Ben Artup #

Executive Director, Bundaberg Regional Council

Ben Artup1

Abstract

Reducing Urban Glow in Bundaberg to Support Sea Turtle Tourism

Located at the southern gateway to the Great Barrier Reef, Bundaberg has over 30,000 tourist each year who visit nesting sea turtles at Bundaberg beaches. However the longer term sustainability of the regions nesting sea turtle population is impacted by night time urban glow.

Council, the state government, and 6 other community, education and resource management groups have come together to fund an initiative to reduce urban glow in Bundaberg in efforts to ensure longer term sustainability of nesting sea turtle populations along our coast line.

This $1.3m project is using new technology and an open data approach to ensure sea turtle sustainability and future ecotourism opportunities. Stage 1 has created a real time, online, urban glow heat map of urban glow to publically show where urban glow is coming from. Stage 2 will then deploy innovative lighting technology in areas of highest urban glow to improve sea turtle survival and support ongoing ecotourism opportunities.

Most importantly this project is empowering community and businesses to make better decision to reduce urban glow and embrace ecotourism in an environmentally sensitive, proactive and community driven way. This project is also using a world’s best practice open data and technology approach to support the regions sea turtles and unique ecotourism potential.

Biography

Ben Artup is an economist with 20 years working in regional development, including tourism. Ben is leading the reducing urban glow in Bundaberg project which has already gained national recognition for its innovative approach to sea turtle conservation. Ben will provide an overview of the project and how it is empowering citizens to take individual action in support of the regions unique ecotourism opportunity and turtle nesting experience.

Dr Noreen Breakey #

Lecturer and Researcher, Tourism Discipline, UQ Business School, The University of Queensland

Noreen Breakey

Abstract

Co-presenter of: Learning from Success: two Malaysian community based ecotourism case studies
Presenting with Dr Marcus Curcija and Dr Sally Driml.

Communities face numerous challenges when implementing community based ecotourism (CBE). As a result, projects often do not deliver on the planned or anticipated community and environmental outcomes. To understand how communities could mitigate negative impacts, increase the benefits, and create ‘successful’ outcomes, two CBE case studies were selected within Malaysia. The locations were chosen to derive insights based on a comparative analysis and interviews were conducted with community, government, NGO, academic, and private industry stakeholders.

Case Study Sabah is a ‘successful’ CBE destination and Case Study Sarawak is an ‘emerging’ destination. The classification of ‘successful’ is used as the CBE is self-sustaining and generating numerous positive outcomes. ‘Emerging’ recognises that the community is receiving visitation and some economic benefits for some community members; however, ongoing issues are limiting poverty alleviation, community involvement, and environmental sustainability.

A key difference between the cases was that Case Study Sabah had successfully implemented the planned ‘Five CBE Development Phases’: Research, Exposure, Brainstorming, Detailed Planning, and Operations. These can be adopted to develop a community’s capacity for economic development through CBE. Furthermore the case study research, in conjunction with the broader CBE study, identified ‘Six Main Requirements for Positive CBE Outcomes’ which aim to create ‘Successful’ CBE destinations: proper implementation of planning is necessary, dedicated leadership must remain diligent and support participation, the community’s goals and benefit scheme should be reviewed systematically, successful CBE takes time, the funding process must enable the empowerment of the community, and partnerships and networks need to be utilised.

Biography

Noreen Breakey holds a PhD in tourism destination development and is a lecturer and researcher in Tourism at the UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Australia. Her research explores the relationships between people, tourism, and the natural environment, through her principal research areas of environmental ethics, sustainable tourism, ecotourism, community-based tourism, and tourism in protected areas. Prior to her academic career, Noreen worked for over a decade in industry, including hotels, resorts, tour operations, travel agencies, and events in Australia and overseas, as well as in government, as the Corporate Planning Analyst at Tourism Events Queensland. Noreen is currently a member of EA’s Policy and Advocacy Committee.

Dr Marcus Curcija #

Principal Consultant, Third I Management

Marcus Curcija1

Abstract

Learning from Success: two Malaysian community based ecotourism case studies

Communities face numerous challenges when implementing community based ecotourism (CBE). As a result, projects often do not deliver on the planned or anticipated community and environmental outcomes. To understand how communities could mitigate negative impacts, increase the benefits, and create ‘successful’ outcomes, two CBE case studies were selected within Malaysia. The locations were chosen to derive insights based on a comparative analysis and interviews were conducted with community, government, NGO, academic, and private industry stakeholders.

Case Study Sabah is a ‘successful’ CBE destination and Case Study Sarawak is an ‘emerging’ destination. The classification of ‘successful’ is used as the CBE is self-sustaining and generating numerous positive outcomes. ‘Emerging’ recognises that the community is receiving visitation and some economic benefits for some community members; however, ongoing issues are limiting poverty alleviation, community involvement, and environmental sustainability.

A key difference between the cases was that Case Study Sabah had successfully implemented the planned ‘Five CBE Development Phases’: Research, Exposure, Brainstorming, Detailed Planning, and Operations. These can be adopted to develop a community’s capacity for economic development through CBE. Furthermore the case study research, in conjunction with the broader CBE study, identified ‘Six Main Requirements for Positive CBE Outcomes’ which aim to create ‘Successful’ CBE destinations: proper implementation of planning is necessary, dedicated leadership must remain diligent and support participation, the community’s goals and benefit scheme should be reviewed systematically, successful CBE takes time, the funding process must enable the empowerment of the community, and partnerships and networks need to be utilised.

Presenting with Dr Noreen Breakey and Dr Sally Driml.

