Tara Bennett #

Executive Officer, Tourism Port Douglas Daintree

Tara Bennett1

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘Ecotourism: it’s everyone’s business’ with Gary Kerr.

Tourism markets are seeking more authentic and genuine experiences, and the ecotourism market is no different.

Providing “responsible travel to, and interaction within, natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” is not just the responsibility of tour operators. Recognised eco accreditation of these operators provides visitors with the confidence that their experience will be a true and authentic eco experience.

However this confidence can be undermined if the environment in which the tour operators carry on their business does not meet similar standards.

How would visitors feel who come and experience the wonders of the Daintree Rainforest with an eco accredited tour operator only to be dropped off to their accommodation in Port Douglas that is using old inefficient lighting, has the air-conditioning cranked to nearly freezing and offers single use plastic cups and no sign of recycling of materials. For those that appreciate our environment they would feel a little disillusioned and their overall experience of the region spoilt.

To create a holistic eco experience, the entire region needs to demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.

The Douglas Shire Council is on the journey to become the first region in Australia to achieve the Global Sustainable Tourism Committee’s Green Destination accreditation.

Taking a leadership role, the Council is engaging with its communities and enabling innovative programs to meet the GSTC’s accreditation criteria.

This is our story.

Biography

Tara Bennett is executive officer of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, the local tourism organisation for the Douglas Shire. After growing up in country Victoria followed by a stint studying in Melbourne, Tara travelled and lived abroad for four years before settling in Port Douglas and forging a career in hospitality. After working her way through the ranks of Tourism Port Douglas Daintree, Tara’s current role sees her representing the region marketing to domestic and key international travellers and working with stakeholders to strengthen the industry for the region.

With a Masters in Ecotourism from James Cook University Tara has considerable experience in regional tourism issues and destination marketing. Tara is a passionate advocate for tourism and its role in achieving sustainable economic development for communities and conservation outcomes.

Alana Binns #

Site Manager, Seal Bay Conservation Park, Department for Environment and Water

Alana Binns

Abstract

Keeping up with the Times: the evolution of experience development and delivery in Seal Bay Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia

Seal Bay Conservation Park is located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia and is home to third largest colony of endangered Australian sea lions (ASLs) and delivers the most accessible ASL ecotourism experience in Australia. Managed by the South Australian Government’s Department for Environment and Water, Seal Bay operates 364 days a year and welcomes approximately 120,000 visitors annually. Careful consideration has been taken to ensure the experience seamlessly marries the conservation message of the ASL with a memorable visitor experience.

Since the conception of guided tours into the sea lion colony (1987), Seal Bay’s products have evolved to include a variety of experiences that have been specifically designed to focus on the varied expectations and needs of our guests, while addressing the protection requirements of an endangered species. Expectations and needs of visitors have evolved over time and yet at the core of the tourism offering is the protection and stewardship of these spectacular marine mammals. Contemporising the visitor experience whilst managing large numbers of visitors, maintaining the welfare of the sea lions and protection of the environment requires close monitoring, evaluation and action. Strategic and operational partnerships with the tourism industry, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the community requires a collective commitment for the sustainability of the experience at Seal Bay and its evolution to keep up with the times.

Maintaining an immersive, unique and meaningful ecotourism experience with growing visitation in a ‘wildlife in the wild’ offering will have future challenges. Seal Bay is fast approaching a new era, where tour offerings are expanding to cater for exclusive, tailored and intimate experiences, as well as low impact, large group observation experiences in conjunction with local producers and stakeholders.

Alana Binns is presenting with Melanie Stonill.

Biography

Alana commenced working at Seal Bay in 2012 as Site Manager. Having grown up in South Australia by the beach, she developed a passion for protecting the environment that led her to study Environmental Management at Adelaide University, whilst continuing a career in retail management roles. Alana and her team at Seal Bay strive to provide the best eco and customer focused experiences.

Russell Boswell #

Manager, Savannah Guides

Russell Boswell

Abstract

Indigenous Rangers Transitioning to Tourism

Around Australia new Indigenous Tourism offerings are blossoming, especially as Land and Sea Rangers look to develop visitor experiences. This is a new wave of career development, economic self-determination and reconciliation in action that is enriching tourism and many regional communities.

But what are successful pathways for these new experiences and how can Ranger roles transition to Tour Guiding and Operations? Savannah Guides works with numerous Ranger groups to support their tourism aspirations and delivers tailored accredited and non-accredited programs on country.

In 2018 Savannah Guides celebrates 30 years of regional tourism development, from its first gathering of cattlemen and Indigenous Rangers to form an association, to today’s diverse network that links nature-based Tour Guides across Australia and internationally.

Biography

Russell Boswell is Manager of Savannah Guides and a regional tourism development and marketing professional. He has delivered various ecotourism initiatives around Australia and internationally, created a wide range of soft adventure and interpretive products, and developed numerous tourism training programs in tour guiding, storytelling, business development and marketing. Russell is also the Manager of Savannah Way Limited, promoting the drive route from Cairns to Broome. Savannah Guides is a not-for-profit organisation delivering professional development for Tour Guides across northern Australia, including training, field schools and accreditation. Savannah Guides operates the EcoGuide program, a national certification that can bolt on to regional modules. Savannah Guides also delivers the Wet Tropics Tour Guide Program in partnership with the Wet Tropics Management Authority specifically for the World Heritage Area guides and Visitor Information Centre staff.

Leonie Bowles #

Associate Lecturer, University of Queensland

Leonie Bowles1

Abstract

From Nature-Based Tourism to Nature-Based Solutions: towards a new era in ecotourism

Sustainable management is an established concept within the tourism industry, however, there is no unanimous agreement on how the functional aspects of sustainable management can solve societal and ecological challenges. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines Nature Based Solutions, NBS, as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”. In this paper we discuss nature inspired solutions that are cost-effective, provide simultaneous environmental, social and economic benefits, and help build resilience. Through specific examples of successful implementation and innovative ecotourism practice, we explore the links between NBS and ‘advanced ecotourism’. Using the NBS framework we examine the transformative potential of ‘advanced ecotourism’ to stimulate sustainable management practices in the tourism sector and mechanisms needed to address the pervasive socio-ecological challenges facing the industry, such as biodiversity loss, water quality, and waste management.

Leonie Bowles is presenting with Dr Anna Phelan.

Biography

Leonie Bowles is an Associate Lecturer in Responsible Tourism at UQ Business School, an independent auditor for Ecotourism Australia and a Director of Wildlife Wonders. Her consultancy and research areas include ecotourism, responsible tourism, tourism in developing economies and destination stewardship.

She has been a technical advisor for various Australian and international ecotourism projects. With Ecotourism Australia, developing the world’s first ecotourism destination certification for protected area management agencies and for the Government of Vanuatu, developing Vanuatu’s Tourism Accreditation Program. She was an external collaborator of the United Nations World Tourism Organization working on best practice ecotourism within the Asia Pacific region.

John Cameron B.Arch, FRAIA #

Director, John Cameron Architects Pty Ltd

John Cameron1

Abstract

Ecolodge Design and Ecotourism Master Planning: where to start

Where do you start to design and master plan an eco-lodge? In this presentation architect and accredited eco-tourism assessor John Cameron outlines the crucial steps required to ensure that your eco-design/planning process covers the essentials from setting your budget through dealing with consultants, authorities and contractors, to life-cycle and maintenance considerations, whilst focused on the best possible guest experience and a healthy bottom line.

Biography

John Cameron has practiced architecture since 1991, driven by a passion for environmental design to create built environments that are not only comfortable to occupy but that also make fewer demands on our precious natural resources. He is also an accredited assessor for the EC3-Earthcheck Building and Precinct Design Standard for eco-tourism development with a detailed practical understanding of the application of eco-development principles, tools and techniques, gained through hands-on experience from his practice and a dedication to ongoing professional development.

John has lectured and tutored on sustainable design at the University of Queensland School of Architecture, and has presented at Global Eco 2010 through to 2013. He is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Architects, registered to practice architecture in the State of Queensland and Northern Territory, Australia.

Dr Matt Curnock #

Social Scientist, CSIRO

Matt Curnock

Abstract

Changes in the State of Great Barrier Reef Tourism from 2013 to 2017 and Challenges for its Future

Recent mass coral bleaching events in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) have received international media attention and have prompted a new interventionist management paradigm to protect coral reefs from the existential threat posed by climate change. Concurrently, significant effort has been invested in protecting the GBR’s reputation of ‘superlative natural beauty’, to help sustain its $5.7B tourism industry. But to what extent have perceptions of the GBR’s health and appeal changed among tourists and tourism operators, and is this affecting tourism visitation? In this study we compare survey data from >4500 domestic and international tourists and >100 marine tourism operators in the GBR region, collected in mid-2013 and again in mid-2017, as part of the Social and Economic Long-Term Monitoring Program (SELTMP). Among tourists, we identify significant differences in their ratings of the quality of reef activities, such as snorkelling and scuba diving, as well as their assessments of the GBR’s aesthetic beauty. While tourism operators remained optimistic about the future of their business in the GBR, their trust in institutions providing GBR-related information has fallen. We present these and other key findings in the context of the latest tourist visitation trends and other emerging industry patterns, and discuss implications and challenges for GBR tourism into the future.

