Geotourism and Australia's National Landscapes

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Australias National Landscapes, geotrails and geoparks are key places where geotourism is centre stage. Australia offers a big future for geotourism particularly given the emerging demand from overseas markets including China. Geotourism offers potential employment opportunities for geoscientists.


  • Geotourism and Australian NationalGeotourism and Australian National LandscapesLandscapes AESC 2014, Newcastle, 9AESC 2014, Newcastle, 9thth July 2014July 2014 Angus M Robinson and Ross K DowlingAngus M Robinson and Ross K Dowling
  • Todays AgendaTodays Agenda Landscapes, natural heritage & the environment What do we mean by geotourism? Iconic Geotourism Experiences Australias National Landscapes Geoparks and Geotrails Take Aways
  • Scenery and Geology - a 1938 MusingScenery and Geology - a 1938 Musing SceneryScenery depends on landland structurestructure - in other words, its geologygeology.. Everyone interested in the countrysidecountryside, how it has taken shape, why it presents us with the varied beauties of mountain and woodland, river valleys and fertile meadows, is, if often unconsciously, appreciating its geology.geology. A.E. Trueman Professor of Geology, Glascow University
  • Understanding Natural HeritageUnderstanding Natural Heritage Natural heritage is the legacy of natural objects and intangible attributes encompassing the countryside and naturalnatural environmentenvironment, including flora and fauna, scientifically known as BIODIVERSITYBIODIVERSITY, and geology, landforms and soil landscapes, i.e., i.e. GEODIVERSITYGEODIVERSITY..
  • Environment?Environment? The environment comprises the following:The environment comprises the following: 1.1. AAbioticbiotic non-living aspects such as the climate & non-living aspects such as the climate & geology e.g. landscape and landformsgeology e.g. landscape and landforms 2.2. BBioticiotic the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and flora the living parts eg. fauna (animals) and flora (plants)(plants) 3.3. CCulturalultural past & present, non-living & built past & present, non-living & built PartsParts B+CB+C are well interpreted within tourism, especiallyare well interpreted within tourism, especially through ecotourism and cultural tourism,through ecotourism and cultural tourism, butbut AA has typicallyhas typically not been addressednot been addressed
  • Key Concepts EcotourismKey Concepts Ecotourism According to Ecotourism Australia, ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourismecologically sustainable tourism with a primary focus on experiencing natural areasexperiencing natural areas that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation. Ecotourism Australia believes that the ultimate definition of ecotourism is compliance with thecompliance with the core criteria stated within the Eco CertificationEco Certification Program.Program.
  • Understanding Geological Heritage (Geoheritage)Understanding Geological Heritage (Geoheritage) Geological heritage sites (geositesgeosites) are places which enable us to understand the composition of the earthcomposition of the earth, the internal and external processes that have shaped itprocesses that have shaped it and the evolving flora and faunaevolving flora and fauna that occupied it. Source: Adapted from Dr Susan White, AESC 2010Source: Adapted from Dr Susan White, AESC 2010
  • Geotourism National Geographic Society & theGeotourism National Geographic Society & the Travel Industry Association of America (1997)Travel Industry Association of America (1997) Geotourism is "best practice" tourism that sustains, or even enhances, the geographical character of a placegeographical character of a place, such as its culture, environment, heritage, and the well-being of its residents. Like ecotourism, geotourism promotes a virtuous circlegeotourism promotes a virtuous circle whereby tourism revenues provide a local incentive to protect what tourists are coming to see, but extends the principle beyond nature and ecology to incorporate allincorporate all characteristics that contribute to sense of placecharacteristics that contribute to sense of place. Geotourism incorporates sustainability principles,sustainability principles, but in addition to the do-no-harm ethic, geotourism focuses on thegeotourism focuses on the place as a as a whole.
  • Geotourism incorporatingGeotourism incorporating all types of place-based tourismall types of place-based tourism National Geographic PerspectiveNational Geographic Perspective Boley, B.B. after Thompson, S. 2009 Sightseeing Cuisine Agritourism Indigenous Tourism Heritage Tourism Cultural Tourism ECOTOURISM GeotourismGeotourism i.e. experientiali.e. experiential tourismtourism
  • Geotourism CharacteristicsGeotourism Characteristics Geological DefinitionGeological Definition 'Geotourism is sustainable tourism which focuses on an area's geology andgeology and landscapelandscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment'.
  • Geotourism - asGeotourism - as oneone of the components of theof the components of the many types of place-based tourismmany types of place-based tourism Geological PerspectiveGeological Perspective Sightseeing Cuisine Agritourism Indigenous Tourism Heritage Tourism Cultural Tourism Ecotourism GeotourismGeotourism
  • Geotourism Potential MarketsGeotourism Potential Markets Tourism Industry ViewTourism Industry View ExperientialExperiential Domestic TravellersDomestic Travellers Geologists/Geomorphologists/SpeliologistsGeologists/Geomorphologists/Speliologists /Paleontologists/Paleontologists School GroupsSchool Groups ExperientialExperiential Overseas TravellersOverseas Travellers Geopark InterestsGeopark Interests
  • GSA GEOtouristsGSA GEOtourists FiveFive MostMost Important Travel PurposesImportant Travel Purposes 1.1. Increasing knowledgeIncreasing knowledge of geological sites and landforms. 2. To satisfy my curiosity.curiosity. 3. To have a memorable experiencememorable experience. 4. To obtain intellectual stimulationintellectual stimulation. 5. Visiting destinations offering a uniqueunique bundlebundle of features and attractions (i.e. ecology, geology, culture and history).
