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The Business of Geotourism and Geoparks: Professor Ross Dowling OAM

Opening Keynote presentation to the Second International Workshop on the Business of Geotourism and Geoparks, 14th May, Perth, Western Australia

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The Business of Geotourism and Geoparks: Professor Ross Dowling OAM

  1. 1. 1 1 Welcome to the International Workshop The Business of Geotourism and Geoparks Professor Ross Dowling OAM Edith Cowan University Department of Biodiversity, Conservation & Attractions Perth, Western Australia Monday 14 May 2018 2 Geotourism and Geoparks - powerful new drivers of sustainable regional development 3 Economic Benefits Ireland Vietnam China UK 4 5 Geotourism Geotourism is an holistic form of tourism which links geology & climate with fauna & flora so as to inform how people have lived in a place in the past as well as today Geotourism fosters sustainable, regional, economic development 6 Geotourism is not Ecotourism
  2. 2. 2 7 The Environment ‘ABC’ elements Tourism Type Geotourism Abiotic Non living Climate Landforms Geological Weather Outback Astronomical This is a more holistic approach to tourism and comprises all three ‘ABC’ elements of the environment as well as their related tourism types Biotic Living Animals (Fauna) Plants (Flora) Nature Based Ecotourism Wildlife / flower Cultural Human People: Past & Present Cultural Indigenous Heritage The Environment and Tourism 8 Biotic Cultural Galapagos Abiotic 9 Geotourism around the world Grand Canyon USA Al Hoota Cave Oman Heimaey Island Iceland Jeju Island South Korea 10 A Geotrail - The Trail of Time Grand Canyon, USA 11 12
  3. 3. 3 13 A Geo-Attraction – Al Hoota Cave Sultanate of Oman 14 15 16 A Geopark - Jeju Island South Korea 17 Silver Shadow Jusangjeolli Cliffs – columnar basalt columns 18 Excellent Interpretation
  4. 4. 4 19 The Triple Crown 20 A GeoCentre – Eyjafjallajökull Eldgos Iceland Eyjafjallajökull - the volcano that stopped the world 21 Eyjafjallajökull Erupts Visitor Centre 22 Excellent Interpretation 23 Interesting Exhibits 24 Guðný provides a strong ‘Connection’ with the geological, natural and cultural environments
  5. 5. 5 25 Heimaey Island, Iceland Using geotourism is a vehicle for Sustainable Regional Development Attraction Visitor Centre Amenities Café Tours Geotour Kristbjorg Helga + ArnórGuðný 26 New Geotourism Attractions The Gap, Albany 27 New Geotourism Attractions Castle Rock Skywalk, Porongurup NP 28 New Geotourism Attraction The Skywalk, Kalbarri 29 Key Message • Geotourism is a business • Its aim is to sustainably ‘add value’ to local or regional communities • This value should be easily measured through economic indicators such as jobs and income 30 Geoparks Geoparks are the vehicle Geotourism is the engine
  6. 6. 6 31 Geoparks are not National Parks 32 Geoparks A Geopark is an area with a geological heritage of significance, which has a strong management structure and where a sustainable economic development strategy is in place 33 Geoparks Geoparks are vehicles for fostering community-based, sustainable, regional economic development 34 Levels of Geoparks Level Aspiring National Global 35 Geopark Essentials The five fundamental features of a UNESCO Global Geopark are: 1. Geological heritage of international value 2. A clear boundary and good governance 3. Visibility - information and promotion 4. Networking – within the park and across the global network 5. Geoparks are re-evaluated every 4 years 36 Geoparks in Iceland
  7. 7. 7 37 Katla Geopark Tjörnes Fossil Trolls Vestmannaeyjar Volcano Myvatn Snæfellsnes Snæfell East Iceland Reykjanes Europe’s Westend Torfajökull Caldera Proposed Geoparks 38 UNESCO Global Geoparks 39 UNESCO Programs Program Sites Countries World Heritage 1073 167 Man and the Biosphere 669 120 UNESCO Global Geoparks 140 38 40 Australia’s UNESCO Sites Program Sites World Heritage 22 Man and the Biosphere 14 UNESCO Global Geoparks 0 41 UNESCO Global Geoparks [140 in 38 countries] Europe [69] China [37] Canada [3] Brazil Uruguay Morocco Japan [9] MexicoIran Indonesia [4] Tanzania 42 Qeshm Island UNESCO Global Geopark, Iran
  8. 8. 8 43 European Geoparks [71 geoparks in 23 countries] 44 Asian Geoparks Langkawi Global Geopark Malaysia 45 Access & Activity 46 Activity and Attraction 47 Accommodation 48 Awareness
  9. 9. 9 49 50 The Geoparks Brand • In the first ten years of geoparks in China there were over 1.1 billion visitors (over 100 million visitors per annum) • Entry fees were RMB 7 Billion ($1.36B) • The geoparks generated 75 000 permanent full time jobs and 470 000 part time jobs 51 Aspiring Geoparks, USA 52 Aspiring Geoparks, NZ 53 1. Geoparks start with geological attractions and build economic growth through geotourism 2. They have a well established global network 3. Chinese and European visitors know geoparks 4. Geoparks foster community-based, sustainable, regional, economic development 5. Western Australia will benefit from geoparks Key Points 54 The Boom in Chinese Tourism Uluru Kakadu
  10. 10. 10 55 Australia’s Aspiring Geo Regions 56 Geoparks in Western Australia Geoparks are the vehicle for: 1. Economic growth 2. Job creation 3. Community well-being 4. Cultural revival 5. Conservation 6. Tourism development 7. Aboriginal enterprise 8. Educational links 9. Scientific research 10. A global network