John Barret

Managing Director, KApiti Island Nature Tours 

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John Barret

Abstract

Building an Eco-tourism business on Indigenous Principles

Building an eco-tourism business adjacent to an internationally significant nature reserve-on traditionally owned Maori land, has been achieved in spite of vigorous opposition from some quarters-but with support from the Maori community, and the adoption of traditional Maori values -or Kaupapa. These principles have been woven into every aspect of the business’s operations, and provide a unique point of difference to the operation. These value/kaupapa have in some instances, replaced and taken the default position for some basic business processes. The kaupapa address issues such as environmental management(kaitiakitanga)Whanaungatanga (family)Kotahitanga(one-ness of purpose or unity of approach)Rangatiratanga (leadership)Manaakitanga (hospitality- the mana of the people) This kaupapa based approach contributed to the Company being awarded the “MAORI TOURISM BUSINESS” award at the 2017 NZ Tourism Awards.

Biography

In 1999 John Barrett and sister Amo, formed Kapiti Island Nature Tours, on their traditionally owned land on the NZ national conservation Icon-Kapiti Island.John is currently Managing Director, and fully involved in the day to day operations, along with other members of his immediate family and wider tribal group. John has been involved in the tourism industry for 35 years- as an operator- and various industry positions including terms on the Tourism NZ Board- Chair of NZ Maori Tourism, and other governance and advisory roles. John is also a founding Leadership Council Member for WINTA-World Indigenous Tourism Alliance.

Sadiksha Basnet

Program Officer, Kathmandu Environmental Education Project (KEEP)

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Sadiksha Basnet

Abstract

Analysis of Eco-tourism in Sauraha, Main Gateway to Chitwan National Park

Tourism is the largest industry in Nepal and is one of the largest sources of foreign exchange and revenues. Nature-based tourism is backbone of the nation. National parks and wildlife reserves are the most visited places representing nature-based tourism in Nepal.  Chitwan National park which is also the first national park of Nepal and a UNESCO world heritage site is the most visited national park of Nepal. In the fiscal year 2014-2015 there were total numbers of 178,220 visitors visiting the national park. This is the highest number of tourists visiting national park so far in Nepal. The park is home for more than 700 species of wildlife which includes 43 species of mammals, 543 species of birds and 143 species of fish and amphibians.  Sauraha is a little touristic town in the periphery of “Chitwan National Park”. It is the most popular gateway to enter the national park. The town in also home for Nepal’s indigenous and ethnic groups such as, Tharu, Kumai, Darai and Bote. In fiscal year 2010/2011, 111,118 tourists out of 146,622 enter the national park through Sauraha. Hence, it can be understood that the impact of tourism is highest in Sauraha among other regions surrounding the national park. Currently, Sauraha is facing “mass-tourism” due to its diversity and popularity. Tourism has both negative and positive effects and Sauraha is no different. There is huge influx of population from the nearby areas in search of opportunities. This has led to various problems such as, overuse and declining of resources, sidelining of the aboriginals groups, modernisation and pollution. Slowly, the real essence of Sauraha is declining and the area is being covered with big resorts and hotels. Further, Sauraha promotes the nature and national park in tourism, but the aboriginal’s culture and tradition are not promoted as much.  Therefore, the objectives are as follows: • Analysis of positive and negative impacts of tourism in Sauraha. • Analysis of Existing Environmental, social, cultural and economical problems in Sauraha and its relationship to its growing tourism.

Biography

Born as the eldest child of my parents on 16 February 1991, in eastern city Biratnagar Nepal, my aunt named me Sadiksha Basnet. Most of my childhood passed without my father, as being a police officer, he was always out on transfers. Hence, I became a second parent to my two younger siblings and a friend to my mother.  I was fortunate enough to study in one of the best schools of the city, St. Joseph’s Higher Secondary School, where I completed my school and higher education. Schooling was almost perfect for me. I was the head girl, outspoken, very good at my studies and my friends and teachers loved me a lot. After higher education, it was time for us to move to a bigger city, hence Kathmandu was our next destination. Initial years were financially as well as emotionally stressful for us. Nevertheless, we came out well. At this time, my father was with us as he was retired from the job.  I was able to crack my name in Kathmandu University and chose to study Environmental Science against the wish of my parents, which was of course MBBS. I loved my subject and excelled at my studies after few initial struggles.  For my masters, I was selected by Technical University Munich, Germany. Those were hard days, as I was there with the burden of loan. Managing my studies and working to pay off the loan was tough. However, I learnt a lot about life and its realities.  I chose to come back to Nepal and work here, again against my parents wish. But, I am determined to prove my decisions right. Currently, I am working in an NGO and looking out for every good opportunities life plates me.

Alana Binns

Site Manager, Seal Bay Conservation Park

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Alana Binns

Biography

Alana Binns is co presenting with Melanie Stonnill

Alana commenced working at Seal Bay in 2012 as Site Manager. Having grown up in South Australia by the beach, she developed a passion for protecting the environment that led her to study Environmental Management at Adelaide University, whilst continuing a career in retail management roles.

Julie Bishop

Director, Visitor Experience Branch, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service

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Julie Bishop

Abstract

Marketing nature and culture to young adults

Research undertaken in 2014 revealed that young adults (18-34) were significantly underrepresented in visitation to NSW national parks. Research from around the world supports this trend and suggests a generational disconnect with nature. Urbanisation, consumerism and an increasingly digital and connected world support continuation of this trend. Renowned broadcaster and naturalist Sir David Attenborough once famously said: “no one will protect what they don’t care about, and no one will care about what they have never experienced.” Therein lies the challenge NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS) set out to tackle with the Young Adults Campaign. The campaign is a fully integrated, multi-year marketing campaign that connects powerfully with young adults; shifting perception and behaviour to ensure nature and nature-based activities become highly valid, desirable and accessible options for the weekend – and beyond. Ultimately, the campaign aims to promote and encourage adoption of conservation values amongst young adults.

Biography

Julie Bishop has over 20 years’ marketing, communications and destination development experience in the visitor economy and related sectors in Australia, New Zealand and the United Arab Emirates. With a personal and professional passion for nature-based and cultural tourism, stints with three Australian state tourism organisations (Tourism Victoria (now Visit Victoria), Tourism Northern Territory and Destination NSW) and the opportunity to work on international stage as Marketing Director with the Abu Dhabi Tourism Authority, Julie brings extensive visitor economy experience to her ‘newish’ role as Director Visitor Experience with the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service.

Nicholas Bishop

Nature Theatre Manager, Zoos South Australia

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Nicholas Bishop

Abstract

Storyvolution - Transforming as Nature Storytellers

Stories are always about evolution. After all, evolution is about survival through learning, changing, adapting and improving; so are stories. Language evolved so that we could exchange tales of trial and error, share success stories and build communities. Humanimals are the only species on earth to use words in spoken and written language. As a result, we enjoy both a great privilege and a big responsibility, as we can use the model of evolution to help us use our words well and be more effective storytellers. 

When we share our passion in our work with nature, we are planting the seed or embryo of an idea, thought or feeling. When eyes and ears are already open with awe, intrigue or amazement, the climate and conditions are ‘just right’ for your message to evolve in the new territory of our audience. There are challenges to the survival of your story after it reaches the listener – will it be amongst the fittest survivors in the evolution of the human heart toward behaviour change? Will it not just survive but thrive? 

Thankfully, the answer to that question is yes. The fitness of our stories is up to us. The genes of your story rely on your genius as an evolving story teller– to learn, transform, adapt and improve. At Zoos South Australia, our Storyvolution adventure continues to guide change and growth in community engagement with our purpose of connecting people with nature. Join me to find out how.

Felicity Bollen

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Felicity Bollen

Biography

Felicity Bollen is co presenting with Janet Mackay

Felicity is a proud of her Cook Islands Maori / New Zealand heritage inheriting fiery bloodlines from both her Celtic and Atiuan ancestors! Felicity is an experienced Leader and Manager, having chosen to apply her professional, community and cultural skills and experience to a range of government, private sector and NGO senior roles throughout New Zealand and the Pacific Islands. She is currently leading the Niue Tourism Office and her former Pacific roles include the Business Manager of the Niue Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director of the Pacific Islands Associations of NGOs in Fiji, and Manager of the Small Business Centre in the Cook Islands. In New Zealand she has led regional and national teams at the Ministry of Social Development, Department of Labour and the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, in addition she is currently engaged by Philanthropic support agency, the Centre for Social Impact as their Business Development Manager.