Biography

Matt is a social-environmental scientist with the CSIRO, based in Townsville. His research career over the past two decades has included numerous ecotourism, wildlife management, and Great Barrier Reef-related projects. He has also recently worked in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and was responsible for management of their High Standard Tourism Program.

Louise Custance #

VIDA Planners and Landscape Architects

Louise Custance1

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘An Eye on the Future’ with Matthew Flynn.

At the core of all our work is the conviction that we can do this better. Our aim is to design spaces that remake the enduring connection between us, our communities and our habitats while balancing creativity, sustainability and profitability – not one without the other. Not one over the other.

Because for us, nature-based and ecotourism play an important role in changing and/or challenging peoples’ perception of nature and their relationship to it. The idea is, they return home with a deeper insight into the role they can (and do) play in social and environmental issues and are empowered with tangible solutions to apply in their own homes/businesses (solar, rain water collection, native plants, fair employment policies etc.). Which is why our design process begins by bringing together the key decision-makers on site for a participatory workshop to share and understand ‘what is’ before we consider ‘what could be’. We spend time on site learning the language of the place – its history, orientation, vegetation, natural materials and landforms – and talking through the client’s vision. Because, we know that meaningful decisions and sound, connected solutions come from a deep understanding of people and their space – only then can we deliver an authentic, place-based, responsive, sustainable and regionally-inspired project. And, if a property is underperforming, it is important to know why. This doesn’t mean a fresh coat of paint; it means reviewing its relationship to the context, its accessibility, the arrival experience, and the operational costs – right down to the views people experience while they are relaxing by the pool.

For us, repositioning properties rather than tearing them down, encourages a part of the built fabric to evolve and grow with the community it serves. Utilizing an existing site also means less new road construction, less fragmentation of land and, ultimately, maximizing the guest experience of the natural surroundings - which is at the core of ecotourism now and into the future. With travel trends, consumer tastes and the role of social media evolving at a startling pace, along with the increasing number of destinations and lodging types available (e.g. responding to the pressures of Airbnb), it is increasingly critical for hotels and lodges (and often frustrating for the ownership and operators) to have one eye constantly on the future.

Working with some of the most reputable hotels and lodges in Central America , VIDA has assisted teams to work through and create strategic master plans to guide the improvement and expansion of the hotels and lodges via:

  • Improving the guest arrival experience
  • Reducing the impact of cars and vehicles
  • Integrating stormwater management
  • Improving the lodging experience
  • Improving F&B concepts
  • Improving common areas
  • Way-finding
  • Improving and updating infrastructure
  • Creating ‘Instagramable’ moments
  • Market-focused amenities
  • Skill and experience-based travel
  • Nature-based amenities and infrastructure
  • Improving operational and BOH efficiency
  • Improving staff facilities
  • Integrating villas and real estate offerings

The presentation will draw on VIDA’s projects and design solutions to share what we’ve learnt along the way.

Biography

Small town South Australia is a world away from Costa Rica – both literally and metaphorically. But, when you’re offered an opportunity to meld your skills, interests, training and passion, 15,000km is hardly an obstacle. Louise was on the next plane to San Jose. (OK, not literally this time – just metaphorically.) Louise has plenty of get-up-and-go and was immediately drawn to the diversity of projects that VIDA offered. Backpacking through Central and South America in 2011 had cemented her love of Latin America. Working for VIDA meant she’d need to travel and continue her learning – both of which she was more than willing to do. Having already had a glimpse into the working life of a landscape architect through TCL, one of Australia’s most successful landscape architecture firms, this girl from rural Australia was ready to chase big things.

Now every day is an adventure – amidst hard work – and Louise couldn’t be happier. When she isn’t off exploring new places near and far, Louise can be found playing sport, taking photographs, speaking Spanglish, surfing, scuba-diving, cooking or calling home.

Yvette Eglinton #

Senior Project Officer, Environmental Science and Information Unit, Department for Environment and Water

Yvette Eglinton1

Abstract

Inclusive Access in Nature-Based Tourism Experiences

Travel and tourism is recognised as one the largest service sector industries, therefore, it is imperative that people of all ages and abilities are allowed access to its activities. Accessible Tourism recognises the universal right for all people to participate in tourism. Tourism Research Australia estimates that 1.3 million Australians are in the market for accessible tourism. There is a sizeable, growing and diverse range of travellers with accessibility needs. With an estimated 20% of Australian adults having a disability or long-term health condition, and an ageing population, the disability sector is set to grow.

Natural settings have been identified as the dominant feature when travellers decide on a destination to visit. Contact with nature is critical for our physical, mental, social and spiritual health. However people with disabilities find it more difficult to access our natural environment, due to many barriers. One of the biggest barriers to travel is lack of information.

In response, National Parks South Australia, managed by the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) has set about improving information and accessibility to enhance the nature-based tourism experience for people with disabilities in the State’s most natural places. This case study will highlight the accessibility options available in South Australian parks and what DEW is doing to improve access and inclusion. We have learnt that without accessible parks, we lose an opportunity to reach the widest possible audience and share a spectrum of experiences.

Biography

Yvette Eglinton has been working for the Department for Environment and Water (DEW) for 11 years in the Marine Parks group as a marine biologist. She has used her knowledge and experience to help design and now evaluate the marine parks. In 2009 Yvette had a cycling accident in which she sustained a spinal cord injury and consequently became a paraplegic. Yvette was very active prior to her accident - she was an elite triathlete and enjoyed getting out in South Australia’s national parks. After her accident even though she worked for the department responsible for managing national parks, she had no idea which parks were accessible. In late 2017 Yvette and fellow DEW staff formed a team to set about improving accessibility of parks to ensure that people with disabilities have same opportunity to experience nature as those without a disability.

Matthew Flynn #

Design Director, VIDA Planners and Landscape Architects

Matthew Flynn1

Abstract

An Eye on the Future

At the core of all our work is the conviction that we can do this better. Our aim is to design spaces that remake the enduring connection between us, our communities and our habitats while balancing creativity, sustainability and profitability – not one without the other. Not one over the other.

Because for us, nature-based and ecotourism play an important role in changing and/or challenging peoples’ perception of nature and their relationship to it. The idea is, they return home with a deeper insight into the role they can (and do) play in social and environmental issues and are empowered with tangible solutions to apply in their own homes/businesses (solar, rain water collection, native plants, fair employment policies etc.). Which is why our design process begins by bringing together the key decision-makers on site for a participatory workshop to share and understand ‘what is’ before we consider ‘what could be’. We spend time on site learning the language of the place – its history, orientation, vegetation, natural materials and landforms – and talking through the client’s vision. Because, we know that meaningful decisions and sound, connected solutions come from a deep understanding of people and their space – only then can we deliver an authentic, place-based, responsive, sustainable and regionally-inspired project. And, if a property is underperforming, it is important to know why. This doesn’t mean a fresh coat of paint; it means reviewing its relationship to the context, its accessibility, the arrival experience, and the operational costs – right down to the views people experience while they are relaxing by the pool.

For us, repositioning properties rather than tearing them down, encourages a part of the built fabric to evolve and grow with the community it serves. Utilizing an existing site also means less new road construction, less fragmentation of land and, ultimately, maximizing the guest experience of the natural surroundings - which is at the core of ecotourism now and into the future. With travel trends, consumer tastes and the role of social media evolving at a startling pace, along with the increasing number of destinations and lodging types available (e.g. responding to the pressures of Airbnb), it is increasingly critical for hotels and lodges (and often frustrating for the ownership and operators) to have one eye constantly on the future.

Working with some of the most reputable hotels and lodges in Central America , VIDA has assisted teams to work through and create strategic master plans to guide the improvement and expansion of the hotels and lodges via:

  • Improving the guest arrival experience
  • Reducing the impact of cars and vehicles
  • Integrating stormwater management
  • Improving the lodging experience
  • Improving F&B concepts
  • Improving common areas
  • Way-finding
  • Improving and updating infrastructure
  • Creating ‘Instagramable’ moments
  • Market-focused amenities
  • Skill and experience-based travel
  • Nature-based amenities and infrastructure
  • Improving operational and BOH efficiency
  • Improving staff facilities
  • Integrating villas and real estate offerings

The presentation will draw on VIDA’s projects and design solutions to share what we’ve learnt along the way.

Matthew Flynn is presenting with Louise Custance.

