Chris Thomas has been the national chair of the Tourism and Parks Agencies Forum (TAPAF) since 2016. In his day job, Chris is the Manager of Tourism and Visitor Services for the National Parks and Wildlife Service in South Australia.
How Australia’s Tourism and Parks Agencies are Supporting Tourism Recovery
Australia’s nature-based tourism industry has been devastated by a combination of drought, bushfires, floods and now COVID-19. Every tourism business has been impacted and Australia’s nature-based tourism offering may never be the same again.
Historically, the various states and territories across Australia have been highly competitive when it comes to nature-based tourism. However, in response to the latest crises, the states and territories have been working together to develop a more collaborative approach.
Leading the way is the Tourism and Parks Agencies’ Forum (TAPAF), which is a network of senior tourism and parks managers from across Australia, created to explore the significant range of environmental, social and economic benefits of nature-based tourism.
Members of TAPAF meet quarterly to share learnings and support each other in progressing best practice management and advocacy of Australia’s important parks and nature-based tourism sectors.
Recently, TAPAF has been focussed on supporting tourism recovery. This presentation/workshop will outline some of this work, including:
- Quantifying COVID-19 impacts on parks and tourism across Australia
- Managing parks in a post-COVID-19 era
- Managing highly visited sites/ ‘over tourism’ post-COVID-19
- Value of nature / parks at this time and how to make the most of community sentiment
- Tourism recovery – needs and opportunities within the Australian domestic market
- Maximising digital tools in park management
- Future COVID-19 restrictions and closures – making future responses efficient and effective