Felicity is intent on contributing effectively through the utilisation of her skills and experience to the cultural, social and economic development of our people in Aotearoa New Zealand and the Pacific.

Russell Boswell

Manager, Savannah Guides

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Abstract

Rewarding Outstanding Tour Guides

Tour Guides and Protected Area Rangers add meaning and value to many of Australia’s greatest nature experiences. Their passion and professionalism are vital to Australia’s tourism offering. The EcoGuide program provides a framework to acknowledge these guides with a tourism industry based credential and rewards them with ongoing professional development opportunities. 

EcoGuide is operated by Savannah Guides in Australia and provides certified guides with access to a wide range of benefits including online resources, network linkages, training workshops and field schools, accredited training, international guide training placements and employment opportunities.  EcoGuide standards are linked to other nature based guiding certification systems providing a national standards framework. This system can be used to communicate natural and cultural values in the contexts of World Heritage and Geoparks to visitors and other stakeholders including media and the wider tourism industry.

This presentation will outline the framework of Australia’s nature based tour guide systems and showcase a range of case studies of EcoGuides in action.

Biography

Russell Boswell is Manager of Savannah Guides and a regional tourism development and marketing professional. He has delivered various regional ecotourism initiatives in Australia, The Pacific and China, worked with leading tour operators to create soft adventure and interpretive experiences, and run the Ecotourism Program at TNQ TAFE College. Russell is also the Manager of Savannah Way Limited, promoting the drive route from Cairns to Broome, and has a particular interest in Indigenous tourism.

Alan Briggs

PhD Candidate, Murdoch University

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Alan

Abstract

Driving rural recovery with Geotourism in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia

Geotourism is a niche market growing strongly on a global basis. Australia has a strong Nature-based tourism industry and visiting tourists are attracted by the earthy nature of this vast continent with places nationally such as Uluru, Great Barrier Reef; and in Western Australia, iconic attractions such as Purnululu National Park, Ningaloo Reef, Shark Bay and the Pinnacles high on their visitation lists. Lesser known regions such as the Wheatbelt of Western Australia with its isolated granite monadnocks situated on the Yilgarn Cration, one of the world’s oldest land platforms hold special geotourism values. A recent study of the area and its potential for geotourism has been completed. This paper will report on the outcomes of a case study based on Wheatbelt stakeholder perceptions of geotourism, geoparks and the sharing local geotourism product with tourists; and the potential for transforming communities from diminishing to flourishing communities based on geotourism development.

Biography

After 40 years in Western Australian government in forest and land conservation and management; recreation and tourism, Ministerial office for Forests and the National Trust, Alan retired from the government way of life. After achieving his MBA, Alan lecture in tourism at Edith Cowan University from 1997, becoming an Adjunct Lecture in 2009.

Alan established Natural Heritage and Culture (NHC) taking on consultancy tasks. A long term committee member of Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco-Tourism (FACET) he has strong interests in Eco-tourism, Geo-tourism and Geoparks and Indigenous engagement in land management, tourism and geoparks.

In 2011 Alan lectured full time in tourism on campus at Murdoch and subsequently, until mid-2016, lectured part time in Sustainable Tourism. Alan commenced a PhD in March 2012 at Murdoch University and is now a full time student. The PhD research focuses on stakeholder perceptions of establishing a Geopark in the Wheatbelt of Western Australia.

Jacob Cassady

Managing Director, Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation

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Abstract

Restoration of a wetland and Indigenous tourism

SEWPAC funded a 5 year Bio diversity Project based on the existing platform of the grounding work and aspirations of the traditional owners the Nywaigi people and their country called Mungalla Station a working cattle property outside Ingham and adjacent to a world heritage listed Great Barrier Reef Marine Park lagoon. The results of the project were outstanding. I will talk about how our dreams and land management aspirations became a reality. Great partnerships have been key to the sucesses and the relationships developed and the shared visions with groups and organisations such as CSIRO, Terrain, Greening Australia and Conservation Volunteers Australia have been fruitful. for further information please feel free to visit our website at www.mungallaaboriginaltours.com.au

Biography

Born in Ingham North Queensland Jacob is Married with 5 boys and 1 girl. Jacob has a Adv. Dip in Community Management, Macquarie University, Sydney and a BA in Community Management and Adult Education, University of Technology, Sydney. With a Diploma in Business Jacob also has Certified training in Conservation and Land Management and Cert 4 in Governance. He Is also qualified TAE Assessor Trainer. Jacob is currently a managing director for the Mungalla Aboriginal Business Corporation which operates his traditional owner groups Historic Mungalla Station property near Ingham. A strong advocate for Conservation Land Management Practices and indigenous employment and enterprise Jacob is passionate about helping change the way the younger Aboriginal people think about business opportunities and employment. Jacob has been on the MABC board since inception in 2005 when the Nywaigi people got the station handed back to the Traditional Owners. He has been instrumental in assisting the aspirations of his people in developing four economic pillars for the property including cattle, Tourism, Land Management and Training and Education. He has a vision to see the property set up as a Centre of Excellence for indigenous training in the things that Nywaigi people do well to empower other ATSI people with skills transferable back to their communities. The corporation has won numerous Regional, State and National tourism awards. Won the Premiers reconciliation awards and last year won the Queensland Premiers Environmental Award and was a finalist for the Prestigious National Banksia Environmental Awards for corporations “Restoration of a Wetland” project on the property.

With economic aspirations for his family Jacob is currently embarking on a IFP to provide economic and training opportunities for his people as well as caring for country opportunities with DAF and GBRMPA. 

Carl Charter

Photographer

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Biography

Carl Charter is co presenting with Jessica Wilson

Carl Charter is a well-known Adelaide photographer and marine enthusiast. His photos, both above and below water, are highly regarded around the world. Carl is self-employed and works for Conservation Council SA (Reef Watch) and as Executive Officer for Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries, which he co-founded in 2015.

Dean Ah Chee

Senior Ranger, Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation

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Dean

Biography

Dean Ah Chee is co-presenting with Charles Davidson

Dean Ah Chee: Wati, Traditional Man, Senior Ranger for Irrwanyere Aboriginal Corporation, (IAC), Ranger for the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, of South Australia. Dean is a Yankunytjatjara Pitjantjatjara man, Lower Southern Arrentre man, and Wankanguru man. He works in Witjira National Park, SA, where he is a Traditional Owner and Native Title Claimant, and custodian of the hot springs stories for Dalhousie Springs.

Lizzie Corke

Chief Executive, Conservation Ecology Centre

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Lizzie Cork 1

Abstract

Putting the Potoroo Back in the Picture - ecotourism for conservation and community

From all around the world, people come to the Great Ocean Road to see the stunning landscapes and the exquisite wildlife. However, in Australia’s most highly visited nature based destination, visitors currently spend little time or money. This situation affects both the economy and the visitor experience as well as impacting on natural assets.

The Conservation Ecology Centre, a non-profit conservation organisation, is taking an innovative, business based approach to address this issue through the development of a new ecotourism social enterprise, ‘Wildlife Wonders’. Built on a commitment to the local community, the ecosystems and the wildlife of the region, as well as the visitors who come to share the Great Ocean Road, ‘Wildlife Wonders’ has been embraced at all levels.

The ecotourism experience is being designed by the Art Director of ‘The Hobbit’, Greens Master of ‘The Lord of the Rings’ and designer of the highly successful NZ tourism attraction, Hobbiton. In its creation and operation ‘Wildlife Wonders’ represents an inspiring approach to economic development and conservation.

Biography

Lizzie Corke is CEO of the Conservation Ecology Centre, an organisation working to develop and deliver solutions to the most urgent conservation challenges in Victoria’s Great Ocean Road. Ecotourism plays a critical role in the organisations funding and engagement programs - the Centre established the Great Ocean Ecolodge in 2004 (Winner Victorian Tourism Awards for best new development, recognised by National Geographic Traveller as one of the 25 best ecolodges in the world) and is currently developing a new ecotourism venture which provides outstanding opportunities for conservation and economic development of the region. Lizzie is the recipient of the 2005 Prime Ministers Award for Environmentalist of the Year.

