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.

Assoc Prof Richard Brown #

Associate Professor, The University of Queensland

Abstract

Co-presenter of: Queensland’s National Parks: an economically important tourism resource
Presenting with Dr Sally Driml.

A collaborative project between the University of Queensland and the Department of Environment and Science has shed light on the considerable economic value to the state provided by tourism to Queensland’s national parks. This is important in establishing an economic value for a resource that is generally free to enter and so has no obvious market value.

Economic value was established using two well accepted economic approaches. First, we found that a large proportion of visitors deliberately planned their visit to a national park before they left home, and many rated the national park as an important destination. Counting those visitors only, we measured their expenditure in the region surrounding the national park. This expenditure was then interpreted in terms of contribution to Gross State Product and employment supported.

The second economic approach was to estimate the non-market value of consumer surplus accruing to visitors over and above the cost to them of visiting national parks. When extrapolated into the future as an ‘asset value’ – this runs into the billions of dollars. Given these economic values, what do they say about Queensland’s investment in national park visitor management? The benefit cost ratios of visitor economic benefits to cost of park management show significant positive ratios, even under the most conservative of scenarios.

The research included four case study national park areas in representative tourism regions — comparisons across these four destinations demonstrate similarities and differences between sites.

Biography

Coming soon.

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.

Dr Sally Driml #

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

Sally Driml1

Abstract

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

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.

Abstract

Queensland’s National Parks: an economically important tourism resource

A collaborative project between the University of Queensland and the Department of Environment and Science has shed light on the considerable economic value to the state provided by tourism to Queensland’s national parks. This is important in establishing an economic value for a resource that is generally free to enter and so has no obvious market value.

Economic value was established using two well accepted economic approaches. First, we found that a large proportion of visitors deliberately planned their visit to a national park before they left home, and many rated the national park as an important destination. Counting those visitors only, we measured their expenditure in the region surrounding the national park. This expenditure was then interpreted in terms of contribution to Gross State Product and employment supported.

The second economic approach was to estimate the non-market value of consumer surplus accruing to visitors over and above the cost to them of visiting national parks. When extrapolated into the future as an ‘asset value’ – this runs into the billions of dollars. Given these economic values, what do they say about Queensland’s investment in national park visitor management? The benefit cost ratios of visitor economic benefits to cost of park management show significant positive ratios, even under the most conservative of scenarios.

The research included four case study national park areas in representative tourism regions — comparisons across these four destinations demonstrate similarities and differences between sites.

Presenting with Assoc Prof Richard Brown.

Biography

Sally Driml holds a PhD in environmental economics and is a lecturer and researcher in Tourism at the UQ Business School, The University of Queensland, Australia. She is currently applying her economic skills to tourism research, including tourism in protected areas. She has published on economic values of visitor use of protected areas including Australian World Heritage Areas, the Great Barrier Reef, the Wet Tropics WHA, and Queensland National Parks. Prior to joining the University of Queensland, Sally had extensive experience in working in government in economic analysis, environmental policy development, and tourism planning and development for destinations and communities.

Suellen Fitzgerald #

Executive Director, Parramatta Park and Western Sydney Parklands Trust, Western Sydney Parklands

Suellen Fitzgerald1

Abstract

Western Sydney Parklands: Australia’s largest urban parkland and Sydney’s biggest backyard

Western Sydney Parklands is the largest urban park in Australia, spanning 27 kilometres across 5,280 hectares – almost the same size as Sydney Harbour.

The Parklands are Sydney’s biggest backyard. This green corridor is filled with opportunities for nature-based recreation and a major driver of Western Sydney tourism attracting thousands of visitors annually.

The Parklands includes Sydney Zoo, Wet and Wild, Raging Waters Sydney, Sydney Motorsports Park, Dragway, Equestrian Centre, Calmsley Hill City Farm, Tree Tops, Wylde Mountain Bike Trail.

Western Sydney Parklands is set aside as protected public lands by the NSW State Government and managed by the Trust for the people.

Since the Parklands Trust was established in 2008, $8.5 million has been spent on environmental conservation and improving biodiversity.

The presentation will examine how the Parklands balances the needs of this biodiversity corridor with recreation and tourism opportunities including its strong environmental targets.

Biography

During her diverse, 30-year career as a landscape architect, Suellen has led private and public organisations in NSW, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory.

Her experience spans open space planning and landscape design, recreation and audience engagement, park management and nature-based tourism.