Biography

Marcus Curcija holds a PhD in community-based tourism from The University of Queensland. Marcus started his career in casino development; however, his passion to assist rural, vulnerable, and/or emerging communities inspired him to focus more on social, environmental, and economic impact solutions. Following the PhD, Marcus designed and implemented an inclusive growth strategy to assist indigenous communities in the Solomon Islands. As State Manager for a leading non-profit, Marcus was recognised for his work in public-private partnerships and collaborations for poverty alleviation. He has implemented positive livelihood impacts solutions for children and facilitated community development initiatives (e.g. community capacity building, gender empowerment, youth training) within Australia to assist immigrant, refuge, indigenous, and vulnerable community members. Marcus has also applied Green Project Management principles while adhering to the U.N.’s Sustainable Development Goals and is very interested in the market systems approach as a poverty alleviation strategy.

Louise Custance #

VIDA Landscape Architects & Planners

Louise Custance1

Abstract

Co-presenter of: After the Fire is Out
Presenting with Matthew Flynn.

Natural disasters (namely fire) can devastate communities and regional economies who depend on the land for their livelihood. Tourism and new development can provide a way forward for fire devastated regions like California and ultimately Australia. The timing of legislation changes regarding cannabis decriminalisation has provided a lifeline for tourism in northern California. Along with a history of viniculture and a myriad of thermal springs, a unique opportunity has arisen for tourism which combines health, wellness and product-based experiences. The development provides a welcome economic boost and acceleration of regrowth and habitat for a unique hospitality experience. Local government bodies can be willing to accelerate the permitting process to ‘ignite’ their disheartened communities.

As planners and landscape architects, VIDA’s role is to create projects which balance creativity, sustainability and profitability. While we always strive to reduce our environmental impact and plan for the future, we have come to realise the importance of achieving economic targets to drive conservation efforts and achieve a greater level of regeneration, particularly in regional areas. We design spaces for people to connect to their surroundings, and product-based experiences allow for an even deeper level of connection to place.

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 completed a Master of Landscape Architecture in 2013 at the University of Adelaide and knew that the profession offered her the perfect balance between art and science, creativity and construction, chaos and order. After almost five years in Costa Rica’s beach and city studios, Louise is now living closer to home, heading up VIDA’s Australia studio on the Sunshine Coast. When she isn’t off exploring new places near and far she can be found playing sport, taking photos, speaking Spanglish, surfing, diving or cooking.

Matthew Flynn #

Director, VIDA Landscape Architects & Planners

Matthew Flynn1

Abstract

After the Fire is Out

Natural disasters (namely fire) can devastate communities and regional economies who depend on the land for their livelihood. Tourism and new development can provide a way forward for fire devastated regions like California and ultimately Australia. The timing of legislation changes regarding cannabis decriminalisation has provided a lifeline for tourism in northern California. Along with a history of viniculture and a myriad of thermal springs, a unique opportunity has arisen for tourism which combines health, wellness and product-based experiences. The development provides a welcome economic boost and acceleration of regrowth and habitat for a unique hospitality experience. Local government bodies can be willing to accelerate the permitting process to ‘ignite’ their disheartened communities.

As planners and landscape architects, VIDA’s role is to create projects which balance creativity, sustainability and profitability. While we always strive to reduce our environmental impact and plan for the future, we have come to realise the importance of achieving economic targets to drive conservation efforts and achieve a greater level of regeneration, particularly in regional areas. We design spaces for people to connect to their surroundings, and product-based experiences allow for an even deeper level of connection to place.

Presenting with Louise Custance.

Biography

Matthew draws on nineteen years of experience spanning four continents and a dozen countries. Matthew draws on his strong foundation in rural and natural landscapes and his passion to incorporate regional materials and construction methods to deliver original designs for a range of projects. Truth be told, he designs the places he’d like to be – if he ever took a break. Prior to VIDA, Matthew was partner at 40NORTH and Managing Director of their expansion into Central America, following five years with EDSA in Beijing and Fort Lauderdale. When he’s not working, he can be found surfing, riding his mountain bike, taking photos or spending time with his family.

Matthew Fowler #

Member, Lithgow Environment Group & Colong Foundation for Wilderness

Matthew Fowler photo

Biography

Matthew Fowler has a passion for working with First People nations and ecotourism.

Recently Matthew has been working with Gweagal and Bidjigal Elders’ commemorative 2020 celebrations of 250 years of resistance. As well he has assisted Western Sydney University Lithgow campus vision - ‘Gateway to Wiradjuri’. This has involved working with Wiradjuri Elders and the Gardens of Stone Alliance’s ‘Destination Pagoda’ ecotourism vision.

Matthew Fowler has worked closely with the Institute for Aboriginal Development, Alice Springs; Mindibungu Aboriginal Corporation, Northern Territory; and Billiluna, Western Australia. In 1996 he was awarded the NAIDOC Non Indigenous Person of the Year for Central Australia co-recipient. He has also worked as the Proprietor/Manager of Todd River Tours, Alice Springs (1995–2004); been an interpretive guide for the Alice Springs Desert Park (2000–2002); and an eco tour guide for Uluru Experience, Yalara, Northern Territory (1992–94).

Adam Galvin #

Development Growth Officer, Mount Hotham Alpine Resort

Abstract

Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board: why we’ve started the Destination Certification Journey

Participating in the destinations workshop, Jon Hutchins, CEO, and Adam Galvin, Development Growth Officer from Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board will discuss the ecotourism destination certification process embarked upon in 2019. The Mount Hotham Alpine Resort Management Board is a statutory entity that is responsible for managing Crown Land at Mount Hotham, along with the provision of gas, water, waste-water processing, waste management and public transport along with environmental stewardship.

The Australian Alps are a major contributor to the Australian tourism economy, generating $707m of Gross Regional Product annually. This requires careful management of the natural features which make the Resorts such appealing destinations, including of over 100 listed species of flora and fauna.

Mount Hotham will address why they chose to embark on this certification process, what motivated them, feedback received from government stakeholders, and how the certification process has been managed internally and in conjunction with the private sector.