Charles Davidson

CEO & Founder, Peninsula Hot Springs

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Abstract

Bathe the World - Creating global connections through natural hot springs

The inaugural Bathe the World event aims to bring together representatives of every nation on earth to bathe at Dalhousie springs, home to the lower Southern Arentre people and close to the geographical center of Australia in June 22-25, 2020. The event aims to create international understanding and awareness of geothermal destinations worldwide, and their connection to country, culture, and community. For centuries hot springs have been embraced as ecotourism, leisure, health and wellbeing attractions. Hot springs represent one of the largest segments of the combined domestic and international tourism markets in countries including Japan, China, New Zealand, Hungary and the Czech Republic. South Australia’s Dalhousie Hot Springs, in the middle of the Australian continent is the selected location to stage Bathe the World™, being the world’s largest natural thermal springs by flow rate at 17,000 litres per second. Thermal waters have been flowing in this location for over a million years.

This presentation aims to launch and bring awareness to the Bathe the World™ event to the global ecotourism industry. The initial 2020 event aims to further the connection to self, environment and culture through the natural warmth of hot springs.

Biography

Charles Davidson is CEO, founder and director of Peninsula Hot Springs (AUS), Director of Maruia Hot Springs (NZ), Chairman of the Victorian Tourism Industry Council and foundation member of the Global Thermal Think Tank (G3T). Peninsula Hot Springs is an Ecotourism Australia member and eight times winner of the Victorian Tourism awards and three time winner of the World Luxury Spa Awards category of Global Best Mineral Spring Spa. PHS attracts over 450,000 people each year and employs 280 people on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula, Australia.

Chris Day

Director, Central Australian Parks

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Biography

Chris Day is co presenting with Stuart Ord

Chris began his career with the Parks and Wildlife Commission in 1981 as a T1 Ranger. Since then, Chris has worked at a number of parks throughout the Central Australian region, including Alice Springs Telegraph Station Historical Reserve, Finke Gorge National Park, Watarrka National Park before becoming the Senior District Ranger and Chief District Ranger for Central, East and Barkly Parks and West District Parks. In addition to his extensive experience in protected areas management, Chris also has considerable expertise in joint management, training and development of staff, visitor management, interpretation, and community engagement. Chris thrives in the diversity of work provided by the Commission and believes that he has the best office in the world. Chris has been the Director of Central Australian Parks since 2012.

Tracey Diddams

Head Writer, Trace Writing

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Tracey

Abstract

Karri-djarrkdurrkmirri (Working Together) Best Practice supporting Indigenous tourism in protected areas

As the previous Tourism & Visitor Services Manager for Kakadu, in 2016 Tracey Diddams undertook a review of the topic Indigenous tourism broadly and will present an investigation into best practice supporting Indigenous tourism in protected areas. Working together with the Bininj/Mungguy Traditional Owners, Tracey was motivated to understand how to best implement the Park’s tourism vision and policies while supporting the aspirations of Bininj/Mungguy people. A qualitative content analysis of publicly available documents authored by protected area managers in Australia, New Zealand and Canada were reviewed identifying emerging themes such as the diverse definitions of Indigenous tourism, levels of involvement from Indigenous people in tourism planning and the planning approaches used, barriers, opportunities and methods of implementation (action plans/strategies). Recommendations from this research have been shared with the Kakadu Board of Management and Parks Australia staff for future tourism planning and Tracey is keen to share these findings with other protected area managers, Indigenous peoples and the broader tourism industry.

Biography

Tracey Diddams has been involved in the tourism industry in various parts of regional Australia for the past 18 years. Tracey has worked both within the tourism private sector as a Regional Business Manager as well as the Tourism and Visitor Services Manager for the Commonwealth and Jointly Managed Kakadu National Park. Tracey left her role in Kakadu in early 2017 following her park ranger husband to Keep River National Park in the NT, located on the door-step of the Kimberley. She has commenced her own writing consultancy Trace Writing assisting government, Indigenous businesses and protected areas with writing needs.

Matthew Flynn

Design Director, VIDA Planners & Landscape Architects

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Matthew

Abstract

A New Tourism Offering for Seychelles

In a country where Tourism is the most important non-government sector of the economy, amongst a competitive global tourism market, VIDA has been appointed the lead consultant for the visioning and planning of a low impact eco-tourism project in Seychelles.

The Indian Ocean island nation is renowned for its world class beaches, yet the proposed Grand Bois Community doesn’t seek to compete with the extensive number of ocean focused hotels and resorts. The proposed mountainside eco-community and lodging will instead broaden the tourism offering by developing a nature based experience that will hopefully transform the perceptions of this small island nation.

But the site is large and complicated and many areas inaccessible due to the steep terrain and large granite boulders. The project is of national interest as it hosts extensive areas of endemic threatened species and contributes to the water supply of the largest communities on Mahe, the main island of Seychelles.

Invited to the project after several reputable companies had failed, VIDA cautiously began working on the project guiding the team through our planning methodology which is driven by first gaining a deep understanding of site and context. VIDA has worked with the team to establish realistic expectations, local flora and fauna and environmental permitting specialists to understand the intricacies of the site and context. Through several revisions VIDA has developed a master plan for a low impact residential and eco-tourism project that will potentially play a regenerative role in the local environment, community and economy.

Biography

Experience has taught Matthew that nothing produces results like the bringing together of great individuals, in-depth analysis, good listening, outstanding design and hard work. Matthew draws on 17 years of experience spanning four continents and a dozen countries. His work focuses on creating sustainable land-use solutions that balance creativity, sustainability and profitability for international resorts, nature-based communities, hotels, rural estates, private residences and ecolodges.. These are lofty ideals for a boy from rural Australia - no argument. But, luckily, Matthew has the skills to back it up. He has extensive experience in the design, management and implementation of international projects and the proven ability to deliver world-class results - often in isolated regions on challenging sites. Prior to co-founding VIDA, Matthew was partner at 40NORTH and Managing Director of their expansion into Central America, following five years with EDSA in Beijing, China and Fort Lauderdale, USA.

Rubangi Al Hasan

Researcher, Balai Litbang Teknologi Hasil Hutan Bukan Kayu

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Hasan

Abstract

Protecting Forest, Empowering Community: Community Self Managed-Ecotourism as The Way to Reduce Poverty

Beside as ecosystem services, forest becomes a people livelihood. To maintain both functions, a model for forest use is required without damaging the ecosystem. Forest management for ecotourism has been done by attracting large investors to manage. This is seen as an effective strategy in gaining local revenue and for the management of tourist destinations themselves. However, such a model of management often marginalizes the community to play a role and benefit its livelihood. Reflecting from such experiences, the community around the forest in Kerta Gangga, Lombok develops ecotourism by self management model. This study aims to obtain information about the level of ability of community on doing self-managed ecotourism. The results showed that the community has a good capacity in managing tourist destinations. The indicators are (1) the participation of the lower level community is actively involved in tourism acitivites and management, (2) the tourist destinations are well maintained, (3) the tourism promotion run independently and self-managed by utilizing social media. Nevertheless, there are some limitations: (1) lack of capital to increase the volume and variant of tourism business, (2) service management does not have a standard, so it is professional. Therefore, it is required capital assistance from banking institutions. In addition, training is needed for community to be able to manage professionally.

Biography

After joining at Research and Development Office of Non Timber Forest Product (under the Ministry of Environment and Forestry) as a researcher, Hasan concern to studies ecotourism in and around the forest. He also conducted a research on social forestry and community livelihood. Besides a researcher, he was actively involved in organizing commmunity around the forest by facilitating and giving technical assistance to improve their livelihood and to protect the forest in other side.

James Clark-Kennedy

PhD Student, School of Health & Biomedical Sciences, RMIT University

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James Clark

Abstract

Hot springs as a global wellness tourism/ecotourism nexus

Following on from February 2017 work published in the Asia Pacific Journal of Tourism Research, the recently conducted Global Hot Springs Survey is an RMIT University Australia investigation into geothermal mineral springs visitation. Selected initial findings of the global survey will be revealed, along with examination of the APJTR article results from the study carried out in partnership with Peninsula Hot Springs on Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. The presentation explores the $50 billion worldwide hot springs industry as a major nexus between wellness tourism and ecotourism, with specifics pertinent to the conference theme, such as the influence of hot springs attractions on regional communities in seasonal zones.