She is a respected authority on strategy, financing public lands and organisational establishment and development and has presented nationally and internationally on these issues.

Suellen has been the inaugural Executive Director of Western Sydney Parklands Trust since 2008. In 2013 her responsibilities expanded to include leading the administration for Parramatta Park Trust. Suellen has qualifications in Botany and Ecology and a master’s degree in landscape architecture.

She is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Landscape Architecture and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.

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.

Thomas Holden #

Abstract

Co-presenter of: How to Proposal 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

Coming soon.

Randall Joseph #

Director, Sheltered Glamping

Abstract

Minimal Tourism: a glamper’s approach

This summarised proposal for an accomodation-based resort is drawn from personal refections. I believe this approach is an applicable model for creating efficient, uniquely designed and sustainably-focused accomodation.

There are three main ingredients in creating this model.

  1. Minimalistic accommodation: A Glamper’s Approach 2, Infrastructure with an Eco-Focused mindset
  2. Synergistic Community Inclusion

I believe, carefully designing these approaches provides outstanding advantages in regards to financial feasibility, championing environmental landscape, support and involvement of local stakeholders and it’s community, and it’s ability to remain freeform to current tourism and accommodation trends.

Never has there been a time for hoteliers to enjoy such low cost/high returns (both capital and operational cost). Trends in glamping styled structures allow for a minimal footprint installations, increasing feasible locations and enhancing an exclusive customer experience.

Not only does utilising a minimally designed resort approach reduced infrastructure requirements, it also lesses the projects imprint on the land, with fully above ground and renewable approaches to utilities available for consideration.

Lastly, by drawing on the skills, knowledge and values from community individuals and their cultures, this approach encourages to supports other stakeholders by providing a platform for them to thrive, thus in turn invests in a sustainable future. This added potential for guest involvement with the community, increases visitor’s satisfaction (a feel good stay) , adding to greater experience-based destination.

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.

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.

Ross McLennan #

Operations Manager, Hidden Valley Cabins

Ross McLennan1

Abstract

How to Proposal 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.

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.

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.

Jason Mundy #

Assistant Secretary, Marine Parks Branch, Parks Australia Division, Department of the Environment and Energy

Jason Mundy1

Abstract

Sustainable Tourism in the Australian Government’s Terrestrial and Marine Parks

Parks Australia is responsible for managing six terrestrial national parks and the Australian National Botanic Gardens. Three of the national parks are jointly managed with their Aboriginal owners, including the World Heritage listed Uluru-Kata Tjuta and Kakadu National Parks. These parks are also significant tourism destinations for domestic and international visitors, stimulating national and regional economies and creating significant benefits for businesses and communities.

Parks Australia also manages 58 offshore Australian Marine Parks covering approximately 2.8 million km2. The Coral Sea Marine Park is the largest at almost 1 million square km, with 56 islands and cays and world class reefs for diving. These offshore marine protected areas are located outside state and territory waters, generally 3 nautical miles (approx. 5.5km) from the shore and some extend to the outer boundary of Australia’s exclusive economic zone. To effectively manage these parks a sustainable approach to tourism is essential, the tourism industry, traditional owners, local communities, government agencies and visitors all have a part to play.

Parks Australia is committed to working with the tourism industry around Australia to achieve high quality visitor experiences that are appealing, engaging and raise awareness of the natural and cultural values of the parks. We are also seeking to increase sustainable visitation to the parks and deliver social and economic benefits from the contribution parks make to Australia’s visitor economy. This presentation will provide an overview of Parks Australia’s approach to tourism development and management.

Biography

Jason is the Assistant Secretary of the Marine Parks Branch in the Parks Australia Division. He is responsible for managing the Australian Government’s 58 Australian Marine Parks. These parks, located around Australia, are managed to protect marine biodiversity and other natural, cultural and heritage values of the parks; and to allow ecologically sustainable use of marine resources.

Previously, Jason was General Manager, Strategies Branch at the Australian Antarctic Division from 2011 until January 2016. Prior to that, he worked for the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade on overseas postings in the Philippines and Thailand, and positions in Canberra. Jason also worked as a Senior Adviser in the Office of the Minister for Foreign Affairs. Jason holds an MA (International Relations), a Graduate Diploma (Foreign Affairs and Trade) and a Bachelor of Arts and Law (with First Class Honours in law).

