THE THREAT

Is this really about ‘experiencing wilderness’ or simply tourism organisations and land managers trying to cash in on the Ecotourism boom?

In recent years, there has been explosive growth in ecotourism, with large numbers of consumers seeking novel and pampered eco-experiences in remote wilderness locations. Ecotourism demand is predicted to grow at around 15% per year and as demand grows, travel companies are encouraging consumers to go more remote to gain the “ultimate” luxury experience.

Eco tour operators need to address the critical issues of: protecting the natural environment; protecting tourists from potential risks; and protecting long-term market share through better understanding adventure customers’ needs and wants. If ecotourism operators address these issues now, it will help to provide a long-term and sustainable future for this sector of the tourism industry.

WHO’S IN CHARGE?

Government land managers are custodians of our State Forests, State Parks and National Parks, or are they?

The Tourism Industry appears to be assuming control over our wilderness, all in the name of Luxury Ecotourism and the money grab this form of tourism offers. This take-over is fueling unnecessary development in sensitive areas, exposing inadequate infrastructure, placing inexperienced visitors at risk, creating a rental crisis and changing the nature of small communities. Our national parks are bombarded with development proposals that threaten to destroy what is so wonderful about them.

Our wilderness areas are beautiful, natural and often isolated which allow visitors to switch off from the world, and that’s what attracts people. If you want luxury accommodation then stay in the many well appointed accommodation outlets scattered around our wonderful country and leave the wilderness to those who want to escape from all of that.

Land managers should take responsibility and dump these unnecessary developments as expensive and damaging waste of public resources. We should be playing to our advantage, and promote Australia as somewhere you can travel through, staying at wonderful wineries, B&Bs and charming hotels, and experience any of the many hundreds of great walks our natural areas offer.

That would be better for tourism, better for the health of Australians, and better for our remarkable but very vulnerable national wilderness.

WHERE TO NEXT?

There are a number of active campaigns you can support around Australia. It only takes one person to make a difference, you.

Get Involved
“We are a plague on the Earth. It’s coming home to roost over the next 50 years or so. It’s not just climate change; it’s sheer space, places to grow food for this enormous horde. Either we limit our population growth or the natural world will do it for us, and the natural world is doing it for us right now.”

David Attenborough

“The Earth will not continue to offer its harvest, except with faithful stewardship. We cannot say we love the land and then take steps to destroy it for use by future generations.”

John Paul II

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

Margaret Mead

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference and you have to decide what kind of a difference you want to make.”

Jane Goodall

“The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard.”

Gaylord Nelson
“A nation that destroys its soils destroys itself. Forests are the lungs of our land, purifying the air and giving fresh strength to our people.”
Franklin D. Roosevelt

“We have forgotten how to be good guests, how to walk lightly on the earth as its other creatures do.”

Barbara Ward