Biography

James Clark-Kennedy is a PhD student at RMIT University’s School of Health and Biomedical Sciences, further investigating balneotherapy (hot springs therapy). For 13 years he has also been immersed in tourism operations as a communications consultant to operators like Ecotourism Australia member, Peninsula Hot Springs. Prior to this James was a journalist for 16 years, mostly on the Mornington Peninsula and regularly engaged in tourism issues and growth, the region’s largest industry.

Innes Larkin

Owner, Mt Barney Lodge

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Innes LArkin

Abstract

Are Ecotourism businesses the social change leaders fora better world?

Ecotourism, by definition, travels lightly, has a low footprint and sits comfortably within the natural and social surrounds of its local environment. But in a world of increasing chaos with climate change, and the early indicators of a 6th Mass Extinction, is that enough? Is it time for Ecotourism operators to step up and contribute, and what does that look like? Innes Larkin will outline how Mt Barney Lodge is utilising quadruple bottom line practices to create social change one issue at a time.  Firstly within their local region where Mt Barney Lodge was the driving force behind a campaign stop coal and CSG in 2010-2012 within the Scenic Rim. A campaign which resulted in both Innes and Tracey getting arrested for their beliefs yet has resulted in the Scenic Rim Region being now devoid of all coal exploration licences and the CSG companies ceasing all exploration.  And secondly with Mt Barney Lodge now joining the campaign to Stop Adani, a proposal which they believe risks harming our planet and industry too much for an ecotourism business not to get involved. What are the social change issues you believe in and how can your business create the world you want to live in?

Biography

Innes Larkin has been active in the outdoors from an early age and remembers climbing Mt Barney for the first time at age 11. Innes has bushwalked and climbed in Australasia, Europe, UK, and Nepal including expeditions to Mera Peak and Ama Dablam. In 2016 Innes was jointly awarded the Australian Search and Rescue award for his services in helping rescue 700 people.

A teacher with a Masters in Outdoor Education, Innes has taught in London, and QLD. In 2006 Innes and Tracey Larkin purchased Mt Barney Lodge and have grown the business 900% since then. Mt Barney Lodge has been ecotourism accredited since 1996 and now holds Advanced Ecotourism Accreditation.

A current member of the advisory committee for the Gondwanan Rainforests of Australia World Heritage property, and a board member of Ecotourism Australia, Innes is passionate about sustainable tourism and the lasting legacies it can bring to a region.

Ian D Lewis

Scientific Assessment Officer, Science Coordination Team, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources, Government of South Australia

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Ian D Lewis

Abstract

Developing Geotrails for a Large Continent

Worldwide trends in Nature Tourism have greatly enhanced a desire by the public to visit natural sites and value them through World Heritage areas, UNESO Geoparks, National Parks and Ecoparks etc. While these are readily accessible in closely-populated lands such as Europe, the United States and China, those of large area with more sparsely-distributed populations - Canada, South America, Africa and Australia - have the challenge of distance between important natural sites for the visitor.

One emerging trend is using the linking theme of Geotrails. For example, a series of many local and province-scale Geotrails link up across Canada to cover the full width of the North American continent.

‘Geotrails’ can be short. However, across large distances of the Australian continent where extended travelling is required, Geotrails can relate landscape themes such as geology, marine environments, local history, culture and wildlife into a multi-faceted framework. . ‘Geo’ means ‘world’, not just ‘rocks’! One outstanding South Australian example could incorporate the attractions of the Heysen and Bonython Trails extending 1,000 kilometres from Kangaroo Island to Arkaroola and Witchelina, utilising linking themes of a range-length ‘Songline’ and the important association with Sir Douglas Mawson and his Australian-Antarctic geological discoveries.

Rather than promoting them only as trails for walkers and hikers, these great trails can be greatly enhanced by emphasising driver access to multiple points along the trails, utilising apps and promoting packaged flights to and over these marvellous locations in a travel style which will appeal to them and be very marketable.

Biography

Ian D Lewis has written several books on the limestone, caves, volcanoes, shipwrecks and coastline from the Great Ocean Road to Mount Gambier where he grew up. He works as a hydrogeologist for the South Australia Department for Environment and is completing his PhD on the Geology of the World Heritage Naracoorte Fossil Caves. Ian is Honorary Director of the Kanawinka Volcanic Geotrail which links visitation of the volcanoes across Western Victoria.

Judi Lowe

PhD Candidate, Southern Cross University

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Judi Lowe

Abstract

Sustainable dive tourism: What is it and how you do it?

Ocean nations promote dive tourism, using coral reefs to generate foreign exchange earnings. Sadly, coral reefs around the equator are under attack from destructive fishing and overfishing. Dive tourism is often cited for its capacity to conserve coral reefs and provide livelihoods for fishing communities. 

Judi’s research shows that pubic-private partnerships in dive tourism can reduce destructive fishing, conserve coral reefs and provide livelihoods for fishing communities. Judi builds a model of best practice dive tourism, describing what sustainable dive tourism is and how to do it. The model is readily adapted to other forms of marine tourism. 

Biography

Judi Lowe is a PhD Candidate, Lawyer and Certified Practicing Accountant. Her careers spans banking and finance, legislating for marine protection and scuba instructing on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Judi brings a fresh perspective to solving the wicked problems of destructive fishing and overfishing that destroy coral reefs around the equator. Judi’s research builds a model of best practice dive tourism for achieving sustainable dive tourism. 

Judi heads The Dive Tourist, a foundation, advising on how public-private partnerships in marine tourism can conserve coral reefs, reduce destructive fishing and increase food security for the 275 million coastal dwelling poor in less developed countries around the equator. Judi lives and researches in Indonesia.

Helen Macdonald

CEO, Naracoorte Lucindale Council

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Helen Macdonald

Biography

Helen MacDonald is co presenting with Dr. Liz Reed and Prof Sandy Steacy

Helen Macdonald is CEO of Naracoorte Lucindale Council. Prior to this, she worked nationally and internationally in the mining industry in roles related to community relations, social development and environmental responsibility. In her current role as Council CEO, Helen works closely with a number of industry groups, and serves on several boards including the Environment Protection Agency, South East National Resource Management Board and South East Local Government Association. She is currently working on several projects aimed at leveraging community opportunity for the town from having a World Heritage site (Naracoorte Caves) in the district. Helen is a member of the Naracoorte Caves Interagency Reference Group and recently facilitated the initiation of the Caves Connections Project Group, which has produced a concept statement outlining opportunities for the Naracoorte district to engage more closely with the caves and their palaeontological values.

Janet Mackay

Director, TRC Tourism

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Abstract

Niue's approach to Development through Sustainable Tourism

Niue can be described many ways. The world’s largest coral atoll. A micro-nation. Island nation with traditional village law and life. Home to just 1400 permanent residents, Niue offers a unique visitor experience. Heavily marine-focused, with the opportunity for visitors to immerse themselves in the clearest deep blue water, swim with humpback whales in Niue’s Whale Sanctuary, explore endless coastal caverns and limestone caves, go fishing with locals and experience traditional village life on one of the most remote places on earth. Niue is a living example of how Sustainable Development can be supported by tourism, if the appropriate support and development processes are in place. 

Niueans recognise that their pristine waters, unique geography and remote location are highly appealing to the adventurous traveller. Niue is actively seeking to develop as a sustainable tourism destination, with a program of projects that are designed to increase visitor satisfaction, while ensuring environmental protection, reef resilience and overall sustainability of the tourism industry. This presentation will give an overview of the work undertaken to date in Niue and a look at what’s to come. Experience and innovative product development, partnerships within the tourism industry and community, a Responsible Tourism Policy, Minimum Operating Standards and Certification Program are being rolled out. We are establishing a conservation partnerships to assist with protecting the environment, engaging the local community and visitors of Niue. These initiatives will be in place to support Niue as a premier Marine Ecotourism destination by the time the Marine Protected Area is launched. 

Biography

Janet has an extensive background in recreation and tourism planning, destination management, community consultation, policy development and organisational review. Her expertise also includes strategic planning, product development and business planning for nature based, indigenous and heritage tourism. Janet works closely with indigenous communities on business development and mentoring projects. She has worked in most destinations in Australia, New Zealand and internationally.