Dr Petina Pert #

Research Scientist, CSIRO

Petina Pert

Abstract

What do Tourism Operators’ Value Most about the Great Barrier Reef?

The Social and Economic Long-Term Monitoring Program (SELTMP) is assisting Reef managers and other decision makers within the Great Barrier Reef region to incorporate the human dimension into their planning and management. Long-term monitoring helps Reef managers understand the current status, historical trends and possible future trajectories of Reef users, industries and communities. It also helps build a picture of how industries and communities are likely to respond and cope with changes in the environment and society. Since 2013, we have surveyed more than 12,300 people including coastal residents of the Great Barrier Reef region, tourists, commercial fishers and tourism operators. We ask questions about resource dependency, use, well-being, values, aspirations, stewardship, capacity, satisfaction, understanding, perceptions of management, networks and economic viability. This presentation takes a closer look at tourism operators in the Great Barrier Reef region, including their values, perceptions and concerns about the Reef. Tourism operators remained optimistic about the future of their business in the GBR, however their trust in institutions providing GBR-related information has fallen. We also found significant increases in stated values associated with the GBR (e.g. biodiversity value, science and educational value, international icon value), the desire to take action to protect the GBR, and the proportion of tourism operators who recognise climate change as the greatest threat to the GBR. 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

Dr Petina Pert is a research scientist/spatial analyst with CSIRO Lsnd and Water based in Towsnville. Her expertise includes developing geospatial technologies and decision support tools for natural resource management as well as making data more accesible for users through visualisation and other technqiues.

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.

Sharon Riley #

Member, Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation

Sharon Riley1

Abstract

Co-presenter of: Lithgow’s Gardens of Stone: ‘Destination Pagoda’
Presenting with Janine Kitson.

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.

Biography

Sharon Riley, a strong Wiradjuri woman of the Lithgow area, has deep affiliation to Wiradjuri Country.

Sharon is a descendant of the distinguished Aboriginal leaders, Black Tracker Alec Riley and William Ferguson, renowned Aboriginal freedom fighter.

Sharon’s father Charlie Riley was the first Aboriginal to obtain a trade in NSW’s Central West. Her mother, Helen, is also a respected Wiradjuri Elder. In 2019 Sharon was awarded the ‘Citizen of the Year’ and ‘Open Citizen Achievement’.

Since 2003 Sharon has worked as the Aboriginal Heritage Conservation Officer for NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service promoting and protecting cultural values including rock art conservation, land management and cultural awareness programs.

Sharon is a member of the Mingaan Wiradjuri Aboriginal Corporation where she has coordinated land management conservation projects for Maiyingu Marragu Aboriginal Place. Sharon is currently developing an Indigenous Rangers Program – focusing on conservation land management and establishing a Wiradjuri Cultural Centre.

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.

Gavin Scott #

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Abstract

Copresenter of: First Nations Tourism Projects in Queensland: understanding the matrix of legal, social and cultural requirements for a successful project
Presenting with Tom Young.

Authentic and culturally appropriate First Nations Tourism Projects are a key focus of the Queensland Tourism industry yet there is little guidance on the complex regulatory framework that needs to be navigated in order to deliver a successful project.

Tom Young and Gavin Scott will take conference participants through the key issues that indigenous and non-indigenous project developers need to have on their radar to for a successful project including:

  • How the proposed overarching QTIC First Nations Potential Tourism Plan will assist project approvals
  • How to understand approvals needed under native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage laws for tourism projects
  • How to ensure that a project not only has regulatory approvals, but has also taken the right steps in stakeholder engagement to obtain and maintain a social licence to operate – an issue of critical importance for a sustainable and culturally appropriate tourism project.

The presenters will use case studies, practical examples and information on trends in the global tourism market to assist participants gain a deep understanding of this fascinating interplay of policies, laws, and community expectations.

Tom Young and Gavin Scott are Partners in the global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Tom specialises in Tourism Developments and the complex legal framework that surrounds approvals, licencing and operations. Gavin specialises in Aboriginal cultural heritage, stakeholder engagement and assisting projects to understand the value derived from a social licence to operate.