Biography

Adam Galvin is the Development Growth Officer at the Mount Hotham Alpine Resort. Joining the organisation in 2016, Adam brought a background in planning and Commonwealth policy to the Resort. In his role, he focusses on the effective management of and strategic planning for Crown Land within the Resort, along with the certification of the Resort as a Certified Nature Destination.

Shahrzad Roohy Gohar #

PhD Researcher, Associate Lecturer, The University of Queensland Business School

Shahrzad Roohy Gohar

Abstract

Visualisation of Environmental Performance Indicators on Business Process Models in hospitality industry

Hospitality and organisational decision-makers and environmental auditors are unaware of the environmental resources used by operational activities and processes and therefore, environmental resource performance of processes remain unmeasured, uncontrolled and not managed. Environmental resources are measured using environmental performance indicators (EPIs) in organisations e.g water and energy consumption, CO2 and waste generation. However, challenges exist to access, measure and communicate EPIs at the granularity of activities and process levels when using existing methods. Indeed, current efforts to reduce environmental impact deemed to be inadequate while organisations are expected to proactively manage their use of environmental resources. Managing performance requires the identification and measurement of performance indicators and a shared perception of resources. EPIs are new KPIs. My research at The University of Queensland Business School, focuses on developing a method to identify, measure, and visualize EPIs for tourism operational activities and business process models such that the augmented models enable higher-quality decision making about the environmental impact of the processes. This method enables environmental auditors and organisational decision-makers to identify and estimate the environmental performance of an end-to-end organisational process, providing a visually effective platform to communicate the positive and negative environmental impact of the organisation’s activities and the processes.

Biography

Shahrzad is working at UQ Business School, as an Associate Lecturer in Business Information Systems(BIS) and is a PhD candidate. Shahrzad holds a BSc in computer science and a Masters in IT; also an ACS Certified Professional. Shahrzad has worked in areas of Business Process Management (BPM) and Information System engineering in industry and has completed various business process improvement projects in the past. Shahrzad’s research interest include Environmental Sustainability, Green Information Systems(IS), BPM, visualisation of environmental information on processes and conceptual modelling. Shahrzad’s PhD project focuses on visualising Environmental Performance Indicators (EPI) on business process models, intending to help organisations and environmental auditors to identify, measure and visualize the environmental impact of their operations.

Jana Hazelman #

A/Director, Reef Stewardship, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

Jana Hazalman1

Abstract

A World’s Best Example of Protected Area Ecotourism: the Great Barrier Reef High Standard Tourism Operator Program

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority has been recognising and rewarding tourism operators within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park that adopt high standards for protection, presentation and sustainability. These standards enhance environmental protection, reef resilience and tourism sustainability. The High Standard Tourism Operator Program was introduced in 2003 and now in its 16th year the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority is reflecting on its history and successes and reviewing areas and opportunities for improvement.

Eco-tourism Australia independently assess and certify Great Barrier Reef tourism operators that operate to a high standard in the Marine Park, with the majority of visitors to the Great Barrier Reef travelling with Eco-certified operators. Jana Hazelman will share some insights into the program and how it is managed.

Biography

Jana was inspired to pursue a career in Tourism and Environmental Management through her studies at James Cook University where she completed a Bachelor of Tourism Management. After completing her degree she started work at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority where her passion for the environment grew and has pathed the way for the direction of her career. After working at GRBMPA for a couple of years, Jana and her now husband moved overseas to explore other cultures and traveled throughout Europe for 2 years. After returning home, she recommenced working in the Environmental Management field with a clear focus on protecting the Great Barrier Reef. Of particular interest, Jana worked with parts of the agricultural industry delivering on ground grants directed at reducing their impact on the reef through different change management systems. Jana has a wealth of experience in community and stakeholder engagement, as she believes this builds a foundation of respect and trust and that good communication is the key to success.

Jana is currently back working at the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority as the Project Manager Reef Stewardship. Jana is new to this position having started in October this year. She is ready for the challenges this new role will bring about and excited to see what changes will come from them.

Thomas Holden #

Chief Executive Officer, Activate One

Thomas Holden

Abstract

Co-presenter of: How to Propose a Walking Trail in Queensland
Presenting with Ross McLennan.

Following on from the 2018 Global Eco Conference and David Edwards presentation “Queensland Ecotourism Trails: A Chief Executive’s insight”. Ross McLennan from Hidden valley Cabins and the three traditional owners groups from the region north of Townsville between Paluma and Wallaman Falls formed a working group to promote the idea of a 125 km walking between Paluma Village in south to the iconic Wallaman Falls in the north. Working in partnership, Ross and the Traditional owner groups, Nywagi in the South, Gugu Badham to the west and Warragamay to the north successfully approached the three local government areas the trail would pass through and where successful in getting some seed funding to engage a professional trail builder to see if the proposal was indeed achievable. A working group comprising of local government representatives, local Mayors and councillors, Traditional Owners and industry successfully promoted the trail to the State Government and the project is now being promoted to senior government officials and ministers. This presentation will show how this project went from an idea at a conference to high level talks within 12 months and this importance of involving all parties at a very early stage.

Biography

Thomas has in excess of 15 years of government and Indigenous business operations experience, Thomas Holden (CEO) is a motivated business development and sales professional with relevant years of management-level entrepreneurial and project management experience in various high risk and demanding management positions.

Over the last fifteen years and until recently Thomas has performed the role of founder and managing director for high risk Indigenous security services and training firms. The company was Indigenous and prequalified with Arrow Energy and maintained 25% Indigenous employment. He also held the position of project officer for the Department of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Partnership for a 3-year period. Employee of the year 2017 and 2018. Stakeholder management in the major project space. Key deliverables of implementation of the training and procurement policy and QIPP, IPP. Development in the Indigenous business from start-up phase to exit phase.