Fiona McKenzie

Director, Superpod Pty Ltd

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Fiona Mckenzie

Abstract

Bespoke Superpod tourism with low power demands spells "Eco"

For a true luxury experience in travel accommodation, nothing beats the indoor climate of a certified Passivhaus building to eat, relax and sleep in. No matter whether the climate outside is hot and humid or icy cold, the Passivhaus building will protect occupants like a cocoon. Find out how we have designed our Passive house tourist accommodation, and how you can have passive house benefits in your next accommodation project.

No longer will your customers complain about stifling heating or dry airconditioning. No longer will you face the high power bills that come with poorly designed buildings.

Staying in a passivhaus is truly an experience that won’t be forgotten. And maybe a learning experience that your customers can take home with them to influence change in our high carbon world.

This is the ethos behind PodTime, whose first Superpod project is planned for Tasmania next to MONA (last year’s Eco-Tourism Conference venue).

Is it possible for others who develop their own tourist projects around the world to give their clients the optimum in comfort, while saving the planet too? (Not to mention the radically low power bills for the facility.)

It is possible, if developers decide that this is what they want for their customers.

And going this way is a true “Eco-tourist” experience, for operators, for clients, and for the environment.

Hear how we have designed our Red Rosa project, from our high quality insulation materials in the walls, to our German Design Award Nominated minimalist “Pende” table. I will share our story. Will you join us to make Superpod part of your next tourist accommodation story?

Biography

Designer of Passive House Buildings, consultant to builders, achievement of Certified Passive House, developer of Hobart tourism project, Good Design Award recipient for Superpod.

Mark Olsen

General Manager, EarthCheck

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Abstract

Transforming Urban and Regional Tourism through Cultural Heritage Experience Development

This paper presents a framework to help urban and regional destinations transform from a passive role as ‘conservers’ of cultural heritage, to a more active role that truly engages the heritage visitor. We know that visitor needs are changing and that today’s visitors are looking for memorable experiences and journeys that emotionally connect them to a destination. By finding ways to create such experiences, destinations benefit not only economically through greater visitor numbers and spend, but also through enhanced opportunities to foster a deeper environmental and cultural understanding, and a richer appreciation for conservation efforts.  This paper demonstrates how a destination can achieve this transition through a consistent framework. It involves rigorous consultation with heritage tourism stakeholders (from national to local level) to develop a shared vision and guide regional stakeholders to develop their own themes and stories, regional experiences, signature experiences and supporting products. The innovative aspect in our approach is the emotional connection that is formed through storytelling, as ultimately it is the human element that truly immerses and engages a visitor.  The framework was developed and tested by EarthCheck and Customer Frame in a project for the Australian Council of National Trusts. Our partnership brings together world leaders in sustainable tourism accreditation and consulting, with globally-acclaimed customer strategy, experience innovation and transformation consulting expertise. The outcome of this work to date has been a tangible blueprint for Experience Development across the National Trusts network, with the framework now being applied in other projects (e.g. the Barossa Valley).

Biography

Mark is General Manager of EarthCheck, a not-for-profit responsible tourism consulting and certification company operating in over 70 countries. As a consultant Mark provides solutions to some of the world’s leading corporations and destinations on sustainable business practices, investment, and workforce development and is currently working globally with the heritage sector on world-leading experience development projects.

Stuart Ord

Director, Tourism NT

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Stuart Ord

Randall Owens

Manager, Reef Guardian Fishers and Recreation, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority

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Abstract

A pathway to Stewardship – stepping into a sustainable future

Advances in regional stewardship and recreational fishing in the ‘multiple use ’Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Stepping into a sustainable future It’s a story along the Great Barrier Reef coast that involves politics, angst, division, bad blood and considerable challenge in the in the cauldron of resource sharing. It is about an outcome that bodes well for the future — it is about recreational fishers and the coastal tourism supporting it taking on demonstrable responsibility to look after what they value. It is doing it without waiting for the slow wheels of Government to catch up. Three significant net free areas were created in Queensland in 2015 amid resource sharing furore among commercial and recreational fishers; some of it warranted some of it not. It had been a festering sore and good people, with good ideas and a willingness to offer solutions were burned along the way. Irrespective, the Queensland Government created the three areas as a contribution to the Reef 2050 Long Term Sustainability Plan and to coastal tourism development. The fishers were challenged “O.K. you’ve won the areas…now prove you can look after them into the future and prove that they work!” They took the challenge on; with driving input from Regional Councils, particularly Rockhampton, and from remarkable people, Bill and Stefan Sawynok ‘Info Fish’ who created accessible monitoring platforms that work in real time. The partnerships developed are fostering demonstrable stewardship, ‘care for the fish, enhance their habitats’, it is creating responsible tourism opportunity and a regional identity.

Biography

Randall has been actively working in Marine Protected Area management for over 30 years. Firstly at the Houtman Abrolhos Islands in Western Australia and for the past 17 years with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. He works at the fisheries/environment/tourism interface with a particular interest in advancing marine resource stewardship among coastal communities. The socioeconomic value of coastal fishing related tourism is not well recognised nor is the link between advancing resource stewardship and care of ecologically connected coastal and inshore systems. Recreational fishers are a substantial, if loosely organised, stakeholder group of importance in marine resource management. By advancing stewardship principles with them we foster the care of coastal habitats and ecosystems that they rely on for their enjoyment and recreation; it can also foster a sense of regional identity and that is a powerful catalyst to advance responsible coastal tourism.

Jose Truda Palazzo

CEO, Truda Palazzo & Associates

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Jose Truda Palazzo

Abstract

Of Mantas and People in Yap: Challenges and Opportunities for Ecotourism in Micronesia

Yap, in the Federated States of Micronesia, has become one of the world’s most coveted dive destinations for watching manta rays, a place where traditional culture still plays a key role and adds to the attractiveness of the destination. Although small-scale in numbers, manta diving is key to Yap´s economy, including fees paid directly to villages which retain tenure over lagoon areas. Both a Manta Ray Sanctuary and a Shark Sanctuary were enacted into law, which could provide further support for both sound management and promotion of Yap´s diving. This presentation reflects upon the opportunities created, challenges faced, including the impending threat of large-scale development to cater for Chinese tourism - and future prospects of the diving activity, which is vital to help steer the local economy in a sustainable direction.

Biography

Jose Truda Palazzo, Jr. is an environmental consultant and writer with 14 books published and 39 years of international experience focused on international conservation treaties, marine protected areas and non-extractive uses of marine biodiversity, including non-lethal research and Marine Ecotourism. He has repeatedly served in government delegations of his homeland Brazil to a variety of diplomatic fora, and authored technical documents for organizations such as the International Whaling Commission and the Convention on Migratory Species. He currently serves as Manta Ray Bay/Yap Divers Environment Ambassador; as Member of the IUCN Tourism and Protected Areas Specialist Group, World Commission on Protected Areas and Joint WCPA/Species Survival Commission Task Force on Marine Mammals and Protected Areas; as Coordinator for Divers for Sharks; and as Vice-President of the Augusto Carneiro Institute.

Charlotte Prouse

Partner, Destination Marketing Store

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Charlotte

Abstract

Think Global, Act Local – applying megatrends in tourism to your destination or business

In a dynamic and highly competitive marketplace, destinations and tourism businesses need to keep abreast of global trends and apply them locally to maintain their competitive advantage into the future. A customer or visitor-focused approach to destination planning, management and marketing is essential. At the heart of this approach is understanding your visitors, their motivations, expectations and barriers to travel. If you know what to expect of the future, this challenge becomes more manageable. It will inform the development of new experiences or the way you refresh existing ones as well as the way you reach out to potential visitors to promote your destination. The International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development is a great time to ensure that destination planning, experience development and marketing adopt a visitor-centric approach and better understand how the megatrends can influence what you do on the ground. Drawing on case studies from across the Asia-Pacific and around Australia, the presentation aims to provide the keys to success for applying recent or emerging global trends locally and helping to lift the performance of your destination or business into the future.

Biography

Charlotte Prouse, Partner, Destination Marketing Store Charlotte has been working with tourism regions, organisations and destinations to create and implement great destination brands, strategic marketing plans and experience development strategies for the last 20 years. Charlotte has worked extensively on brand and marketing strategies for regions and destinations, including undertaking the positioning of 12 of Australia’s National Landscapes (NL) and as part of the team to develop a number of NL Experience Development Strategies. Charlotte has also developed marketing strategies for some major destinations and organisations, including the NSW National Parks & Wildlife Service. Charlotte has mentored many small to medium sized tourism operators to build industry capacity and provide strategic marketing and product development advice. Charlotte has led the development of new visitor experiences, such as Zoo2Q in Sydney Harbour National Landscape.