Biography

Experience has taught Matthew that nothing produces results like the bringing together of great individuals, in-depth analysis, good listening, outstanding design and hard work. Matthew draws on 18 years of experience spanning four continents and a dozen countries. His work focuses on creating sustainable land-use solutions that balance creativity, sustainability and profitability for international resorts, nature-based communities, hotels, rural estates, private residences and ecolodges. These are lofty ideals for a boy from rural Australia - no argument. But, luckily, Matthew has the skills to back it up. He has extensive experience in the design, management and implementation of international projects and the proven ability to deliver world-class results - often in isolated regions on challenging sites. Prior to co-founding VIDA, Matthew was partner at 40NORTH and Managing Director of their expansion into Central America, following five years with EDSA in Beijing, China and Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Jen Fry #

Manager, Visitor Strategy, Tasmania Parks and Wildlife

Jen Fry

Abstract

Trade Marks and Intellectual Property: the Three Capes experience

Even before the Three Capes Track came into being, opportunistic members of the public and other tourism providers could see that Tasmania was about to embark on something that would change eco-tourism experiences. From whiskey to bus tours to neighbours to guided walks, the Parks and Wildlife Service has had to choose to align itself, work with, and/or pursue various organisations and individuals. This work shop will include background on the trade mark experience in Tasmania, advice on working with Intellectual Property Australia, what the legal considerations are, and outcomes from the process for both policy and partnerships.

Biography

Jen got her career start while at University, working part time in the Uni-bar as a server and part time as a nature guide in the local conservation area - and she has tried to blend hospitality and protected areas ever since.

Jen sits on the Wellington Park Management Trust, is a member of the Yield and Dispersal Strategy Group as part of Tasmania’s Tourism 21, and is Chair of the Maria Island Re-Discovered Project. She has worked with the Grand River Conservation Authority in Canada, People to People Reef Tours, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, Royal Tasmanian Botanical Gardens, and was seconded as the Premier’s Senior Advisor on Tourism, Hospitality, Events, Brand, Sport and Recreation. Jen currently works as the head of the Visitor Strategy Section with the Tasmania Parks and Wildlife Service.

Dr Jitendra GC #

Executive Chairperson, Sajha Foundation

Jitendra GC1

Abstract

Ecotourism: a sustainable prospective

We are newly practicing in Nepal, an Ecotourism in Nepal as Sustainable Tourism. Ecotourism focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet. It is typically defined as travel to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water re-use, and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities are an integral part of ecotourism.

Historical, biological and cultural conservation, preservation, sustainable development etc. are some of the fields closely related to Ecotourism. Many professionals have been involved in formulating and developing Ecotourism policies. They come from the fields of Geographic Information Systems, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Photography, Marine Biology and Oceanography, National and State Park Management, Environmental Sciences, Women in Development, Historians and Archaeologists, etc.

Dr Jitendra GC is presenting with Maya Tamang.

Biography

Dr Jitendra GC is a policy expert, leading an Institution M/s Sajha Foundation, a Think Tank Institution in Nepal, working with Global Institutions and platforms. A policy wonk, traveller, climate change, ecotourism, circular/green economy and urban greenery are the field.

PhD Scholar, affilated with Kathmandu University and Ministry of Culture, Tourism and Civil Aviation Ministry

Pascal Guillet #

Owner-operator, Vanuatu Ecotours, Vanuatu

Pascal kids (1)

Biography

Originally from Bordeaux, Pascal, after 1 year in USA & 4 in Morrocco, has lived in Vanuatu since 1992. He came to Vanuatu as a teacher and spent many of his earlier years introducing sports, physical education into the education curriculum and training young primary and secondary teachers.

After stints with various foreign aid missions and NGO’s, Pascal set up his own business in 2004; Vanuatu Ecotours. The business allows Pascal to share his love of Vanuatu with a few of its more adventurous visitors and his passion for his work shines through; Vanuatu Ecotours, with more than 800 excellent comments, is rated as number one on Trip advisor for the last 8 years. Being fluent in French, English and Bislama means that Pascal can move around his beloved Vanuatu with ease and he is always willing and enthusiastic about sharing the genuine Vanuatu with people who are prepared to take a walk on the wild side. With his team of local tour guide expert, Vanuatu Ecotours has quickly gained popularity for the different perspective by which they present Vanuatu

Since 2012, Pascal as well worked as a tourism coach to help indegenous people to create or developp their own eco-tourism business. This project is funded by DFAT.

Nopparat Guyphet #

Co-owner, 202PAGES, Thailand

Nopparat Guyphet1

Abstract

Main source of environmental situation is from economic activities. So, to reduce environmental problems and protect hazards should work deeper in each industry. However, there are too many specific factors inside the industry that people outside cannot understand, and people inside also cannot understand on people who work on environmental field. This space bring too many circles of starting and failing of development projects at any old sites.

A way to make closer understanding between people in environmental field and people in each industry, include other stakeholders is “ecotourism.” It’s same ecotourism everywhere by aim to communicate people to view, think, and act for better picture there, but the differentiation in each area is structure and content of story, include method in communication.

At the gulf of Thailand, agriculture(farming) is a key-source. Though government and other organizations have promoted any good production programs – i.e. organic farming, crop management, soil conservation, etc. But, in mass population it cannot made people to image the linked picture between their farming activities, living and the environmental situations. Moreover, when come to work inside the agricultural system on position of a component of agricultural industry(2012-17), the truth is deeper than imagination before. It is not about barriers from poverty, economic problems, knowledge, technology, or capital, because it is from the learning pattern of society that is the long time collective learning from every sources in each person and it is the integration from all people to be a picture of society. By creating of a trail at the inner gulf of Thailand on the name- weekend Bangkok, the objective is public educating with positioning of an international visiting destination(Bangkok). The story is linking between Bryde at the sea-coastal ecosystem(Bang Taboon Bay) and Hornbill at hills and forest(watershed) –Kang Krachan National Park. On the trail between Bryde and Hornbill is run by a dish(spicy mackerel soup) and link to vegetable farming and agri economic process and system in this area. It cannot make better outcomes on agricultural production sector and environmental quality in the short time, but the starting of new things in people viewing more than the past is happening and it will bring closer understanding in each group- stakeholders.

Biography

Nopparat initiated working in environmental and natural resources management in final 2005 at Department of marine and coastal resources, Ministry of natural resource and environment. He developed a guidance of marine and coastal protected area systems of Thailand between 2005-06, demonstrated 2 field projects of protected area system on the gulf of Thailand(eastern) and Andaman(western), worked on field on Thai-Australian Post tsunami project, and developed a provincial integrated coastal zone management in Andaman. He retired from the government sector in 2009 and established a private company with consultancy service for government. By working on private business, he developed the guidance for adaptations of key-development sectors of Thailand for next 30 years climate. Since midyear 2012, he walked in agricultural sector both commerce and production sector. Midyear 2016, he initiated the business on internet by his development paradigm about environmental motivation on economic system and it is continuing on 202pages in present.

Laura Hahn #

Conservation Officer, National Parks Association of Queensland

Laura Hahn1

Abstract

Ecotourism in National Parks: what is leading practice?

Land use conflict in Queensland centres on economic activity and jobs versus the preservation of biodiversity and change to communities. Ecotourism is a very current example of this.

Ecotourism is focused on appreciating relatively unspoilt natural environments while promoting conservation and managing for low visitor impact. However, the term is applied more broadly by governments and industry to include intensive activities such as commercial cabins, glamping, cable cars, and ‘major’ events. Ecotourism is typically portrayed as a win-win for the environment, economy and local/regional populations, with visitation to national parks estimated to return almost $1 billion annually to Queensland. However, there are complex issues around the design and management of ecotourism activities in national parks, including what is ecologically sustainable, who is responsible for ecological impact costs, and whether sections of national park (public land) should be effectively privatised.

In response to state government enthusiasm for ecotourism, as loosely defined, NPAQ has researched 7 case studies of multi-day walking tours in national parks in Australia and internationally. A series of leading practices were distilled from this evidence-based approach essential to prevent long-term ecological impacts undermining the values upon which the Queensland national parks were declared, while improving visitor appreciation and experience.

Leading practices include: thorough transparent impact assessment; government ownership (with a rehabilitation bond); visible ranger presence; maintaining public access; monitoring and responding to impacts, and mandatory orientation and interpretative programs. The research also shows of a strong, proven business case for adopting leading practice in the design and management of multi-day walks in national parks.

Laura Hahn is presenting with Graeme Bartrim.

Biography

Laura Hahn has more than 25 years in environmental and biodiversity management. She is the Conservation Officer of the National Parks Association of Queensland. NPAQ has been instrumental in protecting many of Queensland’s national parks.

Beatriz Torres Hansjosten #

Ph.D Student, Marine Ecology, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain

Beatriz Hansjosten

Biography

Earned her degree in Biology at the Universidad de La Laguna (ULL) with specialisation in Marine Biology, and is currently obtaining her Ph.D. in Marine Ecology at the Universitat de les IllesBalears (UIB). Works as a teacher/instructor at CIEE for the summer courses.

