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Protection of the Natural Environment

For many destinations, the natural environment is one of the primary attractions for leisure visitors. A wide range of recreational, activity based, educational, cultural activities and experiences, can be accessed by visitors in natural and protected areas. The development of natural and/or protected areas for tourism requires a careful balance between providing adequate visitor experiences and services, protecting the ecological and cultural values of the area and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the site. Read more
For many destinations, the natural environment is one of the primary attractions for leisure visitors. A wide range of recreational, activity based, educational, cultural activities and experiences, can be accessed by visitors in natural and protected areas. The development of natural and/or protected areas for tourism requires a careful balance between providing adequate visitor experiences and services, protecting the ecological and cultural values of the area and ensuring the long-term sustainability of the site. Key considerations for the development of natural or protected areas include:

  • Effective public / private partnerships are the key to delivering memorable experiences in nature, as displayed in the Cradle Mountain, Esperance and Tapestry regions and their partnerships with relevant parks and environmental government departments;
  • Understanding the political, social, cultural demographic and ecological environment surrounding the natural area when identifying potential tourism opportunities;
  • Destination Management Tip

    Visiting protected areas are at the top of most visitors itineraries so providing access and memorable experiences is vital to be a competitive destination globally.

  • Understanding the different categories of protected areas for the identification of restrictions on activity and development within a site and consideration of park management objectives and goals;
  • Development of a park management plan or model to manage the environmental, social and economic impacts and issues in natural areas;
  • Development of visitor education and interpretative information to provide an enhanced visitor experience and encourage conservation education;
  • Establishing clear development and operational guidelines to ensure investments include sustainable practices;
  • Development of performance indicators to measure and monitor the success of visitor management in natural areas to ensure that the natural assets are being adequately protected.
  • Providing effective environmental management practices for tourism developments in protected areas.
  • Integration of planning for the preservation of natural resources in relevant local, regional, state plans and strategies.

The Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre has undertaken extensive research in the development and management of tourism in natural and protected areas. Further information on the development and management of natural / protected area assets as well as the social and cultural environments can be found in the ‘Parks and Culture’ section.

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