Dr. Liz Reed

Research Fellow, University of Adelaide

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Liz Reed

Abstract

Time travelling in South Australia: developing opportunities for regional fossil tourism and education.

South Australia has a fossil record that spans much of the history of life on earth. It is home to globally significant localities such as the Ediacaran sites in the Flinders Ranges and the World Heritage listed Naracoorte Caves. Complementing the palaeontological treasures are the state’s rich geological resources, providing a fascinating history of the South Australian landscape through time.

Fossil-based tourism attractions are well-established in South Australia, and elsewhere in Australia and overseas. The majority of these occur in regional areas, providing significant economic and social benefits through tourism and education. Importantly, they empower communities to develop the unique stories of their region and play a role in the management and conservation of their heritage.

Underpinning all of this, is the scientific research conducted at the localities, and the stories that it yields. It is often said that ˜the past is the key to the present and future, as the fossil record provides a unique window on biodiversity, extinctions, climate change and the evolution of life. Maintaining the scientific accuracy of information shared with visitors is critical to providing a quality experience.

Here we present a case study from Naracoorte in South Australia, where scientists, local communities, business, and government have developed partnerships to leverage tourism and educational opportunities from having a World Heritage fossil site on their doorstep. Central to this is ensuring quality, science-based offerings that are sustainable, and emphasise the core messages that value-add to the rich heritage of the South East region.

Biography

I am a Research Fellow in palaeontology at the University of Adelaide. My research centres on Quaternary aged cave deposits at the Naracoorte Caves World Heritage Area, South East SA, Tasmania and Nullarbor. My current research involves investigation of past environmental and faunal change, particularly over the last 100,000 years.

My interest in caves extends to conservation, heritage management, interpretation and tourism. I was a site interpreter at Naracoorte Caves for six years and have been involved in staff training and developing interpretive materials. My involvement in tourism includes teaching, media, public events, specialist tours, product development, conferences, and serving on the first SA Fossil Tourism working group. I wrote the draft scoping study for developing fossil-based tourism in SA for the SA Tourism Commission. I have been involved in advising on management of fossil site and conservation issues for various cave sites.

Angus M. Robinson

Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions®

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Angus M.

Abstract

Geotourism, Ecotourism and Regional Development - Challenges and Opportunities

Over the past 25 years in Australia, ecotourism has grown in partnership with the development of protected areas, and much of the formal government strategic planning for the growth of nature based tourism generally has been linked to the national park system. However, within other areas where tourism is well established, ecotourism has found a well-supported niche. Geotourism, on the other hand, is an emerging global phenomenon which fosters tourism focuses on the geology and landscapes which shape the character of a region.

Preliminary work undertaken in 2017 in support of the Pre-Aspiring Etheridge UNESCO Global Geopark located in the Gulf Savannah country of Far North Queensland has identified a whole range of issues that will impact on the future of ecotourism and geotourism development outside of protected areas. A number of these issues relating to community concerns about the potential impact of tourism on existing industries such as grazing and mining as well as a widespread fear of associated environmental controls has resulted in the geopark initiative being deferred by the proponent, Etheridge Shire Council. Whilst much of this concern can be linked to recent UNESCO involvement in the Great Barrier Reef and Daintree World Heritage Areas, the opposition to tourism development generally has proved an unexpected outcome, particularly as strong support for this project has been shown by other groups particularly national park managers, indigenous communities , two major ecotourism operators, the Savannah Guides Network and township communities which are looking for new avenues for economic development.

Biography

An exploration geologist by profession, Angus established Leisure Solutions® in 1993 joining Ecotourism Australia Ltd as an early member. In recent years he has served as inaugural chair of the Geotourism Standing Committee of the Geological Society of Australia and is a member and inaugural chair of the Geotourism Forum of Ecotourism Australia, as well as a special member of the Savannah Guides.

After 20+ years working in technology and industry development executive roles, he is now engaged in ecotourism activities in Queensland’s Scenic Rim as an eco-certified tour operator and in facilitating geotourism projects throughout Australia. In earlier years he has enjoyed roles as the Director, Commercial Services at Taronga and Western Plains Zoos, as the inaugural Director of Sydney’s former redeveloped Geological and Mining Museum (The Earth Exchange), and has managed the Mt Hotham Alpine Resort in Victoria during its early developmental period.

Tanya Rosewarne

Senior Guides, Seal Bay Conservation Park

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Tanya

Biography

Tanya Rosewarne is co presenting with Melanie Stonnill

Tanya graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences from Deakin University, Melbourne. Later completing an Honours degree studying Tasmanian devil (Sarcophilus harrisii) behaviour at Healesville Sanctuary, Victoria. After travelling extensively throughout Asia Pacific & Europe, she began working at Seal Bay in 2013.

Dr. Andy Sharp

Manager, Planning and Programs Natural Resources Northern & Yorke

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Andy Sharp

Abstract

Rewilding Yorke Peninsula: Linking biodiversity conservation and ecotourism.

Although a well-established conservation management practice world-wide, “rewilding” remains a novel concept in Australia. Rewilding projects seek to restore the natural balance within systems, through the reinstatement of vital processes such as; predation, pollination, and fire. In Australia, much discussion is currently focused on the reintroduction of predators to manage feral animal and over-abundant herbivore populations (trophic rewilding), enabling the recovery of habitat and threatened species populations.

Extensive land clearance on upper Yorke Peninsula for agriculture, has left the remnant high-quality vegetation on the foot of the peninsula effectively functioning as a 250,000 ha mainland island. The quality of these vegetation associations is slowly deteriorating, due to the absence of essential ecological processes that were once provided by the 27 (of 30) terrestrial mammal species now locally extinct. Envisaged as a 20 year project, the Rewilding Yorke Peninsula project will reintroduce keystone species to reinstate the required ecological processes to ensure the long-term conservation of southern Yorke Peninsulas unique ecosystems.

The project has been developed with an emphasis on ensuring cross-sector outcomes for local tourism. In essence, southern Yorke Peninsula will be transformed into a landscape-scale, open-range sanctuary for some of Australia’s most iconic and endangered wildlife, providing the base for the development of an international ecotourism industry and enhancing local economies. Initial priorities for reintroduction include the woylie (soil engineer) & western quoll (native predator), but subsequent reintroductions may include the numbat, greater bilby & another 8 EPBC listed fauna species

Biography

Following a 10 year stint in the Queensland and New South Wales outback, researching the effects of feral animals on native species, I moved to the Clare Valley in 2002, to take on a position as Regional Ecologist for the Department for Environment & Heritage. Through various departmental transmogrifications, I have held the positions of Conservation Programs Manager, Landscape Programs Manager and have recently been appointed as the Manager Planning and Programs for Natural Resources Northern & Yorke (DEWNR). During my time in the region, I have focused on developing biodiversity conservation programs and more recently overseen the development of the regions natural resource management planning processes and the sustainable agriculture, water resource management, and Aboriginal engagement programs.

Claire Sim

Global Partnership Manager, South Australian Tourism Commission 

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Claire Sim

Abstract

How Eco Tourism Accreditation can help you gain market share

This presentation highlights how ecotourism accreditation can provide market share, giving business a unique selling point or point of difference against competitors. Looks in depth into three South Australian tourism operators and how they use their Eco-Tourism Accreditation to stand out amongst competitors. This presentation will highlight which markets internationally are seeking such endorsements. 

Biography

Claire Sim, joined the South Australian Tourism Commission in August 2016 as the Global Partnerships Manager with responsibility for the domestic and international travel trade and airline partnerships. Previously Claire was at Great Southern Rail for eleven years; nine years as General Manager Business Development and for the first two years Manager, Business Development International. Claire’s first tourism related role was in a hotel in Cairns, North Queensland where she was exposed to both leisure and business tourism. It was here that she learnt the majority of her distribution knowledge on the domestic, Eastern and Western Hemisphere markets.