Nicole Hitchcock #

Senior Ranger, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service

Nicole Hitchcock1

Abstract

Provision of Public Mooring Facilities to Support Coral Reef Conservation and Facilitate Sustainable Visitor Access: a case study of the Whitsundays

It is easy for Marine Park Rangers managing the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) to feel despondent in the face of the big challenges to reef health: climate change; water quality issues; and the increasing frequency and intensity of tropical cyclones. On-ground, practical conservation actions at a local scale, however, can help boost local reef resilience and increase local stewardship of coral reefs. Within the GBRWHA, these management actions include: enforcing Marine Park zoning (particularly no-take) provisions; identifying and controlling outbreaks of Crown of Thorns Starfish (COTS); and minimising anchor damage from vessels on coral reefs at high visitation locations. Following severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie tracking through the Whitsundays in March 2017, it was identified that many previously popular and high visitation locations had been reduced to < 1% live coral cover. Other nearby locations however had been spared the same level of destruction. Given the high volume of boating and anchoring occurring in the Whitsundays, it became vital to minimise local impacts to reefs from anchoring practices by protecting what was remaining, assisting with recovery and enabling sustainable low impact access for visitors and tourism operators. This presentation will focus on the Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s expansion of the Reef Protection Program (a network of public moorings and no-anchoring areas) in the Whitsundays area following severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie in 2017.

Biography

Nicole Hitchcock is an accomplished marine protected area management professional with post-graduate qualifications in marine science and protected area management. With 10 years practical experience working in the reef tourism industry, combined with 8 years within the Great Barrier Reef Joint Field Management Program as a protected area management practitioner, she has project managed various on-ground management actions for coral reef conservation. Areas of expertise include the provision of recreational and tourism infrastructure, marine animal stranding responses, coral reef health monitoring, tourism industry management and communication, education and stewardship. Nicole most recently has been delivering a $3M project expanding the Reef Protection Program (a network of public moorings and no-anchoring markers in the Great Barrier Reef).

Karen Hofman #

PhD Student, University of Queensland

Karen Hofman1

Abstract

Identifying Experts’ Opinion on Conservation Behaviours Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Currently, little is known regarding the most effective individual behaviours and their direct link to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef and other environmentally sensitive areas. Therefore, it is essential to explore the opinion of experts, specialising in and experiencing the effect of climate change on the Great Barrier Reef, prior to any further development and testing of interpretation tools and campaigns designed to meaningfully increase the uptake of effective conservation behaviours.

The aim of this project is to identify the actions and behaviours individuals can perform to contribute to the protection of the Great Barrier Reef. Specifically:

  • Identify experts and stakeholders involved in and affected by the effects of climate change on the GBR;
  • Identify individual actions that reef visitors and non-visitors can do to help save the Great Barrier Reef;
  • Identify the key messages to include in materials provided to reef tourists and individuals off-site that will contribute to the long-term conservation of the reef. Practically, these results will also inform global and local protection agencies, interpreters and tourism operators on the most effective behaviours contributing to the conservation of the reef. Providing a concise list of behaviours to both visitors and non-visitors may reduce the issue of over-load and consequent resistance towards to the uptake of conservation behaviours

Biography

Karen Hofman has a background in tourism and education and teaches at the University of Queensland. Karen is currently completing a PhD working developing strategies to enhance visitors’ conservation behaviour to protect the Great Barrier Reef. Her research interests include visitor management, interpretation and sustainable tourism. In her spare time, Karen can be found scuba-diving reefs locally and around the world.

Ian Hutton #

Manager, Lord Howe Island Nature Tours

Ian Hutton1

Abstract

Citizen Science in Tourism: Lord Howe Island

Science had its origins with the community – individuals passionate about discovery and understanding the natural world, the era of the gentleman scientist.

Over time this was lost, and science has become institutionalised and the general public disinterested, suspicious of scientists and unwilling to support science and conservation. Citizen Science has the opportunity to bring science back into the community, not just in data collection, but also in re engaging the community with science and conservation to create solutions for healthy ecosystems and biodiversity. We look at Lord Howe Island as a case study for Citizen Science involving community and tourism.

Biography

Ian Hutton has lived on Lord Howe Island since 1980 and in that time studied much of the flora and fauna, producing 12 books published and contributing to numerous scientific papers on flora and fauna. Ian was licensed by the LHI Board in 1982 to run guided botanical and reef tours. He has developed weeklong specialist tours such as Bird week, Rainforest week and Seaweek; and in 1995 weeding ecotours and over the past 23 years has run 84 weeklong weeding ecotours. Ian has included citizen science activities in tour programs for the past 20 years. In 2005 he was awarded the OAM for contribution to conservation and tourism on Lord Howe Island.

Jacob Jansen #

Politics and Sociology Major, Sustainability Chair, Student Sustainability Worker, Loras College 2020, USA

Jacob Jansen1

Abstract

Creating a Sustainable Destination in the Driftless Region of the USA: a young person’s perspective

The United States Midwest is known for its plains and excellent soil for farming. However, in a secluded pocket near the Mississippi river, one can find an outdoorsman’s paradise of rolling hills and valleys, known as the Driftless Region. Nature lovers come from a far to enjoy this irreplaceable wonder, but the reality is the area’s natural resources are in tension with human development. Particularly, the over-emphasis on agriculture has hurt the quality of the area’s watershed. When the area’s natural resources suffer, so does the area’s ecotourism. Come learn about this distinct American region from the perspective of a college student, who’s been a lifelong native of the area. He currently attends college in Dubuque, Iowa, which is in the heart of the Driftless Region. Learn how he has seen the community of Dubuque become a sustainable destination. Dubuque’s focus on sustainability and emphasis on outdoor recreation has played a pivotal role in the protection of the Driftless’s natural resources.

Biography

Jake Jansen is a Loras college junior studying politics and sociology with a focus on sustainability. Loras College is a private liberal arts college in Dubuque, a northeast Iowa Mississippi River town. He is a native of Elkader a small, northeast Iowa community. As a lifelong resident of Northeast Iowa Jake has always valued the unique land of the Mississippi River bluffs, known as the Driftless Region. His love for the Driftless motivated him to pursue a career in sustainability. His passion for sustainability also stems from his involvement in a high school project in which he led the formation of a school food waste composting system. This project helped divert 95% of the school’s cafeteria waste from the landfill. This project was recognized with the State of Iowa Governor’s Environmental Excellence Award.

At Loras he serves as the student sustainability worker. Jake works to improve the college’s and the City of Dubuque’s environmental efforts. Jake also helped start LEAF, an environmental club on campus, and he currently is the student government sustainability chair. This past summer, Jansen worked in two community outreach positions geared to the reduction of urban pesticides use and the promotion of zero waste living. While living in Dubuque, Jake has developed a love for the community and someday he hopes to professionally work in the city to further its sustainable practices. Particularly, he hopes to be an advocate for local ecotourism truly making Dubuque a sustainable destination.

Gary Kerr #

Executive Officer, Douglas Shire Council

Gary Kerr1

Abstract

Ecotourism: it’s everyone’s business

Tourism markets are seeking more authentic and genuine experiences, and the ecotourism market is no different.

Providing “responsible travel to, and interaction within, natural areas that conserves the environment, sustains the well-being of the local people, and involves interpretation and education” is not just the responsibility of tour operators. Recognised eco accreditation of these operators provides visitors with the confidence that their experience will be a true and authentic eco experience.

However this confidence can be undermined if the environment in which the tour operators carry on their business does not meet similar standards.

How would visitors feel who come and experience the wonders of the Daintree Rainforest with an eco accredited tour operator only to be dropped off to their accommodation in Port Douglas that is using old inefficient lighting, has the air-conditioning cranked to nearly freezing and offers single use plastic cups and no sign of recycling of materials. For those that appreciate our environment they would feel a little disillusioned and their overall experience of the region spoilt.

To create a holistic eco experience, the entire region needs to demonstrate its commitment to environmental responsibility and sustainability.

The Douglas Shire Council is on the journey to become the first region in Australia to achieve the Global Sustainable Tourism Committee’s Green Destination accreditation.

Taking a leadership role, the Council is engaging with its communities and enabling innovative programs to meet the GSTC’s accreditation criteria.

This is our story.

Gary Kerr is presenting with Tara Bennett.

Biography

Gary has spent the last 20 years leading economic and community development in regional Australia based on competitive advantage and values.

Using this philosophy he has led many of leadership teams and have managed and provided strategic leadership and guidance to communities. He has extensive experience in developing and implementing strategic plans, operational plans and budgets, particularly in the complex environment of local communities. This has involved matching resources to service levels and organisational capabilities to deliver operational outcomes, including policies, processes and people.

The unique world-class environment in the Douglas Shire provides many opportunities for the local community to grow, sharing this fragile environment with the world through interpretation, education, entertainment and instilling in everyone an appreciation of our unique environment and culture.

Innes Larkin #

Owner, Mt Barney Lodge

Innes Larkin1

Abstract

Ecotourism and Nature Play: because no one ever remembered their best day of television

It is 2018 and there has never been a better time for the realisation that human interactions with nature are necessary and that the essential learnings about risk, resilience, and good health are firmly entwined with nature play.

Two in three children globally play outside for less than an hour and a half a day – that’s less than the two-hour guideline for maximum security prisoners in the US. Ninety-nine per cent of teachers surveyed in Australia believe that outdoor playtime throughout the school day is critical for children to reach their full potential.

If you who have ever taken learning outside, even just once, you don’t need the statistics. You’ve seen it, felt it, lived it.

