““Geotourism – Pathways for RegionalGeotourism – Pathways for Regional
Development in AustraliaDevelopment in Australia””
Geotourism Workshop, SEGRA 2015Geotourism Workshop, SEGRA 2015
22nd October 201522nd October 2015
Angus M RobinsonAngus M Robinson
Today’s AgendaToday’s Agenda
Landscapes, natural heritage & the environment
What do we mean by geotourism?
Geoparks and Australia’s National Landscapes
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
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 beenhas typically not been
Source: Dowling, 2013
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
Geotourism - asGeotourism - as oneone of the components of theof the components of the
many types of ‘place-based’ tourismmany types of ‘place-based’ tourism
Core Elements of a GeoparkCore Elements of a Geopark
A GEOPARKGEOPARK achieves its goals of fostering local developmentfostering local development
through a three-pronged approach:
GEOCONSERVATIONGEOCONSERVATION: A GEOPARK seeks to conserve significant
geological features, and explore and demonstrate methods for
excellence in conservation.
EDUCATIONEDUCATION: A GEOPARK organises activities and provides logistic
support to communicate geoscientific knowledge and environmental
concepts to the public.
GEOTOURISMGEOTOURISM: A GEOPARK stimulates economic activity and
sustainable development through geotourism.
Mining Industry Land Access Issues & GeoparksMining Industry Land Access Issues & Geoparks
Whilst a Geopark status does not imply restrictions on anyWhilst a Geopark status does not imply restrictions on any
economic activity inside a geoparkeconomic activity inside a geopark where that activity
complies with local, regional or national legislation, mining
industry interests are wary of:
Restricted accessRestricted access to land for exploration and mining.
Geoparks or any land designated a ‘park’ alienating landalienating land
beyond the boundaries of national parks.
Geoheritage measures restricting access to outcropsrestricting access to outcrops.
‘‘Institutional’ Resistance to Geoparks in AustraliaInstitutional’ Resistance to Geoparks in Australia
State/Territory Geological Surveys have not been supportive ofGeological Surveys have not been supportive of
the conceptthe concept – exasperates land alienation.
Staff in many national parks are more interested and trained inmore interested and trained in
other areas of natural heritageother areas of natural heritage.
Limited geoscience constituencyLimited geoscience constituency in government land
Geoparks would mean a new and competing funding neednew and competing funding need –
diverted from national parks.
Designated geoparks adds to the complexity of governmentcomplexity of government
Australia’s National Landscapes ProgrammeAustralia’s National Landscapes Programme
Partnership between tourism and conservation that aims
Promote world class, high qualityworld class, high quality visitor experiences
Increase the value of tourism to regional economiesvalue of tourism to regional economies
Enhance the role of protected areasrole of protected areas in those economies
Build support for protecting our natural and cultural assetsprotecting our natural and cultural assets
A long term strategic approach
To differentiate Australia’sTo differentiate Australia’s
iconic natural and culturaliconic natural and cultural
destinations from anythingdestinations from anything
else available in the worldelse available in the world.
National Landscapes and GeoparksNational Landscapes and Geoparks
Have similar goalssimilar goals relating to local development,
education and experiential tourism (‘geotourism’).
However, National Landscapes do not focus onNational Landscapes do not focus on
fostering geoconservationfostering geoconservation, but have a broader
‘natural heritage’ remit.
The Australian National Landscape ProgrammeNational Landscape Programme is
currently struggling for support from governments.struggling for support from governments.
Geotourism – Establishing ‘Common Ground’ withGeotourism – Establishing ‘Common Ground’ with
Park Managers & Regional Development InterestsPark Managers & Regional Development Interests
There is an opportunity for geotourism advocates togeotourism advocates to
engage with state/territory park managersengage with state/territory park managers and
regional development authoritiesregional development authorities to determine
commonality on issues relating to:
Forming partnerships with other land userspartnerships with other land users
Attracting visitors, particularly from overseasAttracting visitors, particularly from overseas
Development of regional communitiesegional communities
Identification & conservation of geositesgeosites
Connecting landscapesConnecting landscapes through geotrailsgeotrails
‘features an ancient landscape with erosional
remnants (geosites) linked to a common geological heritage’
Iconic Geotourism Themes of theIconic Geotourism Themes of the
Red Centre National LandscapeRed Centre National Landscape
AA: Landforms and ancient geology: Landforms and ancient geology
BB: Red Kangaroo species, and other type: Red Kangaroo species, and other type
CC: Indigenous (and European) culture: Indigenous (and European) culture
Geotrail Characteristics -Geotrail Characteristics -
A First DefinitionA First Definition
‘A Geotrail delivers geotourism experiences
through a journey linked by an area's geologygeology
and landscapeand landscape as the basis for providing visitor
engagement, learning and enjoyment’.
Island of Tasmania
Cradlecoast GeoTrailCradlecoast GeoTrail
Flinders RangesFlinders Ranges
National LandscapeNational Landscape
Brachina Gorge Geological Trail and Bunyeroo ValleyBrachina Gorge Geological Trail and Bunyeroo Valley
Australia’s Coastal Wilderness
Geo-heritage journey and geotrails
Great Ocean Road National Landscape
Great Ocean Road and Kanawinka Geotrail ?
Why Geotrails?Why Geotrails?
1. Relates directly to the tourism experience of a
journey linking destinations.
2.2. In Australia, unlike geoparks,In Australia, unlike geoparks, geotrails have
universal appeal, and do not compete with or impact, and do not compete with or impact
on land management/access issues.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..
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.
The incorporation of the geotourism experience
(with traditional nature tourism and elements oftraditional nature tourism and elements of
other ‘place based’ tourism)other ‘place based’ tourism) creates a more holistic
experience, and is a move towards the experientialexperiential
tourism modeltourism model. In short, ‘experiential’ tourists seek
memorable experiencesmemorable experiences.
Australia’s National LandscapesAustralia’s National Landscapes and many other
regional areas of Australia are key ‘iconic’‘iconic’ places
where geotourism is centre stagewhere geotourism is centre stage.
Australia has a big future for geotourismbig future for geotourism particularly
given the emerging demand from overseas markets.overseas markets.
ButBut we must build capacitywe must build capacity into our tourisminto our tourism
infrastructure –infrastructure – more regional development!more regional development!
Creating geotrailsCreating geotrails is arguably the easiest way ofis arguably the easiest way of
providing early pathways for geotourism activities inproviding early pathways for geotourism activities in
New ICT technologiesNew ICT technologies offer cost effective solutionsoffer cost effective solutions
of providing travellers with interpretativeof providing travellers with interpretative
Successful roll-out ofSuccessful roll-out of geotrails will instill confidencegeotrails will instill confidence
in geotourismin geotourism providing a future pathway to geoparkproviding a future pathway to geopark
establishment and development in Australia.establishment and development in Australia.