Maree Treadwell Kerr #

Vice-Chair, Wildlife Tourism Australia

Maree Treadwell Kerr1

Abstract

Wildlife Tourism: evolving to meet present and future challenges and opportunities

Our presentation will define and describe wildlife tourism and how it overlaps and intercepts with ecotourism and discuss the environmental, social, cultural, and economic challenges to sustainable wildlife experiences.

Wildlife tourism can include captive wildlife and consumptive practices (hunting and fishing) and is not necessarily educational. Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA) was born out of the CRC for Sustainable Tourism, but from the outset decided not to include consumptive uses. Its objective is to promote the sustainable use of a diverse wildlife tourism industry, including well-run captive settings, that supports conservation and encourages high quality interpretation.

Challenges to this can be cultural, economic, or environmental. Examples of unsustainable visitor expectations are when visitors are encouraged or allowed to take selfies with wildlife which can result in injury or death of said animal, including culling if the animal becomes aggressive, or in wasted energy or abandonment of good feeding grounds by a frightened animal. An example of negative environmental and cultural impacts would be so-called “Eco resorts” that ignore and crowd out host communities, greenwash instead of truly minimising impacts on fauna and flora, and offer poor interpretation.

Visitor perspectives are impacted by the loss of species due to current and future climate change and ongoing habitat destruction. We will give further examples of these challenges and how the sustainable nature tourism industry can evolve and assist in mitigating impacts using a case study of an urban species affected by climate change that is still unrecognised for its tourism potential. 

Presenting with Sera Steves.

Biography

Maree is Vice-Chair of Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA), Queensland state representative of Interpretation Australia, and Wet Tropics guide with a history of wildlife interpretation and visitor services in protected places and wildlife sanctuaries. She has a Masters of Wildlife Management and is currently undertaking a higher degree examining societal values for flying foxes by assessing impact of education/interpretation programs, including tourism potential, in changing attitudes toward flying-foxes. She is a joint convenor of the Australasian Bat Society’s (ABS) Flying-fox Expert Group and created and coordinates the annual ABS Australasian Bat Night program, including coordinating the Cairns Bat Festival since 2015. Maree has presented to national conferences of Wildlife Tourism Australia, Australasian Wildlife Management Society, Australasian Bat Society and Interpretation Australia on the subjects of bat tourism, interpretation and flying-fox management. Current projects include development of a virtual reality flying-fox experience and an Australian Bat Tourism Trail for ABS and WTA.

Janine Kitson #

Member, Gardens of Stone Alliance

Janine Kitson1

Abstract

Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone: ‘Destination Pagoda’

Yindya-ma-rra Nganga-dha Walawalang Malang, “Respect, look after this stony rock place” continues to resonate through this ancient landscape in Wiradjuri Country, known as the Gardens of Stone, home – ngurung – to Wiradjuri people.

The Gardens of Stone, located on the western edge of NSW’s Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area, provides the opportunity to become a geotourism and cultural destination because of its fragile sandstone pagoda landscape - 39,000 ha of deep canyons, towering cliffs, upland swamps and endangered flora and fauna.

In March 2019 the Gardens of Stone Alliance (Colong Foundation for Wilderness, Blue Mountains Conservation Society and Lithgow Environment Group) launched the visitors plan ‘Destination Pagoda’ on how Lithgow could be transformed into a world class geotourism destination. This plan hopes to relieve the emerging over tourism problem currently plighting the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area.

This exciting opportunity begins at the gateway through Wiradjuri country in NSW’s Central West. It outlines how the regional town of Lithgow, surrounded by spectacularly scenic landscapes, can provide a sustainable economic future for its workers, community and environment. Importantly it can enhance the cultural values of Wiradjuri Country and empower Wiradjuri people.

‘Destination Pagoda’ affirms how Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone can become a world-class geotourism and cultural destination, with its significant natural and cultural heritage. It offers a vision on how to create an iconic, must-see geotourism destination, two hours away from Sydney. It incorporates strong cultural and community engagement, as well as enabling the continuation of existing primary industry activities.

Presenting with Sharon Riley.

Biography

Janine Kitson is an environmental educator who has been actively involved in supporting the protection of NSW’s natural and built heritage through her work with many of NSW’s key environment groups including the Colong Foundation for Wilderness, National Parks Association of NSW and the National Trust (NSW).

Janine has been awarded the Ryde-Macquarie Teachers Association Life Membership (2015) and NSW Teachers Federation Life Membership (2016); National Parks Association of NSW’s Allen and Beryl Strom Award (2016). Following her term as a local government councillor she was awarded the North Shore Times Community Medal for Conservation & the Environment (2010).

Janine is now teaching in adult education, at the Workers Educational Association and the University of 3rd Age in Sydney. In January 2019 Janine was invited to be the guest speaker at the 2019 National Council of Women (NSW)’s Australia Day Awards luncheon held at the NSW Parliament House Dining Room.

Innes Larkin #

Owner, Mt Barney Lodge

Innes Larkin1

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.

Janet Mackay #

Director, TRC Tourism

Janet Mackay

Abstract

The Red Centre Ride: opportunities for visitors and Indigenous communities

The Red Centre Adventure Ride is a first for Australia. It will be an extraordinary three day easy mountain bike ride across the West MacDonnell Ranges in the centre of Australia with overnight accommodation planned in luxury camps. This paper will talk about the multiple benefits the trail experience will offer from concept to delivery for the traditional owners of the land and for visitors.

The paper will discuss the concept, planning and delivery and health, economic and social benefits to be delivered through the ride including a program of training of local Aboriginal people in the planning, design, construction and maintenance of the trail, and opportunities for its operation.

It will also talk about the critical importance of planning for the visitor experience as well as the physical infrastructure to make such a product a success.