Biography

Gavin Scott is a corporate and resources partner based in Brisbane who specialises in the development of natural resources projects. He is a well-recognised expert in developing strategies to manage social, human rights and governance risks to projects, particularly those related to community impact, native title / first nations issues and cultural heritage. He has also advised on the development of major solar and wind farms, gas pipelines, linear infrastructure, as well as agribusiness and residential development projects. Through his unique Aboriginal land law and cultural heritage expertise, he is well known for developing innovative solutions to facilitate community engagement, land access and native title approvals. He also has expertise in formulating engagement strategies with Government departments and pastoral land owners. Gavin’s practice also extends to advising clients on modern slavery obligations, human rights, anti-bribery and corruption, and governance structures for the delivery of benefits to impacted communities.

Yvonne Shepherd #

Founder & Chief Executive Officer, Women's Fitness Adventures

Yvonne Shepherd1

Abstract

The Road Less Travelled: why middle age women matter

This presentation will focus on current marketing trends within the female travel market (specifically women 45 plus) and the subsequent opportunities for Ecotourism Operators in Product Development and Strategic partnerships.

Specifically:

  1. What women want from travel and what does that mean for operators?

    • How to capture the segment that is no longer content to simply “retire to the couch” or “tow the van” and drink wine.
    • Experiences create the action of ecotourism warriors
    • How women can help spread the values and vision of ecotourism
    • Why middle aged women matter.
  2. How travel and adventure contribute to wellbeing and social inclusion amongst women (and the wider community at large)

    • Why “being well” matters to a certain segment of consumers
    • Why being part of “something bigger than themselves” is important
    • Why we all need to feel we belong
  3. How slight tweaks to existing tourism/product offerings can differentiate you from your competitor

    • Delivering a ‘bucket list” experience without breaking the bank
    • Using the customer experience to grow your brand through “raving fans”
  4. The pros and cons of Strategic Partnerships, how passion and profit can co-exist and the long term benefit of business relationships.
    • Work in partnerships to create unique product offerings
    • How partnerships can create learning experiences
    • Deliver real benefits to the local operator/community

Biography

Yvonne started Women’s Fitness Adventures over 5 years ago and is most proud of the impact she has had and is having on women’s lives.

Her passion is to help middle aged women become fitter, stronger and more active through a shared fitness adventure whilst connecting to a like -minded community.

Since inception, Women’s Fitness Adventures has grown over 500% predominantly via word of mouth.

Yvonne has over 30 years Marketing some of the world’s largest household brands, a thirst for travel and adventure and a lifetime of “gathering women together.

She is an active member of Fitness Australia and was the Her Business Member of the Year 2017.

As one of 20 women in the 2019 Queensland Voices Campaign being delivered in partnership with the Queensland Governments Office for Women, she represents 5 women in the Health and Wellness pillar as recognition for her work in helping to deliver the Queensland Women’s Strategy.

Alex Stathakis #

Director, Conversio Pty Ltd

Alex Stathakis

Abstract

What’s in an Ecolabel?

Tourism plays a significant economic role in Australia and make important contributions to environmental awareness and protection, as well as socio-economic development. At the same time, by the very nature of its activities, tourism is responsible for resource consumption, pollution and waste, thus leading to negative environmental impacts. Ecolabels and corresponding programs attempt to encourage tourism operators to consider their environmental impact, become more resource efficient, and complement national regulations, while allowing them to differentiate themselves from other businesses and facilitate relationships with other stakeholders. However, the question is what ecolabels actually mean for the environment. There is only little evidence available whether environmental objectives are met and the mere number of participants to an ecolabel cannot be taken as proof of success or effectiveness. There is a risk of efforts being regarded as greenwashing, that is communicating a positive environmental outcome without providing any transparent and accurate information on whether, and if so, how this has actually been achieved. This presentation will offer guidance on how to correctly and transparently communicate eco-claims such as ‘eco-friendly’, ‘carbon neutral’, ‘resource efficient’, ‘recyclable/made from renewable materials’ and avoid vague, misleading claims. This should include an annual disclosure of performance against environmental objectives, and regularly verification of the information disclosed. Ecolabels such as the ECO Certification Program play an important role in informing consumers about tourism products and services that meet certain environmental objectives. The challenge is to provide consumers with more reliable and verified environmental information.