Mt Barney Lodge has been engaged with Nature Play since its inception and now has over 50 activities over a school holiday period, which is not only building resilience, challenging parents but is also a catalyst for the growth of the business. Hear how Innes Larkin and the team at Mt Barney Lodge are transforming their business and the lives of the children they encounter one activity at a time…

Biography

Innes Larkin has been active in the outdoors from an early age and remembers climbing Mt Barney for the first time at age 11. Innes has bushwalked and climbed in Australasia, Europe, UK, and Nepal including expeditions to Mera Peak and Ama Dablam. In 2016 Innes was jointly awarded the Australian Search and Rescue award for his services in helping rescue 700 people.

A teacher with a Masters in Outdoor Education, Innes has taught in London, and QLD. In 2006 Innes and Tracey Larkin purchased Mt Barney Lodge and have grown the business 900% since then. Mt Barney Lodge has been ecotourism accredited since 1996 and now holds Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation.

A current member of the advisory committee for the Gondwanan Rainforests of Australia World Heritage property, and a board member of Ecotourism Australia, Innes is passionate about sustainable tourism and the lasting legacies it can bring to a region.

Tracey Lines #

Director Reef Development, Clean Energy Finance Corporation

Tracey Lines1

Abstract

Financing Clean Energy in Ecotourism and the Great Barrier Reef

This presentation will address investment and financing options available to the eco tourism sector.

The Clean Energy Finance Corporation is transforming Australia’s clean energy investment, leading to more clean energy, lower emissions and a positive return for taxpayers. CEFC is a specialist investor in clean energy in Australia, working across renewable energy, energy efficiency and low emissions technologies.

CEFC’s investments work across the economy; from supporting innovative companies from start up to commercialisation and export, energy efficiency for large and small businesses, to world-class commercial buildings.

To date more than $5.3b has been committed in finance to around 110 direct investments in clean energy projects and around 5,500 small scale projects since investing began in 2013. Of these projects, over $600 million has been invested in the property sector Australia wide and over $356 million has been invested in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. The presentation will refer to recent transactions undertaken in the eco tourism sector including the Holiday Inn in Melbourne and the Ayers Rock Voyagers Resort.

The CEFC has a focus on investing to support eco tourism developments, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef catchment. We look forward to working with eco tourism developers to use finance to assist projects develop to deploy the greatest level of energy efficiency, renewable energy generation and benefit to the Great Barrier Reef.

Biography

Tracey Lines is Reef Development Director with the Clean Energy Finance Corporation, working to help accelerate the development of clean energy investment opportunities in north Queensland. Tracey has extensive experience in large-scale infrastructure, particularly ports, supply chains, energy and water infrastructure. Tracey was most recently General Manager of Economic Development of Townsville Enterprise. She was previously an advisor to Infrastructure Australia and has worked in seven ports around Australia and eight internationally.

Darcelle Matassoni #

Project Communications Coordinator, Lord Howe Island Board

Darcelle Matassoni1

Abstract

Conservation Tourism in Practice: invitation to an eradication event

Q. How do you ensure the right visitor demographic are present during a world-first eradication event?
A. You invite them.

Lord Howe Island is the world’s largest populated island to undertake a full-scale rodent eradication; which will long term lead to increased environmental tourism opportunities. In the short term, the tourism industry - contributing $27m to the Island’s economy – voiced concerns over the impact of the Rodent Eradication Project (REP) on visitor numbers during the active eradication phase, scheduled for winter 2018.

An industrywide solution was developed to ensure visitor numbers - and by extension direct/indirect tourism profit - was maintained during the REP implementation phase. Employing a ‘build it and they will come’ approach to promote the eradication - a conservation volunteer and ecotourism focussed campaign was designed, building on 30+ years of private ecotourism tours to Lord Howe Island; encouraging both local and visitor participation in conservation and citizen science, delivered collaboratively with key stakeholders. The strategy successfully attracted the eco traveller demographic, with a ‘conservation volunteering’ motivation for travel compared to the standard winter motivation of ‘escape getaway’ (62%), furthermore 75% stated this was their first visit.

65% of this demographic have volunteered before, with 62% indicating that a key motivation for traveling to Lord Howe Island during winter 2018 was to volunteer in a conservation event (25% indicating that they travelled specifically to volunteer with the REP). This process can be replicated for other eradication events where tourism is a consideration and opens up new conservation tourism avenues.

Biography

A senior marketing and communications manager, experienced in developing and implementing strategies throughout Asia, Darcelle has worked on several environmental projects with the Lord Howe Island Board and Lord Howe Island Tourism Association (LHITA) over the last 3 years.

In her role as Project Communications Coordinator Darcelle is working primarily on communications and strategy surrounding the Rodent Eradication Project (REP) and associated long-term conservation plan. A key aspect of her current role is community engagement, allaying fears of the tourism industry though the development and implementation of an industry-wide Ecotourism strategy - in collaboration with key stakeholders - to grow a new tourism market for Lord Howe Island ongoing and ensure tourism is maintained during the REP.

Fiona Merida #

Assistant Director Tourism and Education, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Fiona Merida

Biography

Fiona is a marine biologist who has worked in marine protected area management, education and tourism for more than 15 years, specialising in the Great Barrier Reef.

Day-to-day Fiona leads the Reef tourism engagement and education programs at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. As part of her role, Fiona works with the tourism industry on a number of programs designed to enhance best practice, develop understanding about the values of the Reef, and harness industry knowledge about Reef health. These programs include Master Reef Guides, Reef Discovery Course, High Standard Tourism Operator and Eye on the Reef.

Fiona represents the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority in a number of fora and as a media spokesperson. Fiona has presented a TEDx talk – The Great Barrier Reef – life’s wake-up call, which tells her personal story of exploration of the Great Barrier Reef.

David Morgans #

Strategic Projects Director, Tourism and Events Queensland

David Morgans (1)

Biography

David Morgans is Strategic Projects Director at Tourism and Events Queensland. David is responsible for guiding the corporation’s tourism product and experience development strategic direction, destination management strategies and the development of key experience sectors.

David joined what was then the Queensland Tourist and Travel Corporation in 1997 and over the last 21 years has held a range of positions including Director Destination and Experience Development, Director Product Development, Director Market Development, Director Sustainable Tourism and Manager Environmental Tourism.

David has a Bachelor of Environmental Science from Griffith University in Brisbane and a Post Graduate Diploma in Urban and Regional Planning from the University of New England. David’s career over the last 38 years has specialised in tourism experience development, planning and policy development and destination management, ecotourism, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, environmental and regional planning, and protected area management.

Marnie Ogg #

Director, Travel Ogg Pty Ltd

Marnie Ogg1

Abstract

Planetary Reflections

With the advent of LED lights and technological breakthroughs, events such as Vivid have become a popular tourist attraction. People are drawn to lights like moths to a flame, however, there is a growing movement of people looking for experiences that bring them back to nature, educate and inspire.

The Warrumbungle National Park was dedicated in 2016 as Australia’s first Dark Sky Park, joining over 100 designated places around the world. The pristine night skies over the Warrumbungles are now attracting ever more families, campers, bushwalkers and enthusiasts all seduced by astro-tourism and the Southern Night Sky.

Biography

Marnie’s drive and enthusiasm have been borne for a stellar career. She started at the grassroots of the travel industry building her own successful travel company, taking people around the world to visit places of scientific interest. She managed Sydney Observatory before devoting her time to one of her passions: preserving the night sky. Thanks largely to Marnie’s unrelenting efforts, in July 2016 the Warrumbungle National Park was designated a Dark Sky Park - the first in Australia. Since then she has spent her time educating the public of this globally expanding movement, re-engaging people with the natural heritage of the night sky and reducing the impacts of lighting pollution.

Onigraay Parker #

Director of Planning, Development and Environment, Portmore Municipal Council, Jamaica

O Parker

Biography

A citizen of the small island State of Jamaica, which is located in the Atlantic, Onigraay (O-ning-raay) Parker is a proud employee at the Portmore Municipal Council where he has been employed for eleven (11) years of the Council’s fifteen years of existence.

Onigraay currently serves the Municipality in capacity as the Director of Planning, Development and Environment.

With a Bachelor of Science degree in Urban Planning, Onigraay is very passionate about the Built and the Natural Environment, thus believing that as stewards of the earth we should endeavor to create and maintain a balance between both.

When he isn’t involved in Urban Planning related matters, Onigraay is actively engaged in public speaking forums.

Dr Anna Phelan #

Research Fellow, UQ Business School

Anna Phelan1

Abstract

Co-presenter of From Nature-Based Tourism to Nature-Based Solutions: towards a new era in ecotourism with Leonie Bowles.

Sustainable management is an established concept within the tourism industry, however, there is no unanimous agreement on how the functional aspects of sustainable management can solve societal and ecological challenges. The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) defines Nature Based Solutions, NBS, as “actions to protect, sustainably manage, and restore natural or modified ecosystems that address societal challenges effectively and adaptively, simultaneously providing human well-being and biodiversity benefits”. In this paper we discuss nature inspired solutions that are cost-effective, provide simultaneous environmental, social and economic benefits, and help build resilience. Through specific examples of successful implementation and innovative ecotourism practice, we explore the links between NBS and ‘advanced ecotourism’. Using the NBS framework we examine the transformative potential of ‘advanced ecotourism’ to stimulate sustainable management practices in the tourism sector and mechanisms needed to address the pervasive socio-ecological challenges facing the industry, such as biodiversity loss, water quality, and waste management.