Biography

Janet Mackay is the Director of TRC Tourism, a consultancy firm based in the Snowy Mountains with offices in Canberra, Alice Springs and Wellington in NZ. The company operates across Australia, New Zealand and beyond. Janet is well known as a leader in regional destination and visitor experience planning, as well as related infrastructure, product assessment and development . She is recognised in the industry for her extensive knowledge in the trail planning sector and how to improve a region’s community assets through outstanding planning. Janet works with many indigenous businesses across Australia.

A/Prof Henrietta Marrie AM #

Project Leader, Great Barrier Reef Indigenous Tourism Project, CQUniversity, Cairns

Henrietta Marrie DX20743 2

Abstract

Great Barrier Reef Indigenous Tourism: translating policy into practice

The Great Barrier Reef (GBR) is Queensland’s greatest natural asset, and the major destination for both domestic and overseas visitors, yet around 80% of tourism activity occurs within seven per cent of the GBR Marine Park. The GBR also forms part of the traditional estates for over 70 Indigenous Traditional Owner groups with continuing relationships with the GBR and interests in or rights to “sea country” from the eastern Torres Strait south to Bundaberg. However, despite proactive Queensland ecotourism and employment policies which specifically encourage Indigenous participation in the tourism industry, there is little participation by Traditional Owners and Indigenous businesses in this industry along the GBR. Research has been undertaken to find out why this is so, analysing the varying challenges and opportunities faced by Traditional Owners and Indigenous businesses in different sections of the GBR. Key findings and and recommendations from the report will also be presented.

Biography

Henrietta Marrie AM (Masters in Environmental and Local Government Law; Dip. T; Grad. Dip. of Arts [Indigenous Studies]) is an Elder of the Gimuy Walubara clan of the Yidinji people and Traditional Owner of the land on which the City of Cairns is located. Henrietta has published widely on Indigenous cultural and natural resource management , intellectual and cultural property law, heritage legislation and philanthropy. She served for 6 years with the UN Secretariat of the Convention on Biological Diversity in Montreal, and nine yeas as Program Manager for North Australia with The Christensen Fund, a California-based private philanthropic fund. Henrietta is Associate Professor (Indigenous Engagement) with Central Queensland University. She is Patron First Nations of the Cairns Indigenous Art Fair. On January 26th 2018 Henrietta was made a Member of the Order of Australia in the General Division, and on June 8th she was recognised as a Queensland Great.

Ross McLennan #

Operations Manager, Hidden Valley Cabins

Ross McLennan1

Abstract

How to Propose a Walking trail in Queensland

Following on from the 2018 Global Eco Conference and David Edwards presentation “Queensland Ecotourism Trails: A Chief Executive’s insight”. Ross McLennan from Hidden valley Cabins and the three traditional owners groups from the region north of Townsville between Paluma and Wallaman Falls formed a working group to promote the idea of a 125 km walking between Paluma Village in south to the iconic Wallaman Falls in the north. Working in partnership, Ross and the Traditional owner groups, Nywagi in the South, Gugu Badham to the west and Warragamay to the north successfully approached the three local government areas the trail would pass through and where successful in getting some seed funding to engage a professional trail builder to see if the proposal was indeed achievable. A working group comprising of local government representatives, local Mayors and councillors, Traditional Owners and industry successfully promoted the trail to the State Government and the project is now being promoted to senior government officials and ministers. This presentation will show how this project went from an idea at a conference to high level talks within 12 months and this importance of involving all parties at a very early stage.

Presenting with Thomas Holden.

Biography

Ross McLennan grew up in a small family tourism business 103 km North West of Townsville called Hidden Valley Cabins. This family business has been owned and operated by the McLennan family since 1986.

After growing up in a remote location the world called and Ross travelled abroad for 4 years, living in England and Canada were he met Chelsea. Returning to Australia in 2006, Ross and Chelsea joined the family business with a vision of niche marketing, expansion of a range of quality products with an environmental theme. That vision proved to be very successful both financially and environmentally.

The resort has also under gone major operational changes. Due to the remote location, Hidden Valley has no town amenities and is totally self-sufficient. In December 2007, Hidden Valley Cabins switched off the diesel generator and moved to an environmentally friendly power source, Solar. Since then the entire resorts electrical needs has been supplied by the sun, saving the resort up to 26000L of diesel and 78 tonnes of C02 per year. In 2011 Hidden Valley Cabins also added an additional 3 deluxe cabins to keep up with demand.

Hidden Valley Cabins now hosts over 1000 international secondary and universities students a year on faculty lead study abroad programs.

The resort has also won numerous awards including the Australian and Queensland Tourism Award for Hosted Accommodation and was recognised for Excellence in Sustainability and a Certificate of Recognition from the Queensland Premier, Anna Bligh for Outstanding Leadership in Environmental Sustainability.

Fiona Merida #

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

Fiona Merida1

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.

Dr Natasha Montesalvo #

Policy and Research Manager, Queensland Tourism Industry Council

Natasha Montesalvo

Abstract

Tourism: a path to resilient communities

The United Nations state, “It is urgent and critical to anticipate, plan for and reduce disaster risk in order to more effectively protect persons, communities and countries, their livelihoods, health, cultural heritage, socioeconomic assets and ecosystems, and thus strengthen their resilience”. Risk and resilience cannot be managed in isolation. The need for a community approach to resilience is necessary and the tourism industry offers a strong opportunity to enhance community preparedness and resilience through its network of resources.

Tourism is a $25 billion industry for Queensland and creates employment for 217,000 Queenslanders. The industry is growing, with forecasts indicating that tourism will continue to grow at a rate faster than the wider economy over the next five years. Tourism is a complex and disparate industry that touches many people and business sectors. It is part of the economic and social fabric of the community. Research emphasises that tourism builds communities, creates a sense of pride and supports the development of infrastructure to support a viable community. As a complex network of stakeholders, tourism is also a challenging industry to effectively understand and manage.

