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Ecotourism Australia has been working with key industry stakeholders to prepare Australia’s Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025 and Action Plan. There is currently no collaborative, nation-wide strategy to maximise and realise the potential for nature-based tourism by bringing key stakeholders together to draft a strategy that builds on current state and territory based plans, previous successes, lessons and learnings.
The strategy’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 is an emerging global phenomenon which fosters tourism based upon landscapes. Its definition has recently been defined as a form of tourism that specifically focuses on the geology and landscapes which shape the character of a region. This advances an earlier concept of geotourism as strictly ‘geological tourism’ to the extent that it is now accepted globally that geotourism offers strong experiential characteristics, embracing all elements of natural and cultural heritage, inclusive of ecotourism and indigenous tourism values.