Prof. Sandy Steacy

Deputy Executive Dean, Faculty of Sciences, The University of Adelaide

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Sandy Steacy

Abstract

Developing industry / university partnerships to support science based ecotourism

A common theme at the Global Eco Conference in 2016 was the need for scientific content to support ecotourism ventures. To address this, the University of Adelaide has developed an undergraduate science based ecotourism degree at“ the BSc (Ecotourism)” as well an MSc in Ecotourism. Students in these degrees can specialize in either geotourism or nature based tourism and study electives in Indigenous cultures, wine science, and entrepreneurship. Developing strong links with ecotourism operators and government are essential if the programs are to be successful; our hope is that students will undertake research projects in partnership with these agencies. The aim of this talk is to discuss how we might develop our programs to best support the ecotourism industry and maximize the employability of our graduates.

Biography

Sandy Steacy is the Deputy Executive Dean of Sciences at the University of Adelaide and the lead for the new BSc (Ecotourism) and MSc (Ecotourism). She is a geophysicist who specialises in earthquake research.

Melanie Stonnill

Senior Guide, Seal Bay, DEWNR

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Melanie stonnil

Abstract

30 years of managing the delicate balance between a growing eco-tourism industry in a protected area

Seal Bay Conservation Park is located on the south coast of Kangaroo Island in South Australia and is home to the third largest colony of endangered Australian sea lions. For the last 30 years, the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources (DEWNR) have managed guided tours into the heart of the colony, 364 days of the year. Tourist numbers have been on a steady increase and reached their highest point last financial year at 115,000.

Managing large numbers of tourists whilst maintaining the welfare of the sea lions and protection of the environment requires close monitoring and management. Local policies and procedures have been refined over the years and we have arrived at a point where people can observe this species in their natural environment without impact.

DEWNR has established close partnerships with numerous research institutes and plays an active role in leading field research and data collation to assist scientists to strategize mitigation policies in an effort to halt the continuing decline of Australia’s only endemic pinniped.

After 30 years Seal Bay continues to manage this delicate balance of providing an unforgettable eco-tourism experience through guided tours within a wild sea lion colony by combining the delivery of conservation methods, latest research and the ability for people from all walks of life to observe this endangered species on the pristine south coast of KI.

Biography

Completing a bachelor in Tourism Business Management Mel went on to work at luxuary lodges before starting at Seal Bay in 2012. Bridging the protection of the environment and wildlife with tourists and local communities through educational awareness and providing inspirational experiences is her career passion.

Matt Sykes

Director, mattsykes.co

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Matt Sykes

Abstract

West to East: Ecotourism across global cultures - Lessons for Australian tourism operators

While floating in the thermal mineral waters of Blue Lagoon, Iceland, I dreamed of all of the tourism experiences that I’d studied within a whirlwind visit … hiking through mountains, snowmobiling on ice, walking into glacial caves and being lifted into the chamber of a sleeping volcano. Replenished with energy I floated to the Lava Restaurant, for one last meal before flying on to my next destination - Artic Char, Dark Ale and classic Nordic bread with salted butter.

I paused … every landscape and story was reflecting back at me, from a ceramic plate. I could taste the ocean, taste the earth and the mountain air. In one mouthful I experienced the whole of Iceland.

How do you distil the essence of a place in one seamless ecotourism experience?

In this presentation, Matt Sykes shares blue-sky ideas and practical lessons gathered during four weeks travel from West to East. Hear stories about Icelandic tourism’s booming success, enter the world of food tourism in urban Norway, relax in the midsummer sauna culture of Finland, and journey along an ancient pilgrimage in rural Japan.

Matt will close by outlining seven core principles for developing rural and urban tourism products:

Identity, Collaboration, Entrepreneurship, Communication, Seasonality, Journey, Humanity

Biography

Matt Sykes, a young nomadic entrepreneur

In 2014, soon after studying entrepreneurship at the University of Cambridge Matt moved to Tasmania to explore it’s ecotourism industry, retraining as an Adventure Tour Guide. In Winter 2017 he embarked on a month-long study tour of the Nordic region and Japan, seeking inspiration from their respective outdoor cultures. His presentation focuses on the lessons of this experience and how they relate to the future of Australian tourism.

Back in Australia, Matt works as the Experience Manager for Cradle Mountain Huts. He also consults for a number of industry-leading operators, including Victoria’s Peninsula Hot Springs and the emerging wukalina Walk, a multi-day Aboriginal cultural experience near the Bay of Fires, Tasmania.

http://mattsykes.co/

Instagram: @mattsykes_tas

Justine Thompson

Project Manager, Ecoline

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Justine Thompson

Abstract

Minimal impact for maximum benefit

Adventure experiences in urban and regional areas can provide a range of physical and mental health benefits to the community. This presentation will consider how to deliver maximum benefit with minimal impact for existing users and the site in green urban and regional locations.

A wide variety of high rope adventures with a focus on safety and sustainability exist today. These adventures can provide people of all ages, from all walks of life and varying levels of ability with the opportunity to explore their limits, to bond with family and friends, and to enjoy time in nature.

In the last ten years Ecoline has established strong partnerships with government and private organisations to design, build and operate bespoke adventure courses. This presentation draws on examples from our experiences working in urban green areas. It will demonstrate how you can maximise the use of a space with Wow products that have minimal impact on existing users, and the benefits these adventures offer for the health and well-being of the community. Effectively utilising spaces with the goal of delivering fun opportunities for people to get active and be healthy.

Biography

Justine joined Ecoline in 2009. She was attracted to the passion of the business owners and their desire to develop exciting projects whilst protecting the environment, participating in the local community’s well-being and fostering educational experiences.

The company designs and builds custom-made facilities in the tree tops with a WOW factor. They take pride in being innovators, and, by using the best technology, they design adventures where even toddlers can enjoy an exhilarating treetop experience in total safety.

Ecoline’s projects include TreeTop Adventure Park, TreeTop Safari, TreeTop Crazy Rider and Wild Ropes in partnership with Forestry Corporation of NSW, NSW National Parks & Wildlife Services, Western Sydney Parklands Trust and Taronga Conservation Society. The construction also includes school camps and other operators such as Urban Jungle at the Sydney Olympic Park and international facilities such as Bol Air in France and Kula Eco Park in Fiji.

Dr. Shuying Tian

Deputy Dean, Anhui University

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Dr. Tian

Abstract

The characteristic town model of ecotourism

The presentation is about one of my successful case of ecotourism program of characteristic town. Yexi Town is located on the southeast of Dabie Mountain. Basis on the local culture and history, we design a develop line of Chinese Zen for the tourism of the town. The success on ecotourism not only bring financial support to the government, but also solve the local employment problem

Biography

Shuying Tian, doctor of economics, Ph.D., vice president of Anhui University School of economics, Professor, University of Anhui Province outstanding young teachers, China Institute of Environmental Sciences Branch of Environmental Economics Committee, director of the Anhui Institute of finance, Anhui province Circular Economy Research Institute expert.

Peter Turner

Partner, Customer Frame

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Biography

Peter Turner is co-presenting with Mark Olsen

Peter Turner is a partner at Customer Frame, a global leader in transforming SMEs, large businesses and organisations through the eyes of their customers. He brings over 15 years’ experience in directing customer success projects for both commercial and government organisations in the UK, Australia and Europe. With global business credentials and an enviable cross-industry portfolio – American Express, PPQ, EFTPOS, RICOH, HMRC & BusinessLink - he is known to be the catalyst of customer-led change with an engaging and thought-provoking style.

Scott Verdouw

Director, JAWS Architects

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Scott Verdouw

Abstract

Tourist Architecture for Unique Places

Finding the uniqueness of a place is increasingly valued and inversely illusive within our built environment. Technology creating artificial microclimates and universally sourced materials have created global architectural styles that say very little about their environment or ecology. Designs that buck the trend and fight to reveal the ‘uniqueness of place’ can offer a so much more to the visitor. These special buildings enhance the understanding and experience of the place.

JAWSARCHITECTS argue that finding the ‘uniqueness of place’ is essential for successful and responsible tourism architecture and development. JAWS place considerable emphasis on understanding the natural landscapes, cultural and historical connections, geological forms, and endemic flora and fauna. Their body of tourism work, which includes award winning projects like the 3 Capes Walking Track Cabins testifies to their commitment to finding the uniqueness of place.

Unrelenting commitment to understanding the clients needs, then guiding and partnering with them towards outcomes that explore untapped possibilities in new ways are what set JAWS apart.

