Positioning Queensland as a world-leader in ecotourism
EarthCheck a global leader in sustainable tourism, has welcomed the announcement that the Minister for National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing will be seeking the support of the Parliament to make changes to the Nature Conservation Act, and launching of the Draft Queensland Ecotourism Plan (2013-2020), placing Queensland at the forefront of global ecotourism.
EarthCheck CEO, Stewart Moore said today’s announcement reignites the conversation that Queensland needs to have.
“This initiative will help to move Queensland forward in ecotourism. Most of the states and territories have been proactively seeking appropriate investment in National Parks for some years, some for over a decade. Queensland now has the opportunity to lead the way by ensuring that any tourism investment in National Parks is using international best practice and can deliver measurable results when it comes to conservation and environmental management,” said Mr Moore.
Chair of the EarthCheck Research Institute and Professor of Tourism/Director of Research Strategy and Development at Lincoln University, Professor David Simmons noted that “to achieve the Draft Queensland Ecotourism Plan (2013-2020) vision of being a world leader of ecotourism, standards needs to be transparent and offer independent checks and balances”.
New Zealand, a leader in this area, for some time now has demonstrated how this can be achieved.
“If Queensland is to become the number one ecotourism destination in Australia it needs to demand world’s best practice. Our global experience tells us that this means being designed according to leading standards for ecologically sustainable development, having independent third party verification of the design and siting, and ensuring an annual third party audit of the operation to ensure it is meeting or exceeding expectations,” said Prof Simmons.
“At EarthCheck we acknowledge that to get it right, the world’s highest standards for design and operation will need to be applied. As the new green economy takes shape it provides excellent opportunities for leading destinations to enhance and embrace sustainable tourism,” said Stewart Moore.
The EarthCheck Research Institute (ERI) was established as a legacy of the Cooperative Research Centre for Sustainable Tourism, the world’s largest dedicated research centre for sustainable tourism. The ERI’s focus is on scientific research, education and capacity building to solve real-world challenges. Practical industry links are made through the EarthCheck benchmarking and certification program which has a suite of solutions which operate across design and operation of sustainable tourism businesses and communities in over 70 countries.
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