Biography

Anna is a Research Fellow at the UQ Business School, and the Director of the UQ Global Change Scholars Program at the University of Queensland. She is an ecological economist with twenty years professional and academic experience including collaborative interdisciplinary research, business development and technical consulting. Anna’s current research themes lie at the interface between ecological and behavioural economics and encompass: sustainable tourism, ocean plastic pollution, sustainable livelihoods, and community-based enterprise development.

Dr Neal Phillip #

Professor & Chairperson, Dept of Chemistry & Chemical Technology Bronx Community College, USA

Neal Phillip1

Abstract

Sustainability Activities in Mallorca, Spain as a Model for Community/Tourist Engagement in Tourist Areas in the Asia, Pacific and Oceania Region

Ten Bronx Community College (BCC)/City University of New York (CUNY) students and two faculty members participated in a sustainability focused study abroad program in Palma de Mallorca, Spain during June 2018, through a $20,000 grant from the Center for International Educational Exchange and through the support of CUNY. The BCC/CUNY team donated and installed a solar powered wireless Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus weather station at a local high school and the data is shared online through the Weather Underground network, The team also collected temperature, humidity, UV Radiation, and carbon dioxide data around the island using specially designed backpack weather stations and collected sea water pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity data at various beach locations on the island. The BCC/CUNY team also conducted STEM workshops for over 130 Mallorcan and American Study abroad high school students, on the use hydrogen fuel cells and on weather/air pollution monitoring and assisted Mr. Greg Bruce of Townsville, Australia to conduct Collective Social Learning (CSL) Workshops for 350 Mallorcan high school students on sustainability. These sustainability focused activities are being presented as a model for student/community/tourists engagement in popular tourist destinations in the Asia-Pacific-Oceania region to monitor/catalog the health of the environment and to allow tourists the opportunity to leave valuable footprints in these locations.

Dr Neal Phillip is presenting with Shaneza Rohoman.

Biographhy

Dr. Neal Phillip is the chairperson of the Department of Chemistry and Chemical Technology at Bronx Community College/CUNY. Dr Phillip holds a Ph.D. and Masters in Environmental Engineering, and dual Bachelors in Chemistry and in Meteorology. Dr Phillip has published journal articles on atmospheric pollution, water and wastewater pollution and on pedagogy. Dr Phillip established the college’s Weather Station and its Greenhouse Gas Monitoring program. Dr Phillip participated in the United States Antarctic Program School of Ice Advanced Professional Development Workshop in Boulder, CO in May 2016. Dr Phillip was a keynote speaker on climate change at the Growing Sustainable Communities Annual Conference in Dubuque, Iowa in October 2016. Dr Phillip was the 2018 winner of the $20,000 CIEE Study Abroad Access Grant and took ten CUNY students to measure water quality and climate on Palma de Mallorca, Spain (https://bcc-cuny-mallorca.tumblr.com/). Dr Phillip has also served as proposal review panelist for the NSF Program in International Research and Education in 2017. Dr Phillip has been engaged with the City of Townsville, Australia and hosted Mayor Hill and a delegation in 2012. Dr Phillip convened a one day Smarter Cities Workshop in October 2014 and a Smarter Cities Conversation honoring the work of Candia Bruce from Townsville in April 2016. In 2014, Dr Phillip worked with NBC-TV on a story about dangerous methane gas leaks that uncovered relatively high levels of methane gas in certain areas of Manhattan in response to a building explosion in Harlem that killed nine people story.

Bruce Prideaux #

Director, Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities, Central Queensland University

BrucePrideaux1

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘Understanding Tourists’ Attitudes Toward Interventions for the Great Barrier Reef’ with Brent Ritchie.

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is under pressure from a number of threats. Although existing interventions show some promise their potential scalability are difficult and costly. There have been recent calls for more direct or ‘radical’ interventions to help restore or repair damage to ecological systems including the GBR. Some of these interventions include techniques and technologies that are new and have not had widespread testing so their effects are not well understood. For instance, cloud brightening could protect coral from sunlight and warmer oceans while biological agents could destroy coral pests such as algae or Crown of Thorns Starfish. These techniques are being considered by scientists and have been reported by media outlets.

Little is known about community attitudes toward future interventions to protect or repair the GBR. Although national studies are underway as part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation (RRAP) program, research on domestic and international visitors are lacking – despite the important link between tourism and the GBR. This paper reports on a study conducted at Cairns International Airport from July to September 2018. Approximately 350 domestic and international visitors were asked their attitudes for new interventions to restore and/or repair the GBR. The findings will be presented at the conference. Differences between types of visitors and those that had visited the GBR will also be presented. The results have implications for the future management of the GBR, but also other reef systems under threat across the world.

Biography

Bruce holds the position of Director of the Centre for Tourism and Regional Opportunities at the Cairns campus of Central Queensland University and is the program director of the Masters of Sustainable Tourism Management. He has a wide range of research interests including sustainability issues, coral reef tourism, protected area tourism, rural tourism, remote area tourism, indigenous tourism, urban tourism, river and canal tourism and climate change. Other active areas of research include military heritage, mobilities and ecotourism. He has authored over 300 journal articles, book chapters and conference papers on a range tourism related issues. He has also authored or co-authored 10 books, the most recent of which look at climate change issues and global rainforest tourism. Current projects include a co-edited book that investigates aspects of coral reef tourism published in 2018 and a co-authored book that examines tourism in agricultural areas.

Charlotte Prouse #

Destination Marketing Store

Charlotte Prouse1

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘Target markets, global trends and what it all means for ecotourism’ with Carl Solomon.

In a competitive tourism market place, it is vital that destinations and businesses focus their attention on target markets. This means so much more for ecotourism than just focusing on the traditional ‘nature lovers.’

In our presentation, we will explore both demographics and psychographics of those markets interested in a nature-based or more specifically, an ecotourism experience. We look at global trends defining tourism, such as transformative travel to better understand and interpret their motivations, behaviours and barriers to travel.

Together, we’ll consider how destinations, businesses and communities can benefit from a deeper, more contemporary understanding of those who seek an ecotourism experience. This includes what it means for reaching, inspiring and engaging your target audience through the right channels and with compelling content and stories.

Finally, we will look at what this means for providing ecotourism experiences that will connect your guests or visitors in a meaningful way and make them life-long advocates of your product, place, people and conservation.

Biography

Charlotte has been working with tourism regions, organisations and destinations to create and implement great destination brands, strategic marketing plans and experience development strategies for the last 20 years.

Charlotte has worked extensively on brand and marketing strategies for regions and destinations, including undertaking the positioning of 12 of Australia’s National Landscapes (NL) and as part of the team to develop a number of NL Experience Development Strategies. Charlotte has also developed marketing strategies for some major destinations and organisations, including the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service.

Charlotte has mentored many small to medium sized tourism operators to build industry capacity and provide strategic marketing and experience development advice.

Gary Rebgetz MBA #

Director, CMCA Ltd

Gary r

Abstract

Sustainability Aspects of the Recreational Vehicle Market

The Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia Limited (CMCA) was founded in April 1986. The organisation is the largest Recreational Vehicle (RV) Club in Australia offering exclusive member benefits including specially tailored RV insurance for motorhomes, campervan and caravans..

Further benefits include an online monthly colour magazine, a host of member advantages, social events through 104 local chapters throughout Australia, a solo’s network for members traveling alone, one National rally per year and many extra lifestyle benefits.

Currently CMCA have 70000 direct memberships and through an affiliated organisation ( RV Clubs Australia) represent over 300,000 RV Travelers.

The CMCA is currently developing a member only benefit, in a RV Parks project throughout Australia for low cost camping, focussed for Self-Contained travellers.. CMCA has developed its own Self Containment Vehicle Policy, which will allow members access to self-contained camp areas that are prohibited to non-self-contained vehicles. To compliment this, we also developed a Leave No Trace program which is the vehicle owners responsibility to complement the environment leaving tyre tracks only!

RV Travelers are the most sustainable of all drive market domestic travellers.

Our major community project is the delivery and installation currently of 472 dump points for the disposal of black water throughout Australia.

CMCA has developed a reputation as a highly respected, consumer body advocate for the RV traveller and the spokesperson for all RV travellers in Australia at Federal, State and Local Government levels.

Biography

Gary Rebgetz MBA has served 11 years as a CMCA Board Director (3 as Chairman).

Brent Ritchie #

Professor, UQ Business School

Brent ritchie

Abstract

Understanding Tourists’ Attitudes Toward Interventions for the Great Barrier Reef

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is under pressure from a number of threats. Although existing interventions show some promise their potential scalability are difficult and costly. There have been recent calls for more direct or ‘radical’ interventions to help restore or repair damage to ecological systems including the GBR. Some of these interventions include techniques and technologies that are new and have not had widespread testing so their effects are not well understood. For instance, cloud brightening could protect coral from sunlight and warmer oceans while biological agents could destroy coral pests such as algae or Crown of Thorns Starfish. These techniques are being considered by scientists and have been reported by media outlets.