Given its role and reach, the tourism industry and its stakeholders have a significant role to play in strengthening community resilience, ensuring preparedness as we face turbulent climatic and global events and in support communities as they rebuild post disaster. This presentation will explore the roles for and commitments made by the tourism industry to strengthen community resilience and to prepare for the unexpected. It discusses a practical approach for a tourism-supported, community-based plan for resilience building.

Biography

Natasha is the Policy and Research Manager for the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC). QTIC has been acting as the ‘Voice for Tourism’ for over 15 years, representing over 3,000 members from across the state. In late 2017, QTIC partnered with Griffith University’s Institute for Tourism and the Queensland Government’s Department of Environment and Science in the development and launch of the Tourism Sector Adaptation Plan. The Building a resilient tourism industry: Queensland climate change response plan represents an industry-led climate adaptation and mitigation road map for the tourism industry, the first of its kind globally. Part of Natasha’s role now is in working with key partners across the sector to deliver some of the key actions and work with the industry to build business resilience for a strong and sustainable future.

David Morgans #

Strategic Projects Director, Tourism and Events Queensland

David Morgans (1)

Abstract

Evolving the Future of Nature-Based Tourism in Queensland

Where are global travellers going for nature-based experiences and what can we learn from these experiences? This was one of many questions we asked when looking at the future of nature-based tourism in Queensland. Insights are showing that more and more nature-travellers not only want to be ‘guilt free’ when they travel but they also care about making a difference while on holidays, and for many that also means they want to engage in experiences that are more hands-on and present nature through cultural lens. So how can the Queensland tourism industry respond to these trends and ensure our tourism offering continues to meet and exceed visitor expectations.

Presenting with Diana Mulholland.

Biography

David Morgans is Strategic Projects Director at Tourism and Events Queensland. David is responsible for guiding the corporation’s strategic direction in tourism product and experience development, destination management and the development of key experience sectors. David has held a number of senior management positions since he joined TEQ in 1997 and his career over the last nearly 40 years has seen him specialise in tourism experience and destination management, ecotourism, Indigenous tourism, sustainable tourism, environmental and regional planning, and protected area management.

Kathryn Morton #

Experience Development Specialist, Tourism and Events Queensland

Kathryn Morton1

Abstract

International Approaches to Indigenous Tourism

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander tourism experiences are highly regarded by those who participate in them, yet Indigenous people and businesses are under-represented within the tourism industry. The Council of Australian Governments has Closing the Gap commitments to address Indigenous disadvantage, and tourism is recognized as a rare economic opportunity where Indigenous Australians have a unique advantage over non-Indigenous people. Indigenous tourism operators also recognise tourism as a path to economic independence by creating jobs for their children and communities in regional areas with relatively few alternatives, enabling communities to stay on country and perpetuate their culture and traditions.

In 2018, I undertook a Churchill Fellowship to understand the approaches of New Zealand, the Unites States and Canada to Indigenous tourism, and how those approaches resulted in higher levels of participation in Indigenous experiences by international visitors. I thought I would learn about innovative ways of marketing Indigenous experiences; however it seems their success is not due to marketing alone. Instead, it is the way in which the Indigenous tourism industry is structured, and how that system supports Indigenous entrepreneurs and communities, that is having the greatest impact.

My presentation highlights that Indigenous tourism requires a delicate balance of supply and demand. Until the supply side of Indigenous tourism is working well, it will be difficult for organisations such as Tourism Australia, state and territory tourism organisations, and regional tourism organisations to effectively create demand for the sector.

Biography

Kathryn entered tourism with a background research and subsequently combined her skills in researching emerging tourism trends with on-the-ground, grass-roots industry experience by working in hotels and resorts domestically and around the world. Kathryn has excelled in development focused roles working with tourism businesses, particularly small businesses. Her aptitude in assisting small businesses led Kathryn into the Indigenous tourism sector, where her impacts on businesses can have broader implications beyond single operators to benefit communities. She routinely demonstrates her desire and passion for Indigenous tourism and her experience, expertise and inquiring mind are valuable assets for the businesses she works with. Kathryn has a Bachelor of Psychology from Queensland University of Technology, and in 2017 was awarded a Churchill Fellowship to investigate and design new, innovative approaches to grow and market Indigenous tourism experiences.

Diana Mulholland #

Partnerships Specialist, Tourism and Events Queensland

Diana Mulholland

Abstract

Co-Presenter of: Evolving the Future of Nature-Based Tourism in Queensland
Presenting with David Morgans.

Where are global travellers going for nature-based experiences and what can we learn from these experiences? This was one of many questions we asked when looking at the future of nature-based tourism in Queensland. Insights are showing that more and more nature-travellers not only want to be ‘guilt free’ when they travel but they also care about making a difference while on holidays, and for many that also means they want to engage in experiences that are more hands-on and present nature through cultural lens. So how can the Queensland tourism industry respond to these trends and ensure our tourism offering continues to meet and exceed visitor expectations.

Biography

Diana began her tourism career as a tour guide and office manager for an ecotourism company on Moreton Island, Queensland, after graduating from Bachelor Applied Science, Ecotourism from Charles Sturt University. Diana worked as an independent assessment officer and auditor with Ecotourism Australia before moving to Tourism and Events Queensland (TEQ) in 2007. Since then Diana has held numerous positions within TEQ’s Partnerships and Destinations team, with project management roles in industry development, strategic partnerships and aviation and trade relationships. Her current focus includes nature-based tourism development and optimising international education for Queensland. Diana is also a committee member of the Southern Queensland branch of the Australian Tourism Export Council.

Sean O'Meara #

Partner, PwC

PwC Brisbane Portraits March 2016

Biography

Sean is the Partner leading PwC’s Infrastructure Advisory team in Queensland and Northern Australia. He works with public and private sector clients to deliver complex projects and initiatives across a range of sectors including Tourism.

