Queensland's Draft Ecotourism Plan Now Open for Public Comment

Queensland's Draft Ecotourism Plan Now Open for Public Comment

Queensland Ecotourism

Have Your Say on Queensland’s Draft Ecotourism Plan

The draft of the Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013-2020 (PDF, 1.9MB)* has been released for public input, as part of an overall mission to make Queensland, Australia a world leader in ecotourism by 2020. The draft plan was the outcome of the DestinationQ workshop that was held last year in Cairns and brought together government and representatives from the tourism industry to discuss the future of tourism in Queensland.

 

Tourism Minister Jann Stuckey said a new ecotourism plan for Queensland was long overdue. “Queensland was a pioneer for ecotourism and experienced great success through the nineties and early 2000s but that growth has stalled in recent years,” Ms Stuckey said. In addition to a 20 year strategy for Queensland tourism, the draft plan highlights initiatives to reduce red tape, facilitate new investment, improve tourism skills, and increase support for the development of new products.

 

As the home to Fraser Island, Daintree Rainforest and Cape Tribulation, the Whitsunday Islands, and the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland has no shortage of natural attractions. "We are blessed with more than 1,300 national parks, marine parks and other reserves conserving a diverse array of species and ecosystems, our rich Indigenous cultural heritage and five World Heritage listed areas — more than any other state or territory," said National Parks Minister Steve Dickson.

 

Daniel Gschwind, CEO of the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC), said the organisation has long recognized the State's unique natural environment as critical to making Queensland the number one destination of choice for both domestic and international visitors. Mr. Gschwind also said the Plan "addresses a number of critical issues that have long been of concern to industry including providing commercially viable investment arrangements and a strong focus on best practice operations to deliver quality ecotourism experiences for visitors."

 

The draft has already received some pushback from the National Parks Association of Queensland, who oppose the proposed idea of building accommodations within national parks and reserves. Coordinator Paul Donatiu suggests that the surrounding communities on the boundaries of parks would be more sensible for lodging, to provide benefits to these communities and protect the wildlife within parks.

 

The draft plan is open for viewing and comment until Friday, May 31, 2013 at www.nprsr.qld.gov.au. Comments and any enquiries can be emailed to ecotourismplan[at]nprsr.qld.gov.au.

 

* Requires Adobe Reader

Photo Credits :

Queensland Government

Department of National Parks,

Recreation, Sport and Racing

 

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