Role of Geotourism in Australia’s Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025

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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.

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Role of Geotourism in Australia’s Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025

  1. 1. ““Role of Geotourism in Australia’s Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025” - GlobalEco 2016” - GlobalEco 2016 Angus M RobinsonAngus M Robinson Geotourism Forum, Ecotourism AustraliaGeotourism Forum, Ecotourism Australia
  2. 2. Today’s AgendaToday’s Agenda  Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025  Natural & Cultural Heritage, Ecotourism and GeotourismNatural & Cultural Heritage, Ecotourism and Geotourism  Australian National LandscapesAustralian National Landscapes  Australian Geotrail and Aspiring Geopark Development inAustralian Geotrail and Aspiring Geopark Development in AustraliaAustralia  Take AwaysTake Aways
  3. 3. Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025  Ecotourism Australia has been working with keyEcotourism Australia has been working with key industry stakeholders to prepareindustry stakeholders to prepare Australia’s NatureAustralia’s Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2025Based Tourism Strategy 2025 andand 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.  Geotourism offers strong experientialGeotourism offers strong experiential characteristicscharacteristics, embracing all elements of natural, embracing all elements of natural and cultural heritage, inclusive of ecotourism andand cultural heritage, inclusive of ecotourism and indigenous tourism values.indigenous tourism values.
  4. 4. 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..
  5. 5. Key Concepts – EcotourismKey Concepts – Ecotourism “Ecotourism is ecologically sustainableecologically sustainable tourismtourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areasexperiencing natural areas 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.
  6. 6. Geotourism DefinitionGeotourism Definition ‘Geotourism is tourism which focuses on an area's geology and landscapegeology and landscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment’.
  7. 7. 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
  8. 8. 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’
  9. 9. Geotourism – Diversity of PlacesGeotourism – Diversity of Places GeotourismGeotourism IconsIcons (Inc National Landscapes) Mine Sites National ParksNational Parks/Reserves//Reserves/ Urban ParksUrban Parks GeotrailsGeotrails Geo-sitesGeo-sites Geoparks/Geoparks/ PaleoParksPaleoParks Caves/Karst Areas LandformsLandforms WHAsWHAs Geo VillagesGeo Villages
  10. 10. Nature Based Tourism – Potential MarketsNature Based Tourism – Potential Markets ‘‘Geotourism’ = nature-basedGeotourism’ = nature-based Domestic TravellersDomestic Travellers EcotouristsEcotourists School GroupsSchool Groups ‘‘Geotourism’=Geotourism’= nature-basednature-based Overseas TravellersOverseas Travellers Geopark InterestsGeopark Interests
  11. 11. UNESCO GLOBAL GEOPARKS Where are the geoparks? There are 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks120 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
  12. 12. 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’
  13. 13. Australia’s 16 National LandscapesAustralia’s 16 National Landscapes
  14. 14. 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!!
  15. 15. 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’
  16. 16. Island of Tasmania Australia’s Red Centre National LandscapeAustralia’s Red Centre National Landscape
  17. 17. 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
  18. 18. 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..
  19. 19. 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.
  20. 20. ‘‘The Living Earth’ – Cradle Coast GeotrailThe Living Earth’ – Cradle Coast Geotrail
  21. 21. 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).
  22. 22. 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
  23. 23. The Proposed Savannah Way Geotrail linked to the Pre-Aspiring Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark in the state of Queensland
  24. 24. Take-AwaysTake-Aways  Regional development imperativesRegional development imperatives (growth and jobs) are now(growth and jobs) are now driving geotourism initiatives in Australia.driving geotourism initiatives in Australia.  The incorporation of the geotourism experience (with traditional nature- based tourism and elements of othertraditional nature- based tourism and elements of other ‘place based’ tourism)‘place based’ tourism) creates a more holistic experience, and is a move towards the experiential tourism modelexperiential tourism model.  Australia has a big future for geotourismbig future for geotourism particularly given the emerging demand from overseas marketsoverseas markets..  State and Local Government inspired and backedState and Local Government inspired and backed geopark/geotrail initiativesgeopark/geotrail initiatives are now emerging.are now emerging.
  25. 25. 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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