His specific experience includes:

  • project governance, strategy and execution
  • provision of commercial and strategic advice
  • infrastructure project planning, evaluation and implementation
  • management of complex transactions and procurements
  • analysis of complex commercial, technical and legal information
  • development and management of relationships with government and private sector stakeholders
  • leadership and management of specialist professionals and integrated teams.

Sean has advised both government and the private sector on a range of tourism and ecotourism projects in Queensland and Northern Australia, and has a reputation for working closely with his clients to deliver the outcomes they require.

Gary Rebgetz #

Director, Campervan & Motorhome Club of Australia

Gary Rebgetz1

Abstract

Change: meeting the new market

There has certainly been a significant change in consumer demands looking for that unique travel experience. We address all four points required in the theme of this conference. CMCA are at the forefront of these changes as we certainly recognise and promote the benefits of the Quadruple bottom line (Environmental, Social, Cultural and Economic contributions) and are considered as a “disruptor” in the market segment because we have been able to implement significant change to the road base sector.

Queensland is an example of where change is required and quickly, as per our recently developed RV Road Tourism Situation report of 2019 identified. CMCA has become a leader in sustainable tourism and will continue.

Biography

Gary Rebgetz MBA. Director and past Chairman of CMCA, has been on the current Board for the past 5 years. An Honorary Life Member of CMCA and of Lions Club Australia. His knowledge and passion for the environment especially connected to road based travel led him to complete a MBA at age 65 years of age.

Angus M Robinson #

Managing Director, Leisure Solutions®

Angus M Robinson

Abstract

Evolving Geotourism as a Key Driver of Regional Development in Australia

Geotourism is a significant emerging and growing global phenomenon. Geotourism is essentially sustainable and holistic nature-based tourism ‘that focuses on an area’s geology and landscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment’. Resulting from its experiential characteristics, geotourism has links with adventure tourism and ecotourism. Geotourism also embraces cultural tourism, inclusive of indigenous tourism, an approach of increasing interest to both managers of protected and unprotected areas. Under the current national Australian Geoscience Council (AGC) 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, and as a geoscience advocacy opportunity, the AGC has decided to formulate a draft National Geotourism Strategy to accommodate the orderly development of major geotourism projects (which might include geoparks) and other activities (such as geotrails) in line with overseas trends and domestic regional development imperatives.

AGC recognises that the socio-economic benefits of geopark development, both UNESCO Global and national in scope, include the following.

  1. Measurable economic benefits - additional visitors, direct and regional economic output, household income and wages, and local employment.
  2. Through establishment of a management entity, a higher level of centralised coordination in areas of community engagement, product development, travel and hospitality services, tourism promotion/branding.
  3. Maximisation of sustainable development and management of ‘over tourism’.
  4. Provision of a framework for focus on the 10 UNESCO Topics that include culture, education, climate change, geoconservation, and sustainable development.

In complementing ecotourism, geotourism is now evolving to determine its place as a key driver of nature-based tourism as a regional development imperative for Australia.

Biography

An exploration geologist by profession and training, Angus established his business, Leisure Solutions®, in 1993 and is now engaged in ecotourism/geotourism activities. In recent years he has served as the inaugural Chair of the Geotourism Standing Committee of the Geological Society of Australia, and has recently been appointed as the Coordinator, National Geotourism Strategy (and designated spokesperson on geotourism) for the Australian Geoscience Council that represents Australia’s eight main geoscience societies. Over the past 25 years, Angus has been engaged in leadership roles relating to technology diffusion through The Warren Centre of Advanced Engineering, technology park development, and as Chief Executive of a major manufacturing industry association. His work has focused on national strategy development, particularly in developing industry linkages in the Greater China Region. In earlier years he has enjoyed various leadership roles in major Sydney tourist attractions and at the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort in Victoria.

Penny Spoelder #

Senior Associate, TRC Tourism

Penny Spoelder

Abstract

Does size really matter? A story about one of the smallest countries in the world and its journey toward sustainable tourism

Niue has the distinction of being among the world’s least populated nation states and with a future that is imperilled by the effects of climate change for which it bears absolutely no responsibility.

One of the smallest countries in the world, Niue is located partway between Tonga, Samoa and the Cook Islands. The island’s lush green jungles, limestone cliffs and shoreline reefs with perfectly clear water to 100 feet are stunning. And the thousands of visitors who visit Niue each year also think so.

Niue ke Monuina – A Prosperous Niue seeks to build a sustainable future that meets the nation’s economic and social needs while preserving environmental integrity, social stability, and the Niue culture. The achievement of Niue ke Monuina is supported by seven national development pillars and specific strategies under each of those pillars of which tourism is one.

Niue has grasped the concept of sustainable tourism early and has, with the support of its industry, established its Sustainable Tourism Policy, developed an Experience Development Strategy that focuses on the natural and cultural values of Niue, established minimum standards for its operators and has now commenced steps to become one of the first Pacific Island nations to achieve recognition as a sustainable tourism destination Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

This little country has a big agenda but its not without its challenges. This presentation will outline some of the challenges and opportunities this island nation faces on its journey towards sustainable tourism.

Biography

Penny has more than 30 years of experience working at multiple levels of tourism planning, destination development and project delivery. As a Senior Associate with TRC Tourism Penny specialises in helping destinations as they navigate the tourism development life cycle and explore sustainable tourism initiatives. She has led the planning and management of some of Australia’s most notable destinations and has worked extensively in New Zealand and in the Asia Pacific Region. Penny has won numerous awards for the design and delivery of sustainable tourism projects and has contributed to several publications on sustainable tourism in protected areas. She is a member of the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.

Sera Steves #

Owner, Aussie Walks and Wonders

Sera Steves

Abstract

Co-presenter of: Wildlife Tourism: evolving to meet present and future challenges and opportunities
Presenting with Maree Treadwell Kerr.

Our presentation will define and describe wildlife tourism and how it overlaps and intercepts with ecotourism and discuss the environmental, social, cultural, and economic challenges to sustainable wildlife experiences.