Little is known about community attitudes toward future interventions to protect or repair the GBR. Although national studies are underway as part of the Reef Restoration and Adaptation (RRAP) program, research on domestic and international visitors are lacking – despite the important link between tourism and the GBR. This paper reports on a study conducted at Cairns International Airport from July to September 2018. Approximately 350 domestic and international visitors were asked their attitudes for new interventions to restore and/or repair the GBR. The findings will be presented at the conference. Differences between types of visitors and those that had visited the GBR will also be presented. The results have implications for the future management of the GBR, but also other reef systems under threat across the world.

Brent Ritchie is presenting with Bruce Prideaux.

Biography

Brent works in the tourism discipline in the UQ Business School. His research interests are associated with tourism risk management and sustainability in tourism. He has worked on projects related to tourism crises and disasters, visitor safety and aviation carbon offsetting. Brent is also a social science team member in the Reef Restoration and Adaptation Program (RRAP), which examines restoration options for the Great Barrier Reef. Brent was a past member of the Australian Federal Government Tourism Research Advisory Board, and is on the board of the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA – Asia Pacific chapter). He has also undertaken research projects with private and public sector organisations such as Qantas, IUCN, APEC, Carbon Market Institute and Surf Lifesaving Queensland.

Shaneza Rohoman #

Academic Advisor & Adjunct Chemistry Lecturer, Bronx Community College, USA

Shaneza Rohoman1

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘Sustainability Activities in Mallorca, Spain as a Model for Community/Tourist Engagement in Tourist Areas in the Asia, Pacific and Oceania Region’ with Dr Neal Phillips.

Ten Bronx Community College (BCC)/City University of New York (CUNY) students and two faculty members participated in a sustainability focused study abroad program in Palma de Mallorca, Spain during June 2018, through a $20,000 grant from the Center for International Educational Exchange and through the support of CUNY. The BCC/CUNY team donated and installed a solar powered wireless Davis Vantage Pro 2 Plus weather station at a local high school and the data is shared online through the Weather Underground network, The team also collected temperature, humidity, UV Radiation, and carbon dioxide data around the island using specially designed backpack weather stations and collected sea water pH, dissolved oxygen and salinity data at various beach locations on the island. The BCC/CUNY team also conducted STEM workshops for over 130 Mallorcan and American Study abroad high school students, on the use hydrogen fuel cells and on weather/air pollution monitoring and assisted Mr. Greg Bruce of Townsville, Australia to conduct Collective Social Learning (CSL) Workshops for 350 Mallorcan high school students on sustainability. These sustainability focused activities are being presented as a model for student/community/tourists engagement in popular tourist destinations in the Asia-Pacific-Oceania region to monitor/catalog the health of the environment and to allow tourists the opportunity to leave valuable footprints in these locations.

Biography

Shaneza Rohoman is an Academic Advisor at Bronx Community College/CUNY and an adjunct lecturer in Chemistry. Ms Rohoman holds Master’s and Bachelor’s degrees from Lehman College/CUNY and is a Doctoral Candidate at Yeshiva University. In 2013, Ms Rohoman coordinated the participation of BCC students in the Surface-Subway Airflow Exchange (S-SAFE) study, the largest urban air flow study ever conducted in the world. S-SAFE was a 3.4-million-dollar collaboration between the NYPD, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security and CUNY to determine the flow of gases in the NYC subway system in case of a terrorist gas attack. Ms Rohoman and the students collected some 70,000 air samples after the NYPD released an inert gas (PFT) at undisclosed sites in the subway system. Ms Rohoman has also been important in coordinating the participation of students in several national conferences, including the BEYA Global Competitiveness STEM conference and the Women of Color STEM conference. Ms Rohoman assisted with the Smarter Cities Workshop at Bronx Community College in 2014 and the Smarter Cities Conversation seminar in 2016 and served as a host for two guests from Townsville, Australia. Ms Rohoman has also served as a mentor for CUNY students in the CUNY-IBM Watson Case Competition CUNY where students use IBM Watson Bluemix technology to improve NYC government services and Higher Education. Ms Rohoman also serves on the Professional Advisory Committee for the New York Harbor High School which has sole responsibility for the Billion Oyster Project in New York harbor.

Dr Dereck Skeete #

Professor of Environmental Science, Bronx Community College, USA

Dereck Skeete pic

Biography

Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Dereck migrated to the United States to pursue his undergraduate studies at Medgar Evers College, and later went on to the CUNY BA/BS program where he obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Mathematical Physics. After completing his BS degree in Mathematical Physics, Dereck obtained a fellowship to work towards a Masters of Engineering degree at Penn State. Upon completion of his Masters Degree, Dereck then went on to complete a Doctorate in Environmental Science focusing on the impact of large scale development in urban environments.

Currently, Dereck is a Professor of Environmental Science in the Science Department at Medgar Evers College. Throughout his academic career, Dr. Skeete has conducted research on indoor and ambient air pollution, ozone degradation, soil analysis, and pedagogical educational research. Moreover, Dereck is also an active board member (23 years) of the MEC Environmental Conference Steering Committee responsible for planning their Annual Conference. Dereck is a current board member of the Alliance for Graduate Education Professoriate (AGEP) at Michigan State University where he is one of two MEC faculty who are instrumental in developing the College’s only 3 + 2 undergraduate to graduate program with MSU. Dereck participated in the Smart Cities Workshop where the world leaders in sustainability convened at Bronx community college here in NYC. Finally, Dereck volunteers his time to mentor inner city HS students in a High Performance Learning Math and Science program that he co-founded. Dereck is an advocate for Self-actualization of all students.

Abstract

Studying Air Flow in a Dense, High Tourist, Urban Environment via the S-SAFE Case Study

Coming soon.

Daniel Smedley #

Director and Architect, Studio S2 Architects

Daniel Smedley1

Abstract

It’s Time to Stand Out from the Crowd: let your buildings do the talking

Eco Tourism is no longer a niche - how are you going to stand out from the crowd?

Explore how to become an authentic, trusted operator that attracts visitors, and how eco-tourism can drive profits and make your place unmissable. Learn how to

  • optimise your buildings and landscape to become Eco certified,
  • express your unique eco approach in your buildings, and
  • provide a tangible experience of how your buildings operate for your visitors to understand, interact with and learn from.

This presentation will look at the changes to the Eco certification criteria and guidelines for building and landscaping and demonstrate how they not only outline a path to Eco certification, but optimise your buildings’ energy use and help you provide a tourism experience that is not only unforgettable but transfers your eco influence to your visitors day to day life.

Biography

Daniel Smedley and wife Amy are the Directors of Studio S2 Architects - specialist Architects to the tourism industry.

Even before the start of his formal education in architecture Daniel had a fascination for how buildings work and how to optimise their efficiency. His study and career has seen him work across the country specialising in Tourism projects and bring his eco understanding to projects of all scales.

Daniel’s desire to share his knowledge and research began with a thesis on sustainability and the effect of the Building Code of Australia. His passion has grown to encompass how any design codes can both positively and negatively effect true ecological and sustainable impacts, and has seen him participate in the review of the Ecotourism Australia certification criteria and guidelines.

Carl Solomon #

Director, Destination Marketing Store

Carl Solomon

Abstract

Target markets, Global Trends and what it all Means for Ecotourism
In a competitive tourism market place, it is vital that destinations and businesses focus their attention on target markets. This means so much more for ecotourism than just focusing on the traditional ‘nature lovers.’

In our presentation, we will explore both demographics and psychographics of those markets interested in a nature-based or more specifically, an ecotourism experience. We look at global trends defining tourism, such as transformative travel to better understand and interpret their motivations, behaviours and barriers to travel.

Together, we’ll consider how destinations, businesses and communities can benefit from a deeper, more contemporary understanding of those who seek an ecotourism experience. This includes what it means for reaching, inspiring and engaging your target audience through the right channels and with compelling content and stories.

Finally, we will look at what this means for providing ecotourism experiences that will connect your guests or visitors in a meaningful way and make them life-long advocates of your product, place, people and conservation.

Carl Solomon is presenting with Charlotte Prouse.

Biography

Carl has created and executed award-winning brand, marketing, digital engagement and education campaigns, including for nature and cultural-based tourism and cause-related initiatives. He is passionate about effectively engaging communities to deliver innovation solutions, position destinations, attract visitors and increase revenue. He has also designed and delivered sustainable destination management plans and experience development strategies.

Throughout his career, Carl has worked across the community, business and government sectors with or for organisations such as NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS), Tourism Australia, Parks Australia and the United Nations, including as the inaugural Executive Director of Olympic Aid (now known as Right to Play) and ten years on the NPWS Executive including as Director of Tourism & Partnerships. Carl is currently a Director of Science for Wildlife Inc. and served as a Board Member of Australia for UNHCR for five years.

