Ecotourism Australia’s Qld State Election Priorities

Posted by on 6 November 2017 | Comments

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Following the announcement of the 2017 State Election, Ecotourism Australia is encouraging candidates and voters to put tourism, and specifically nature based tourism, at the top of their agenda. 

Ecotourism Australia (EA) partners with and supports the Queensland Tourism Industry Council (QTIC)’s 2017 QLD State Government Election Tourism Priorities. There is a significant opportunity to grow Queensland’s share of the $106 billion Australian tourism industry. While a record number of 24 million visitors came to Queensland in the year ending June 2017, growth in visitor expenditure is lagging compared to other states.

Nature is the number one driver of regional visitation and Queensland boasts some of the most unique natural and cultural landscapes in the world - including 5 World Heritage areas and a diversity of national parks, marine parks, and other protected areas - visited by approximately 16 million people every year. 

Ecotourism is a major source of regional jobs and economic growth. Ecotourism Australia’s 210 certified operators in Queensland already provide over 4,600 direct jobs and have an annual revenue of $700M, mostly in regional areas.  Customers are increasingly focused on the quality of their experiences and the environmental footprint of operations.

EA and its members support policy actions that encourage and enable the industry to grow, that protect the natural assets on which it depends and that, as a result, ensure that future generations can continue to experience and appreciate Queensland’s rich natural and cultural heritage.

In the Queensland elections Ecotourism Australia is seeking bipartisan support for:

  • Protecting and Promoting Queensland’s main tourism asset – its National Parks and World Heritage Areas
    • Increased and multi-year funding to Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service (QPWS)
    • Commitment for new visitor infrastructure and experiences in QLD’s protected areas of $50 million over the next four years
    • A long-term commitment of the State Government to work with the Commonwealth Government to increase funding for the protection of the Great Barrier Reef to the level required to achieve the goals of the Reef 2050 Plan
    • Commitment of $5 million for the development of new cultural experiences and business opportunities with a specific focus on Indigenous experiences
  •  Accepting Queensland’s role in managing the impacts of climate change
    • Support for consistent and effective climate policy and actions including reducing land clearing, working with agriculture to support and accelerate the implementation of reef protection programs and boosting investment in citizen science for improved environmental understanding and protection
    • Acknowledgment that a healthy ecotourism industry depends on a healthy environment
    • Protection of QLD’s tourism brand through supporting renewable and emerging technologies and resources and not supporting the construction and operation of new fossil fuel projects
  • Building business capability and incentivising quality tourism products
    • Encouragement of tourism businesses to improve their products and services through recognising and rewarding high standards of customer service, innovation and best practice
    • Extension and implementation of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority’s “High Standard Tour Operator” program to Queensland’s National Parks
    • Commitment from government for the endorsement and adoption of tourism accreditation programs
    • Annual investment in industry-led capability building programs 
  • Prioritizing Tourism in Queensland
    • Revitalisation and implementation of the Queensland Ecotourism Plan
    • Making the Premier the Minister for Tourism
    • Formal involvement of tourism operators in decision making, e.g. by creating a Tourism Advisory Council for QPWS

Ecotourism is one of the most significant sectors of the Queensland economy. It creates long term and sustainable jobs in regional areas, it supports conservation and builds prosperous communities by showcasing the best Queensland has to offer.




Rick Murray


Ecotourism Australia

0417 809 095


Claire Ellis

Deputy Chair

Ecotourism Australia

0417 520 722



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