Biography

Scott has been with JAWSARCHITECTS since 2002 and has worked on a number award winning tourism projects in this time. These include Three Capes Cabins, Burnie Surf Club, Moorilla Estate Reception Centre, and prefabricated accommodation. Scott has a special interest in sustainable architecture in remote environments.

Dennis Williamson

Committee member, Purnululu World heritage Area Advisory Committee

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Abstract

A Beehive Balancing Act for Eco-tourism in the Bungle Bungles

The spectacular Purnululu National Park World Heritage Site is one of Australia’s most iconic and remote tourism destinations, located in the Kimberley region of Western Australia. The area is home to the Bungle Bungle Range, with its distinctively banded beehive-like sandstone cone towers and deep craggy gorges formed over 20 million years, and to the Gidja and Jaru Aboriginal communities for at least 40,000 years. Yet, this area was not known to the outside world until 1983 and is a relative new-comer to the eco-tourism scene.

Attracting only 25,000 domestic and international visitors annually due to limited 4WD and air access, the World Heritage Advisory Committee and Western Australian Parks and Wildlife Service are currently examining best practice methods in which visitor numbers may be sustainably increased to the benefit of regional communities such as Kununurra and Halls Creek, while protecting the highly sensitive karst geology and semi-arid savannah grassland environment. The Gidga and Djaru people are actively involved in the park management in conjunction with the Western Australian Department of Biodiversity Conservation and Attractions (DBCA). Presentation of their culture, rock art sites and traditional knowledge of the park while protecting sacred sites is another challenge to planning for eco-tourism.

Purnululu presents a very challenging, fragile and unique environment, requiring careful eco-tourism planning to achieve the right balance of visitor, tour operator and Indigenous community access, opportunities, experiences, facilities and safe-guards. A partnership approach to creating an environmentally, culturally and economically sustainable future for this outstanding protected area is presented.  

Biography

Dennis Williamson has an extensive career in scenic, recreation, tourism and natural resource management for government agencies and as a consultant in Australia and internationally. He is the Scientific Advisor on the Advisory Committee for Purnululu National Park World Heritage Area. He is also Director of Melbourne-based Scenic Spectrums Pty Ltd and its Geoscene International division. Dennis has provided expert assessments for the Ningaloo Coast, South China Karst – Three Natural Bridges and Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage sites. He has led consultancies on Albany’s Kinjarling Trail & Stories project, Port Fairy’s Griffiths Island Natural and Cultural Interpretive Trail; Lake Catani Campground at Mount Buffalo National Park, the Tully Gorge Whitewater Rafting Management Plan, the Kokoda Track Heritage Interpretation Strategy in PNG, and Western Australia’s Nullarbor Karst Region. He holds a BA in Geography, an MLA in Landscape Architecture, and is nearing completion of a PhD in Landscape Ecology.

Jessica Wilson

Stewardship Coordinator, Marine Parks, Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources

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Abstract

Cuttlefish Coast: a psychedelic side-show. A government and non-government partnership creating a visitor experience like nowhere else.

The Cuttlefish Coast near Whyalla in South Australia is the only place on earth where giant cuttlefish aggregate in large numbers to breed. This colourful show is spectacular. Best of all it can be viewed by snorkelling a short distance from shore and in only 2 metres of water. Over the last few years publicity about this phenomenon has grown partly because of an increase in cuttlefish numbers and great underwater photographers, but also because of the collaborative effort between the SA government (DEWNR Marine Parks) and the non-government organisation Experiencing Marine Sanctuaries (EMS). This collaboration has made the cuttlefish experience more accessible to families and tourists by providing safe and educational snorkelling. EMS tours were introduced at the Cuttlefish Coast in 2016 and proved so popular that 250 tickets sold out within days this year. This led to an economic boost for Whyalla during a normally quiet winter weekend.

EMS is a new organisation in South Australia, based on the successful program in New Zealand (Experiencing Marine Reserves) and provides families and tourists with unique, safe and supervised snorkelling opportunities with a marine education focus.

The Cuttlefish Coast Sanctuary Zone is located within the Upper Spencer Gulf Marine Park, one of 19 marine parks around South Australia declared in 2009 to help protect a range of habitats and flora and fauna.

The benefits of collaborative relationships in developing regional nature-based tourism experiences will be discussed and will also feature some dynamic footage taken by Carl Charter.

Biography

Jessica Wilson coordinates the stewardship program across South Australia’s marine parks and has worked in park visitation roles within the Department of Environment, Water and Natural Resources for over 15 years. Her passion for engaging families and tourists in nature has led to a number of programmes including the Immerse Yourself in a Marine Park summer programme.

Wayne Yorath

Sustainability Officer, Zoos South Australia

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Wayne Yorath

Abstract

Socially responsible urban and regional tourism: an ethical approach.

Tourism consumers are increasingly becoming more aware of global environmental issues and are taking greater interest in the ethics of the businesses they patronize. Increased scrutiny and competition for services make it more important than ever to demonstrate they are giving back to society or managing their environmental footprint. In turn, these businesses enjoy more loyalty from their customers than those that do not.

This presentation will focus on Zoos SA’s seven year sustainability journey, from the development and implementation of an Environmental Plan and emissions reduction strategy to the annual public disclosure of its environmental performance and the transition to sustainability as a business-as-usual approach. We will also touch on the key benefits that have been realised along the journey such as financial savings, support gained from local government and external organisations that share mutual aspirations and industry peer credibility.

Sustainable business operations need not be onerous and the presentation will demonstrate that integrated sustainable practices can be tailored to suit ones needs or capacity and developed over a number of years.

Join us for a celebration of corporate social responsibility and learn of what steps organisations can take to move towards a more sustainable business model.

Biography

Wayne has worked at Zoos South Australia for 23 years, initially within the asset department. Zoos SA began its journey to a more sustainable operation in 2009 when a new position for a dedicated Sustainability officer was created in 2009 and Wayne accepted the role. Enthusiasm, support from management and a blank canvas gave Wayne the elements required to help develop Zoos SA’s Environmental Management Plan. Wayne is passionate about the environment, sustainable living and social justice and endeavours to apply those principles in his work relationships and home life.

Hayden Zammit

Tourism Manager, Zoos South Australia

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Zammit

Abstract

Digitising the traditional Zoo experience

In a world where digital marketing and communications is becoming the way that consumers look to learn and integrate their day to day lives, Zoos South Australia knew that it was time to review the traditional zoo experience.

Through marketing, visitors are relying on peer reviews, the color and movement of social media and online channels to prepare for their visit. When on site, visitors are looking for an interactive experience where information that is relevant to them and the environment around them is presented. Over the past 12 months, through a range of digital marketing and communication activities, Adelaide Zoo became the first Zoo in Australia to introduce iBeacon technology which has digitized what would normally be a traditional visit to the Zoo. This has been delivered through location specific Bluetooth beacons which delivers information to users devices. A general visitor trail, threatened species trail, zoo careers trail and a Chinese trail are options available for selection on arrival to the zoo.

Through this technology, Zoos SA is essentially putting a keeper in the palm of every visitors hand to learn about the animals that call Adelaide Zoo home, the conservation threats for the species and most importantly educating visitors to understand how they can make a contribution to conservation. Whether that be through smart shopping, becoming a member of the Zoos SA or giving back to environmental conservation - we are confident that this platform has assisted to provide streamlined messaging.

Digital Marketing has assisted to drive record attendance for Adelaide and Monarto Zoo with almost 600,000 visitors in 16/17. There is little wonder the accelerated growth of social media for both sites, email marketing and retargeting has led to an ecommerce conversion increase of 160% year on year.

Biography

Hayden Zammit manages Tourism for Adelaide and Monarto Zoo, and previously led the digital strategy across both sites. Hayden’s experience in digital marketing, trade and visitor experience has assisted to develop a holistic customer journey online.

Hayden brings a Bachelor of Management (Marketing) and an International MBA (Tourism and Events) to the organisation.

Previously, Hayden managed the destination marketing campaign for Broken Hill City Council and worked closely with Eco Tourism operators across the Far West of New South Wales to promote the real, unique experiences that highlight the wide, open spaces of Outback NSW.

In 2017 Adelaide Zoo and Monarto Zoo became Eco Tourism Advanced certified attractions which highlights their contribution to conservation, animal management and sustainability.