Biography

Alex Stathakis is director and founder of Conversio Pty Ltd, a Brisbane-based carbon and energy management consultancy. Previously he worked at EY’s Climate Change and Sustainability Services. An analyst for Low Carbon Australia Limited, Alex played a key role delivering the Australian Government’s National Carbon Offset Standard Carbon Neutral Program. As the Queensland program manager for City Switch Green Office, Alex supported commercial office tenants to improve office energy and waste efficiency. Alex is a sustainability expert specialising in greenhouse gas emissions reporting and verification services. He has guest-lectured on corporate sustainability, climate change and strategy, and published articles on carbon reporting, climate policy, and adaptation to extreme weather events and climate change. Alex is also one of only few approved verifiers under the Airport Carbon Accreditation program in Australia.

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.

Masaru Takayama #

Chairperson, Asian Ecotourism Network

Masaru Takayama1

Abstract

17 Country Strategic Partnership for Ecotourism in Asia and Pacific

Now with Chaire with Ecotourism Australia joined on the board of Asian Ecotourism Network, on top of Tony Charters who has been from the foundation, AEN is becoming an authority in the Asian region and Pacific to actively promote authentic ecotourism through 17 country partnership. Masaru will demonstrate the challenges and opportunities in the region to create a momentum to fill-in the gaps among public and private sectors, and the communities.

Biography

Mr. Masaru Takayama founded Asian Ecotourism Network (AEN) to promote authentic ecotourism in the region by creating a networking platform for ecotourism fraternity. In 2018 Japan Alliance of Responsible Travel Agencies (JARTA) was also created to enhance responsible tourism movement in Japan. Masaru serves a number of key positions in the organizations both home and abroad. Tourism for Tomorrow Awards 2013-2015 Judge, The World Legacy Awards 2015-2017 Judge, United Nations Multi-Stakeholder Advisory Committee Member of 10 YFP Sustainable Tourism Programme until earlier this year. GSTC authorized trainer, Green Destinations auditor/trainer, Travelife auditor. Owner of Shunyoso, a cultural heritage building in Awaji Island, Japan.

Kamal Thapa #

PhD Candidate, James Cook University

Kamal Thapa

Abstract

Homestay Tourism Product Development in Jagadishpur Reservoir Ramsar Site, Nepal: a practitioner’s first hand experience

Nepal’s diverse nature and cultural resources with its several ethnic group offers opportunity for nature based tourism and cultural tourism. Protected areas and the Himalayan region of Nepal are the destination of nature based tourism and/or ecotourism whereas the rich culture of ethnic groups such as Tharu offers the prospect for cultural tourism. Homestay tourism product (often referred as Village tourism) is recently gaining a momentum in the tourism industry of Nepal, which was successful implemented and promoted from Sirubari village, Syangja district for the first time in 1997. Jagadishpur Reservoir Ramsar Site (225 hac), protected area of international category, lies in south-central Nepal which is surrounded by several communities including Hilly migrants and indigenous Tharu communities. The site is also not far from the religious and spiritual place of Buddhism. Given the characteristics of indigenous Tharu culture, conservation and recreation importance of Ramsar site and easy accessibility to Buddhism’s site of interest, the region has the prospect to develop into the tourism destination. To alleviate the poverty, tap the tourism potential and to achieve conservation objectives of the Ramsar site, Homestay tourism product was launched in Jagadishpur village in late 2015. The experience from Jagadishpur shows that how the unaware community (and district officials too) could accept and recognize the new product and become the buzzword in the tourism development. Further, the learning from the site shows that direct benefit from the tourism activity could bring the positive attitude towards conservation among locals.

Biography

Mr. Kamal Thapa recently joined the James Cook University, Townsville (Australia) as a PhD candidate. Prior to this, he has completed his M.Sc. (Environmental Management) from Pokhara University (Nepal), M.Sc. Management of Protected Areas from University of Klagenfurt (Austria) and Postgraduate Diploma in Environmental Management from Technical University of Dresden (Germany) with additional postgraduate courses from Universities of Oslo, Bergen and Hesinki. He worked with IUCN Nepal during which and thereafter he was involved in promoting Homestay tourism in Jagadishpur village and in conservation management of Ramsar Site. He also served Ministry of Federal Affairs and Local Development and Ministry of Forest and Environment in the capacity of Environmentalist and Climate Change specialist in a donor funded project. His research and professional interest are in ecotourism, ecosystem services, protected areas, livelihoods, environmental management and climate change.

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 Ross Westoby #

Research Fellow, Griffith Institute for Tourism

Ross Westoby

Abstract

Is it Wise to Invest in Active Coral Restoration on the Great Barrier Reef?

