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Management Principles

Park managers rely on a number of principles to provide for recreation and tourism while protecting conservation values.Read more

Park managers rely on a number of principles to provide for recreation and tourism while protecting conservation values. These include:


  • Ecological sustainability – natural systems differ in their capacity to accommodate human activity. The resources we have available to manage for tourism are finite and therefore the challenge is to shape, manage and if needs be control the type, scale, intensity, duration and frequency of human activity.
  • Heritage values – most protected areas contain important links to our cultural heritage including Aboriginal, colonial and contemporary history.


  • Planning – planning is essential tool of continuous improvement and the provision of quality services. Planning is the tool that evaluates and integrates values, constraints and opportunities into management solutions.
  • Staff skill and expertise – park and tourism sustainability depends on carefully managing visitors. It requires professional, skilled and experienced staff. Management should be based on the best available science, and precautionary and adaptive management principles.
  • Quality – development and maintenance of a high standard of visitor facilities, services and programs that meet visitor needs and expectations.
  • Innovation – the needs, preferences and expectations of visitors vary greatly and change over time as does technology such as GPS’s, tents and other outdoor equipment. The natural environment is also dynamic and thus park managers need to be forward thinking and creative to ensure management outcomes remains relevant and are sustainable.
  • Accountability – includes ensuring value for money for park services, reinvesting revenues in local areas where they are generated, communicating with stakeholders, monitoring use and reporting on achievements.

Visitor Experience

  • Spectrum of experience – providing the widest possible range of recreation opportunities encourages a broad base of experiences and inturn public assets and avoids pressure to promote, upgrade access and develop all sites to the same level.
  • Sense of place – planning and management of tourism should endeavour to maintain or enhance the inherent qualities that give every natural area its own special character.
  • Visitor satisfaction – a primary aim of park-based tourism is to ensure high levels of visitor satisfaction. Providing a quality visitor experience is critical to developing appreciation for nature and parks and developing a supportive constituency. Visitor surveys are an essential tool in monitoring visitor satisfaction.
  • Enriching visitor experiences – reconnecting people to the natural environment through stories, dance, art and songs that interpret the natural and cultural environment are a powerful means of developing appreciation for nature and providing enjoyable and memorable visitor experiences.
  • Visitor safety – park managers have a legal (duty of care) and moral responsibility to consider the safety of visitors, within an environment that contains inherent dangers.

Working with Community

  • Equity – in addition to meeting anti-discrimination laws and policies park managers seek to ensure the community has access to and participate in the widest possible range of activities that do not diminish conservation and cultural heritage values and do not impair other forms of use or the enjoyment of others.
  • Community and stakeholder involvement and consultation is a key tool in achieving equitable community outcomes for park tourism.
  • Partnerships – business and communities are essential contributors to meeting park management goals. Park managers need partnerships with tour operators, recreation groups, industry bodies, businesses and Indigenous organisations.


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