWHAs
  7. 7. 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’
  8. 8. Australia’s 16 National LandscapesAustralia’s 16 National Landscapes
  9. 9. Alice Springs Uluru Australia’s Red CentreAustralia’s Red Centre National LandscapeNational Landscape Northern TerrorityNorthern Terrority ‘‘features an ancient landscape with erosionalfeatures an ancient landscape with erosional remnants (geosites) linked to a commonremnants (geosites) linked to a common geological heritage’geological heritage’
  10. 10. Island of Tasmania Australia’s Red Centre National LandscapeAustralia’s Red Centre National Landscape
  11. 11. Iconic Geotourism Themes ofIconic Geotourism Themes of Australia’s Red Centre National LandscapeAustralia’s Red Centre National Landscape  AA: Landforms and common geological heritage: Landforms and common geological heritage  BB: Red Kangaroo species, and other type: Red Kangaroo species, and other type flora/faunaflora/fauna  CC: Indigenous (and European) culture: Indigenous (and European) culture
  12. 12. Why Geotrails?Why Geotrails? 1.1. Relates directly to the tourism experience of aRelates directly to the tourism experience of a journey linking destinationsjourney linking destinations.. 2.2. In Australia, unlike geoparks,In Australia, unlike geoparks, geotrails havegeotrails have widespread appealwidespread appeal, and do not compete with or, and do not compete with or impact on land management/access issues.impact on land management/access issues. 3.3. Geotrails are relatively easy to establish andGeotrails are relatively easy to establish and represent arepresent a very cost effective means of enhancingvery cost effective means of enhancing regional developmentregional development..
  13. 13. Best Practice GeotrailsBest Practice Geotrails 1.1. Should be constructed aroundShould be constructed around routes currently usedroutes currently used by touristsby tourists; geotrails should form logical journeys; geotrails should form logical journeys linking accommodation destinations.linking accommodation destinations. 2.2. ShouldShould meld the geological heritage features of ameld the geological heritage features of a region with a cohesive STORY.region with a cohesive STORY. 3.3. ShouldShould incorporate and package in the biodiversityincorporate and package in the biodiversity and cultural components (including mining heritage)and cultural components (including mining heritage) of the region through which the geotrail traverses.of the region through which the geotrail traverses.
  14. 14. UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS Where are the geoparks? There are 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks spread across 33 countries and 5 continents. This includes 69 in Europe as part of the European Geoparks Network (founded in 2000) and 46 in the Asia-Pacific region as part of the Asia-Pacific Geoparks Network (founded in 2009). Geoparques Mundiais da UNESCO Organização das Nações Unidas para a Educação, Ciência e Cultura
  15. 15. UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS IS A GEOPARK JUST ABOUT GEOLOGY?IS A GEOPARK JUST ABOUT GEOLOGY? No!No! While a geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of international significance,While a geopark must demonstrate geological heritage of international significance, thethe purpose of a geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between that geologicalpurpose of a geopark is to explore, develop and celebrate the links between that geological heritage and all other aspects of the areas natural, cultural and intangible heritagesheritage and all other aspects of the areas natural, cultural and intangible heritages. It is aboutIt is about reconnecting human society at all levels to the planet we all call home and to celebrate how ourreconnecting human society at all levels to the planet we all call home and to celebrate how our planet and it’s 4,600 million year long history has shaped every aspect of our lives and ourplanet and it’s 4,600 million year long history has shaped every aspect of our lives and our societiessocieties.. Zhanjiajie, China UNESCO Global Geoparks are single, unified geographicalsingle, unified geographical areasareas where sites and landscapes of international geologicalinternational geological significancesignificance are managed with amanaged with a holistic concept of protection,holistic concept of protection, education and sustainableeducation and sustainable developmentdevelopment.
  16. 16. Key FactorsKey Factors Geopark Development In Australia - 2016Geopark Development In Australia - 2016  Geopark development needs to beGeopark development needs to be state/local governmentstate/local government agencyagency initiatedinitiated and supportedand supported..  AA high level of community engagementhigh level of community engagement is essential to meetis essential to meet UNESCO requirementsUNESCO requirements  The key driver of geopark development must be focused on regional developmentregional development – i.e. jobs and growth– i.e. jobs and growth  TheThe approval of government Geological Surveysapproval of government Geological Surveys for individualfor individual projects is an absolute necessity.projects is an absolute necessity.  Federal Government approval for UNESCO nomination mayFederal Government approval for UNESCO nomination may well be achieved ifwell be achieved if state governmentstate government ‘ownership’/endorsement and funding is clearly established‘ownership’/endorsement and funding is clearly established..