Melanie Stonill #

Seal Bay Conservation Park, Department for Environment and Water

Melanie Stonnill

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘Keeping up with the Times: the evolution of experience development and delivery in Seal Bay Conservation Park, Kangaroo Island, South Australia’ with Alana Binns

Seal Bay Conservation Park is located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia and is home to third largest colony of endangered Australian sea lions (ASLs) and delivers the most accessible ASL ecotourism experience in Australia. Managed by the South Australian Government’s Department for Environment and Water, Seal Bay operates 364 days a year and welcomes approximately 120,000 visitors annually. Careful consideration has been taken to ensure the experience seamlessly marries the conservation message of the ASL with a memorable visitor experience.

Since the conception of guided tours into the sea lion colony (1987), Seal Bay’s products have evolved to include a variety of experiences that have been specifically designed to focus on the varied expectations and needs of our guests, while addressing the protection requirements of an endangered species. Expectations and needs of visitors have evolved over time and yet at the core of the tourism offering is the protection and stewardship of these spectacular marine mammals. Contemporising the visitor experience whilst managing large numbers of visitors, maintaining the welfare of the sea lions and protection of the environment requires close monitoring, evaluation and action. Strategic and operational partnerships with the tourism industry, the South Australian Research and Development Institute (SARDI) and the community requires a collective commitment for the sustainability of the experience at Seal Bay and its evolution to keep up with the times.

Maintaining an immersive, unique and meaningful ecotourism experience with growing visitation in a ‘wildlife in the wild’ offering will have future challenges. Seal Bay is fast approaching a new era, where tour offerings are expanding to cater for exclusive, tailored and intimate experiences, as well as low impact, large group observation experiences in conjunction with local producers and stakeholders.

Biography

Completing a bachelor in Tourism Business Management Mel went on to work at luxury lodges before starting at Seal Bay in 2012. Providing inspiration experiences through the protection of an endangered species and conservation management is her career passion.

Maya Tamang #

PhD Pursuant, MSc Environmental Science, Working with Ministry of Environment

Abstract

Co-presenter of ‘Ecotourism: a sustainable prospective’ with Dr Jitendra GC

We are newly practicing in Nepal, an Ecotourism in Nepal as Sustainable Tourism. Ecotourism focuses on local cultures, wilderness adventures, volunteering, personal growth and learning new ways to live on our vulnerable planet. It is typically defined as travel to destinations where the flora, fauna, and cultural heritage are the primary attractions. Responsible ecotourism includes programs that minimize the adverse effects of traditional tourism on the natural environment, and enhance the cultural integrity of local people. Therefore, in addition to evaluating environmental and cultural factors, initiatives by hospitality providers to promote recycling, energy efficiency, water re-use, and the creation of economic opportunities for local communities are an integral part of ecotourism.

Historical, biological and cultural conservation, preservation, sustainable development etc. are some of the fields closely related to Ecotourism. Many professionals have been involved in formulating and developing Ecotourism policies. They come from the fields of Geographic Information Systems, Wildlife Management, Wildlife Photography, Marine Biology and Oceanography, National and State Park Management, Environmental Sciences, Women in Development, Historians and Archaeologists, etc.

Biography

Maya Tamang is a PhD Pursuant, MSc Environmental Science, and works with Ministry of Environment. She has previously worked in the Department of Sustainable Tourism.

She has 3 books published and many articles edited.

Sophie Teede #

Operations Supervisor (Marine), Busselton Jetty Incorporated

Sophie Teede1

Abstract

Full-steam ahead: tourism development in an environmentally sustainable way

Busselton Jetty is the longest timber-piled jetty in the southern hemisphere and its tourism business, run by Busselton Jetty Incorporated, offers visitors a unique view of the locale’s marine life through its Underwater Observatory. A fully guided, literally immersive experience, visitors are taken beneath the waves on a journey 8m down to the sea floor where they can experience the vibrancy and unique diversity of over 300 marine animals living in the habitat provided by the jetty structure from the inside comfort and convenience of the Observatory building. BJI operates its tourism business to the highest environmental standards, with knowledgeable staff conducting environmental surveys to assess the impact of new tour development and implementing monitoring programs where required. The jetty is also the location of the nation’s only operation of self-contained helmet diving, where visitors can explore the forest of jetty piles on an underwater walking tour. Through stringent environmental management, the development of this tour highlights the importance of sustainable tourism development. Through conducting extensive environmental surveys and liaising with local government authorities, our Underwater Helmet Walks has been a successful venture for BJI and provides a fantastic opportunity for visitors to experience the wonder of our marine environment.

Biography

Sophie Teede is Busselton Jetty’s Marine Supervisor who oversees the daily operations of the tours through Busselton Jetty’s Underwater Observatory. With her background in marine science and extensive knowledge of the local marine environment, she is also responsible for the organisation’s environmental management, carrying out environmental monitoring programs, marine debris removal and is the creator of a unique method for rehabilitating soft corals and sea sponges on the jetty’s piles which became damaged during scheduled maintenance. An avid SCUBA diver, Sophie likes nothing more than the opportunity to dive beneath Busselton Jetty and exploring the extensive seagrass meadows nearby.

Chris Thomas #

Parks and Partnerships Manager, Department for Environment and Water

Chris Thomas1

Abstract

Nature in the Driver’s Seat: sustainable contributions to the visitor economy

South Australia’s Nature Like Nowhere Else, an activation strategy and action plan for nature-based tourism is hitting its stride in South Australia.

South Australia has thousands of kilometres of stunning coastline and some of the most amazing wildlife on Earth which provides an unforgettable nature-based tourism experience for the global visitor.

The South Australian Government wants to capitalise on the appeal of the State’s natural environment and realise the promise of a nature-based tourism destination. With 150 tourism businesses operating in the State’s 350 plus marine and terrestrial parks and reserves, the South Australian Government’s parks and tourism agency, in collaboration with the tourism industry and stakeholders, are creating an environment for innovation and opportunities for sustainable nature-based tourism.

In 2017, 18 business-ready opportunities in the State’s parks, gardens and heritage places were released to the market. These opportunities provided scope for the private sector to develop new tourism experiences such as tours, eco sensitive accommodation, cafes, cellar doors or event venues in some of our most special places. Special places are just that. Special. Exclusive and limited.

This workshop will explore the development of the opportunity package, the process and activity to date.

Biography

Chris immigrated to Australia from the UK in 1993 with an honours degree in Marine Geography and a passion for the outdoors. Chris spend his first 10 years working for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as the Director of Tourism and Recreation before moving to South Australia in 2004 to help set up a network of marine parks. Chris is currently the State Manager for Parks, Partnerships and Nature-based Tourism at the Department for Environment and Water and national chair of the Tourism and Parks Agencies Forum.

Sascha Thyer #

Assistant Director Technical Operations, Reef HQ Great Barrier Reef Aquarium

Sascha Bio photo

Biography

Sascha Thyer is Technical Operations Manager for Reef HQ Aquarium in Townsville. She has over 20 years working in public aquariums and marine research infrastructure management. Her understanding of human impacts on coral reefs has fostered a strong interest in sustainability in the built environment. Her scientific paper which follows the journey to a 50% reduction in energy consumption at Reef HQ Aquarium, was recently published in the journal Energy Efficiency.

Cassandra Wardle #

PhD Student, Griffith University

Cassandra Wardle1

Abstract

The Conservation Contributions of Ecotourism in Australia: how far we’ve come, and where to from here

Ecotourism is often promoted for the potential to combine social and commercial benefits with environmental protection. While instances to date indicate that it can indeed prove highly successful in some circumstances, the conservation impact of this sector on a larger scale is unclear.

We therefore developed a framework covering over 50 conservation items to evaluate the conservation achievements of individual ecotourism sites, businesses, and programs. We applied this at a national scale to over 80 private tourism enterprises certified with Advanced Ecotourism Certification under Ecotourism Australia.

The extent of conservation activities varied considerably among enterprises. However, our results show that these enterprises make important contributions to national conservation goals. For example, 54 enterprises have established formal protected areas which together make up 8% of the total area of private land in Australia under protected area agreements. The remaining 92% is made up of over 4,000 properties!

As one of the fastest growing tourism segments, ecotourism is a double-edged sword with environmental risks and huge conservation potential. This project (1) demonstrates conservation achievements across eco-certified enterprises; (2) highlights best practice examples; (3) uncovers some of the challenges that limit conservation activities of operators; (4) identifies information, policy, and certification gaps for improvement; and (5) provides a tool for identifying types of actions needed for conservation outcomes. Furthermore, this project provides a foundation to build collaboration among researchers, tourism operators, eco-certification bodies, conservation practitioners, and policy makers to harness the potential of this sector to contribute to state and national conservation goals.

Biography

Cassandra Wardle is a part-time PhD student at Griffith University, part-time Project Coordinator for a Consortium of Queensland Universities & Queensland Government partnership, and full-time research enthusiast.

She has been researching the ‘real world’ linkages between ecotourism and biodiversity conservation, environmental protection, community development, and public policy for eight years.