Wildlife tourism can include captive wildlife and consumptive practices (hunting and fishing) and is not necessarily educational. Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA) was born out of the CRC for Sustainable Tourism, but from the outset decided not to include consumptive uses. Its objective is to promote the sustainable use of a diverse wildlife tourism industry, including well-run captive settings, that supports conservation and encourages high quality interpretation.

Challenges to this can be cultural, economic, or environmental. Examples of unsustainable visitor expectations are when visitors are encouraged or allowed to take selfies with wildlife which can result in injury or death of said animal, including culling if the animal becomes aggressive, or in wasted energy or abandonment of good feeding grounds by a frightened animal. An example of negative environmental and cultural impacts would be so-called “Eco resorts” that ignore and crowd out host communities, greenwash instead of truly minimising impacts on fauna and flora, and offer poor interpretation.

Visitor perspectives are impacted by the loss of species due to current and future climate change and ongoing habitat destruction. We will give further examples of these challenges and how the sustainable nature tourism industry can evolve and assist in mitigating impacts using a case study of an urban species affected by climate change that is still unrecognised for its tourism potential. 

Biography

Sera is the owner and sole operator of Aussie Walks and Wonders, a hiking focused adventure tourism business in FNQ and is on the executive committee of Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA). She holds a degree in Biology and Psychology with an Ethology focus and is currently working on her masters in Zoology and Ecology including research on crocodiles and blossom-bats. Sera has been in the zoo industry for 12 years working in both Australia and the United States as a zookeeper, animal trainer and wildlife presenter. Her main focus is birds and reptiles but bats have been an interest of hers since she was a child. Sera is promoting bats and tourism using a model developed by Bat Conservation International in her home state of Texas. Sera believes effective conservation includes ecotourism opportunities.

Current projects include development of a virtual reality flying-fox experience and the Australian Bat Tourism Trail.

Chris Thomas #

State Manager, Parks and Tourism, Department for Environment and Water, South Australia

Chris Thomas headshot

Abstract

Repositioning South Australia’s National Parks and Wildlife Service

Tourism is a super-growth sector and economic priority for South Australia, with sights firmly set on an $8 billion visitor economy by 2020. Creating jobs and unlocking new economic activity in South Australia’s regions is a key focus. This workshop will describe the ‘eco’ innovations in the government’s commitment to sustainable tourism and regional development including:

  • Increasing the number of park rangers, to ensure that national parks continue to attract visitors and play a valuable role in the ongoing conservation and care for our parks and wildlife.
  • Creating a new metropolitan national park, Glenthorne National Park, to provide a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve and revitalise a significant portion of urban space as an environmental and recreational precinct.
  • Opening up six reservoirs for the first time, to provide recreational fishing and other leisure activities including walking, cycling, kayaking and sailing.
  • Inviting ecologically sustainable development in national parks that is sensitive to the setting, to enable the private sector to provide high quality visitor experiences with flow on benefits to the local economy.
  • Improving information and accessibility of national parks, to enhance the recreational and nature-based tourism experiences for people with disabilities.

Key learning outcomes: How South Australia’s newly created “National Parks and Wildlife Service” is:

  • reconnecting people with parks, for a range of health and wellbeing benefits;
  • responding to the changing needs of visitors and government priorities; and
  • collaborating with local government, eNGOs, community groups and the tourism sector to reposition the value of parks.

Biography

Chris emigrated to Australia from the UK in 1993 with an honours degree in Marine Geography and a passion for the outdoors. Chris spent 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 19 marine parks.

In 2015, Chris led the development of South Australia’s “Nature Like Nowhere Else” strategy and action plan, which remains a key driver for activating nature-based tourism in South Australia.

Chris is currently the State Manager for Parks and Tourism at the Department for Environment and Water and national chair of the Tourism and Parks Agencies Forum (TAPAF).

Scott Verdouw #

Architect, JAWS Architects

Scott Verdouw1

Abstract

Minimum Architecture: design in Tasmania’s World Heritage Areas

How should we design structures for our world heritage areas?

JAWSarchitects have attempted to answer this question when designing accommodation at Pumphouse Point and a private walking hut near Lake Rodway in the Cradle Mountain Lake St Claire world heritage area.

These buildings challenge the conventional view of luxury. Through minimal site intervention, JAWS designs allow the precious places to be the hero.

JAWS have drawn on experience learned from designing the unconventional multi-award winning Three Capes Track Cabins in the dramatic Tasman National Park.

Biography

Scott Verdouw has 20 years experience as an Architect in Tasmania and Europe. Scott loves Tasmanias’ wild side and is passionate about using low impact architecture to share these environments with others.

Scott has pioneered the use of environmentally friendly prefabricated construction techniques to reduce site impact and reduce on site work in remote areas.

Dr Emma Whittlesea #

Senior Research Fellow, Griffith Institute for Tourism, Griffith University

Emma Whittlesea

Biography

Emma’s professional and research focus is environmental sustainability and climate change, working in public, private and academic sectors in the UK, Europe and Australia. She works as a Principal Policy Officer for the Queensland Government and is seconded part-time as a Senior Research Fellow with the Griffith Institute for Tourism. Her work supports the development and implementation of climate change policy and programs, with a focus on tourism and travel.

Emma has an industry funded PhD which examined the opportunities and challenges of a low-carbon tourism economy in South West England. She has developed strategic and practical sustainability tools and guidance for tourism businesses, DMOs, and Tourism Boards, and co-convened the European Research Network for Sustainable Tourism across 14 European regions.

Emma is currently managing a number of projects in Queensland which includes a program to help Great Barrier Reef islands to reduce emissions and increase climate resilience. Emma also worked with the Queensland Tourism Industry Council to develop Queensland’s Tourism Climate Change Response Plan, and now supports its delivery.