Strategies and plans
Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013-2020
The inaugural DestinationQ workshop held in June 2012 identified nature-based tourism in a unique environment as Queensland’s greatest competitive advantage. Following that meeting a draft of the Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013 - 2020 (‘the plan’) was released for consultation.
During the six-week consultation phase on the draft plan, 78 submissions were received. These submissions were carefully considered during the preparation of the final Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013–2020, which was released at the second DestinationQ forum on 27 August 2013.
The Queensland Ecotourism Plan seeks to provide tourism operators, government, community and other stakeholders with a clear direction on how Queensland will leverage its competitive advantage to become a world leader in ecotourism.
At the core of this plan is a new vision for ecotourism in Queensland:
Queensland is Australia’s number one ecotourism destination and recognised as a world leader in ecotourism, delivering best practice nature-based experiences that contribute to the conservation of our natural resources and cultural heritage.
This vision ensures that the delivery of ecotourism experiences contribute to the conservation of our natural resources and our cultural heritage. This vision will be achieved by implementing of following strategic priorities:
- delivering world-class experiences
- facilitating best practice and innovation
- raising the profile of Queensland’s ecotourism experiences
- fostering thriving operators
- embracing a partnership approach between the tourism industry, government, community and Traditional Owners.
The plan also includes a three-year action plan. This action plan includes 43 initiatives and details the government agencies and industry partners that are responsible for delivering them.
The plan demonstrates the strong partnership between government departments and industry to deliver on the joint aspiration—positioning Queensland as a world leader in ecotourism.
This new approach to attracting investment in ecotourism aims to deliver contemporary and world-leading ecotourism developments in our national parks that showcase and preserve their unique natural landscapes and wildlife.
A number of major achievements have been made in the six months since the plan's release in August 2013-view the Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013-2020 Six Month Report and the Queensland Ecotourism Plan 2013-2020 12 Month Report.
Ecotourism Facilities on National Parks Implementation Framework
The Ecotourism Facilities on National Parks – Implementation Framework ('the framework') provides a transparent model for assessing and approving proposals for ecotourism facilities on national parks. It recognises that any proposed ecotourism facilities will have environmental, social and financial benefits and costs that need to be considered, and that assessment needs to occur in the context of the governing legislative provisions.
The framework explains how ecotourism facility proposals will be assessed, the matters that will be considered, and the approval and leasing arrangements for successful proposals.
Best Practice Ecotourism Development Guidelines
The Best Practice Ecotourism Development Guidelines (Best Practice Guidelines) assist ecotourism applicants to develop ecotourism facilities and experiences on national parks that are in the public interest, are ecologically sustainable and ensure, to the greatest possible extent, the preservation of the land's natural condition and protection of its cultural values and resources.
The Best Practice Guidelines show proponents how ecotourism facilities can be effectively integrated into national parks through awareness of:
- site values and constraints, appropriate site layout, design and construction
- low energy footprint, water and waste systems
- appropriate visitor interpretation and activities; and
- community partnerships.
The Queensland Government will use the Best Practice Guidelines to assist the assessment of preliminary concepts and to determine whether the proposed ecotourism use of a national park aligns with national park values and can be undertaken in an ecologically sustainably manner. The guidelines will also be used to assess detailed proposals where proponents are invited to progress further in the process.
Proponents should refer to the best practice ecotourism development criteria and sample prompt questions outlined in the Best Practice Guidelines when preparing their EOI submission.
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