  17. 17. National Landscapes & UNESCO Global GeoparksNational Landscapes & UNESCO Global Geoparks  HaveHave similar goalssimilar goals relating to local development andrelating to local development and community engagementcommunity engagement as well as education andas well as education and experiential tourismexperiential tourism (‘geotourism’).(‘geotourism’).  BothBoth require government approvalrequire government approval but withbut with differentdifferent government stakeholdersgovernment stakeholders..  However, the AustralianHowever, the Australian National LandscapeNational Landscape ProgrammeProgramme has been formerly disbandoned by itshas been formerly disbandoned by its government sponsors, but thegovernment sponsors, but the iconic landscapes andiconic landscapes and their communities are still very much in placetheir communities are still very much in place!!
  18. 18. A partnership between the NationalA partnership between the National and State Governmentsand State Governments
  19. 19. Pre-AspiringPre-Aspiring Warrumbungles UNESCO Global GeoparkWarrumbungles UNESCO Global Geopark New South WalesNew South Wales CurrentlyCurrently comprising the Shirescomprising the Shires of Warrambungle, Gilgandraof Warrambungle, Gilgandra and Coonamble, 27,000 sq kmand Coonamble, 27,000 sq km in areain area
  20. 20. Pre-AspiringPre-Aspiring WarrumbunglesWarrumbungles UNESCO Global Geopark,UNESCO Global Geopark, New South WalesNew South Wales Outstanding MioceneOutstanding Miocene Shield Volcano remnantShield Volcano remnant landforms close to alandforms close to a major coal developmentmajor coal development area located in thearea located in the Warrumbungles NationalWarrumbungles National ParkPark (236 square km area)(236 square km area) at theat the intersection of theintersection of the three local governmentthree local government areas.areas.
  21. 21. The Proposed Savannah Way Geotrail linked to the Pre-Aspiring Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark in the state of Queensland
  22. 22. Pre-AspiringPre-Aspiring Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark,Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark, QueenslandQueensland Comprising theComprising the entire Shire ofentire Shire of EtheridgeEtheridge, and including areas of, and including areas of outstanding volcanic and miningoutstanding volcanic and mining Heritage - embracing someHeritage - embracing some 40,000 sq km.40,000 sq km.
  23. 23. Other Australian Geotourism InitiativesOther Australian Geotourism Initiatives  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 South Australia:State of South Australia: 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).
  24. 24. Australia-China Memorandum of CooperationAustralia-China Memorandum of Cooperation The GSA and the Geological Society of ChinaThe GSA and the Geological Society of China Executed June 2016Executed June 2016  The Australia-China relationship is becoming moreThe Australia-China relationship is becoming more importantimportant with the increasing level of economic,with the increasing level of economic, social and cultural activities in the coming decades.social and cultural activities in the coming decades.  The Memorandum of Cooperation will be focusedThe Memorandum of Cooperation will be focused onon growing and enhancing best practice nature-growing and enhancing best practice nature- based tourism (i.e. geotourism)based tourism (i.e. geotourism) in both countries.in both countries.  Tourism park managers could play a significant roleTourism park managers could play a significant role inin establishing ‘sister’ relationships between parks,establishing ‘sister’ relationships between parks, as a key driver of future geotourism.as a key driver of future geotourism.
  25. 25. Take-AwaysTake-Aways  Regional development imperativesRegional development imperatives (growth and jobs)(growth and jobs) are now driving geotourism initiatives in Australia.are now driving geotourism initiatives in Australia.  Creating geotrailsCreating geotrails is arguably the easiest way ofis arguably the easiest way of providing early pathways and support fromproviding early pathways and support from governments for geotourism activities in Australia.governments for geotourism activities in Australia.  Successful roll-out ofSuccessful roll-out of geotrails will instill confidencegeotrails will instill confidence in geotourism,in geotourism, providing aproviding a future pathway tofuture pathway to geopark establishmentgeopark establishment and development inand development in Australia.Australia.  State and Local Government inspired and backedState and Local Government inspired and backed geopark/geotrail initiativesgeopark/geotrail initiatives are now emerging.are now emerging.
  26. 26. 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-groupshttp://www.leisuresolutions.com.au/index.php/geotourism-industry-groups// http://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2016/04/australia-s-big-red-centrehttp://www.geoexpro.com/articles/2016/04/australia-s-big-red-centre

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