Considering increasing interest and Government investment into climate change adaptation measures such as coral restoration in the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), it is imperative that we take stock of what is emerging in the field of reef restoration. Through a systematic quantitative literature review conducted in May-July 2019 concerns exist in the reviewed papers about coral restorations perceived benefits. The findings suggest that active coral restoration’s utility lies in developing economies where implementation cost can be reduced by involving local communities and where the daily lives of local communities are intimately tied to the reef systems. In developed economies the soundest interventions are those in ‘house reefs’ where resorts or tourist operators can invest and manage through a symbiotic arrangement. The benefits for ‘house reef restoration’ is that tourist operators’ have financial capital to invest and their businesses directly benefit from coral restoration investment. Tourist operators and resorts have an imperative to restore the natural capital of the reef system because their business depends upon that natural capital. They also have opportunities to utilise the human capital of volunteerism and tourists’ themselves in the coral restoration process, as well as unique marketing and education opportunities for tourists provided by coral restorations’ role in awareness raising, encouraging environmental stewardship and reducing environmental anxieties that the operators are protecting the reefs. ‘House reef restoration’ provide tourist business in the GBR an opportunity to extend the life of their operations as reefs radically shift in the Anthropocene.

Presenting with Prof Susanne Becken.

Biography

Dr Ross Westoby is a Research Fellow with Griffith Institute for Tourism (GIFT) at Griffith University specialising in the intersection between tourism, livelihoods and climate change. Ross is a social scientist whose research focus is grounded in placing ‘community’ at the centre of climate change adaptation and sustainable tourism destinations. Central to his work is understanding the complex cultural, social, political and economic forces at play in the adaptation and tourism spaces. Ross previously played a central role in evaluating fourteen climate change adaptation projects in Vanuatu, has conducted numerous consultancies throughout the Pacific Islands and Torres Strait region, and has worked in research and evaluation for a social justice NGO in Brisbane.

Tom Young #

Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright

Tom Young

Abstract

First Nations Tourism Projects in Queensland: understanding the matrix of legal, social and cultural requirements for a successful project

Authentic and culturally appropriate First Nations Tourism Projects are a key focus of the Queensland Tourism industry yet there is little guidance on the complex regulatory framework that needs to be navigated in order to deliver a successful project.

Tom Young and Gavin Scott will take conference participants through the key issues that indigenous and non-indigenous project developers need to have on their radar to for a successful project including:

  • How the proposed overarching QTIC First Nations Potential Tourism Plan will assist project approvals
  • How to understand approvals needed under native title and Aboriginal cultural heritage laws for tourism projects
  • How to ensure that a project not only has regulatory approvals, but has also taken the right steps in stakeholder engagement to obtain and maintain a social licence to operate – an issue of critical importance for a sustainable and culturally appropriate tourism project.

The presenters will use case studies, practical examples and information on trends in the global tourism market to assist participants gain a deep understanding of this fascinating interplay of policies, laws, and community expectations.

Tom Young and Gavin Scott are Partners in the global law firm Norton Rose Fulbright. Tom specialises in Tourism Developments and the complex legal framework that surrounds approvals, licencing and operations. Gavin specialises in Aboriginal cultural heritage, stakeholder engagement and assisting projects to understand the value derived from a social licence to operate.

Presenting with Gavin Scott.

Biography

Tom Young has over 30 years’ experience in property related areas of law, with a strong focus on the tourism, hospitality and entertainment industry and aviation.

He is nationally recognised in the development and acquisition of major hotels and resorts area, and has an in-depth understanding of both the Queensland and Australian tourism industries. Tom established and leads the firm’s national tourism practice, servicing the legal needs of Australia’s combined AU$121.2 billion tourism industry. He is an active member (and the sole lawyer) of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC) and regularly engages in QTIC led initiatives including the First Nations Tourism Plan. Tom is a nationally recognised expert in resort and hotel accommodation and liquor and gaming. He acts in the development and acquisition of major hotels and resorts both in Australia, PNG and the South Pacific. Tom is also head of the firm’s national aviation and airport practice.

Tom has been recommended in the Transport and Real Estate listings in Asia Pacific Legal 500 Australia most years since 2012, recognised as a Leading Lawyer in Asia Pacific Legal 500 Australia in Transport / Aviation (2012-2015, 2017-18) and included as a Ranked Lawyer in the 11th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Australia for Real Property Law (2019-20).

He was the winner of the Client Choice Awards - International 2013 - Leisure & Tourism category for Australia.