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Enhancing nature-tourism experiences



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Minister for Resources and Energy, Minister for Tourism

Enhancing Nature-Tourism Experiences 20 April 2012

From the Great Barrier Reef to the Blue Mountains, from Kangaroo Island to the Red Centre, the Australian Government is calling for ideas to develop nature-based tourism in and around Australia’s National Landscapes.

Australia’s National Landscapes are a collection of 16 destinations of outstanding beauty and cultural significance. The program is based on a partnership between tourism and conservation, and promotes icons such as the Kimberly, Australia’s Timeless North, Kangaroo Island, Ningaloo-Shark Bay, the Red Centre and the Great Ocean Road.

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP, announced today at the Tourism and Transport Forum Outlook Conference in Sydney, that applications are now open for the delivery of a $1 million Australia’s National Landscapes Project.

“The Australia’s National Landscapes Project will help the Australian tourism industry better develop engaging nature-based tourism experiences to increase visitation to some of Australia’s most distinct and rich environments,” said Minister Ferguson.

“We know that increasingly travellers want to ‘experience’ a landscape, and enjoy a unique, personal adventure during their nature-based holiday.

“This project will help Australia’s National Landscapes provide visitors with the unique nature based experiences that they crave—this might be heli-hiking, cycling trails or “voluntourism” opportunities.”

The $1 million Australian National Landscapes Project will also support the tourism industry with addressing the nuts and bolts of strategic planning, regional tourism development and product development.

"We want to help operators in and around Australia’s National Landscapes to come together and better coordinate development opportunities. In this way, we help to enhance the value of tourism to regional economies,” said Minister Ferguson.

Minister Ferguson said there was still enormous untapped tourism potential in Australia’s extraordinary natural landscapes.

“Australian travellers in particular regularly head overseas to experience nature, when we have so much to offer here with some of the best managed protected areas in the world,” said Minister Ferguson.

“While Australia’s natural beauty is well known, there is a clear need to expand the experiences on offer to visitors to our natural icons.”

Research conducted by Tourism Australia shows that nature is the most motivating experience for international visitors travelling to Australia. Nature continues to be a key theme of Tourism Australia’s marketing activities.

"With this Strategic Tourism Investment Grant we’re looking to develop nature-based tourism, with the aim of attracting more Australian and international travellers,” said Minister Ferguson.

“According to research by Tourism Research Australia, experience seekers account for 49 per cent of visitors to Australia and spend on average $5,100 per trip, which is more than international visitors to Australia generally. We want to see Experience Seekers visiting the Wet Tropics not zip-lining through the jungles of Thailand.”

Applications for grants close 5pm Thursday 30 May 2012. For more information and application details see http://www.ret.gov.au/tourism/business/tq/tgrants/stig/Pages/default.aspx.

Media Contact:

Cathryn Tilmouth - 0401 222 941

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