  • Geotourism (Geological Tourism) - StakeholdersGeotourism (Geological Tourism) - Stakeholders GeotourismGeotourism GeomorphologistsGeomorphologists Local GovtLocal Govt Flora/FaunaFlora/Fauna InterestsInterests GeographersGeographers GeologistsGeologists (Various types)(Various types) LandownersLandowners Geol Surveys/Geol Surveys/ Planning Agencies/Planning Agencies/ Park ManagersPark Managers Tour OperatorsTour Operators Govt TourismGovt Tourism AgenciesAgencies
  • Geotourism Diversity of SitesGeotourism Diversity of Sites GeotourismGeotourism IconsIcons ((Inc National Landscapes)Inc National Landscapes) Mine SitesMine Sites National Parks/Reserves/National Parks/Reserves/ Urban ParksUrban Parks Geo-trailsGeo-trails Geo-sitesGeo-sites Geoparks/Geoparks/ PaleoParksPaleoParks Caves/Karst AreasCaves/Karst Areas Landforms WHAsWHAs
  • Iconic Sites forIconic Sites for GeotourismGeotourism GalapagosGalapagos, Ecuador Grand CanyonGrand Canyon, USA 16 National Landscapes16 National Landscapes, Australia GlobalGlobal GeoparksGeoparks
  • Galapagos, Ecuador
  • The Trail of Time Grand CanyonThe Trail of Time Grand Canyon The Trail of Time is the worlds largest geoscience exhibition at the worlds grandest geologic landscape It is a 4.56 km long trail marked at every meter with 1 mevery meter with 1 m = 1 million years= 1 million years of earths 4.56 billion year long geologic history It is also supported by an electronic Virtual Trail ofelectronic Virtual Trail of TimeTime
  • Branding Iconic Geotourism Branding Iconic Geotourism Ensuring a Memorable Experience!Ensuring a Memorable Experience!
  • Thick beds of shale and coal Permian 10 million barren years Tertiary basalt cap Triassic extinction event Blue Mountains
  • Australias National Landscapes ProgramAustralias National Landscapes Program Partnership between tourism and conservation that aims to: Promote world class, high qualityworld class, high quality visitor experiences Increase the value of tourism to regional economiesvalue of tourism to regional economies Enhance the role of protected areasrole of protected areas in those economies Build support for protecting our natural and cultural assetsprotecting our natural and cultural assets A long term strategic approach To differentiate AustraliasTo differentiate Australias iconic natural and culturaliconic natural and cultural destinations from anythingdestinations from anything else available in the worldelse available in the world.
  • Benefits
  • Sydney HarbourSydney Harbour Photo: D.Finnegan/Office of Environment and Heritage
  • Alice Springs Uluru Red Centre
  • Ningaloo Shark Bay Ningaloo Shark Bay
  • The Kimberley
  • Great Southwest Edge
  • Australias Timeless North
  • Tasmanias Island Heritage
  • Great Ocean Road
  • Australian Alps
  • Plug Caldera Australias Green Cauldron
  • Kangaroo Island
  • Flinders Ranges Simply the Best!
  • Australias Coastal Wilderness - geoheritage tourism case study
  • 50 km 19 18 17 1615 14 13 12 11 10 9 8765 4 3 2 1 19 7654 321 1817 15141312 111098
  • Camel Rock Turbidite -36.378131 150.076987 These are the strongly folded beds of 470 million year old turbidite. Turbidites form in the deep ocean when unstable masses of sediment avalanche down continental slopes, gathering water as they go . From each dense sediment flow, sand settles out first followed by finer sediment, preserved in a single bed or layer. Undulations in the fine layers at the top of each bed record the ripples as the flow comes to rest. The mud settles and duly forms as layers seen in the turbidite rock. Link eological_floor_-_the_Ordovician.pdf
  • What is a Geopark?What is a Geopark? A Geopark is a unified area with geological heritagegeological heritage of international significance and where that heritage isheritage is being used to promote the sustainable development ofbeing used to promote the sustainable development of the local communitiesthe local communities who live there. The Geopark brand is a voluntary, quality label and while it is not a legislative designation, the keykey heritage sites within a geopark should be protectedheritage sites within a geopark should be protected under local, regional or national legislation asunder local, regional or national legislation as appropriate.appropriate. These Earth heritage sites are part of an integrated concept of protection, education, and sustainableprotection, education, and sustainable developmentdevelopment.
  • Core Elements of a GeoparkCore Elements of a Geopark A GEOPARKGEOPARK achieves its goals of fostering local developmentfostering local development through a three-pronged approach: GEOCONSERVATIONGEOCONSERVATION: A GEOPARK seeks to conserve significant geological features, and explore and demonstrate methods for excellence in conservation. EDUCATIONEDUCATION: A GEOPARK organises activities and provides logistic support to communicate geoscientific knowledge and environmental concepts to the public. GEOTOURISMGEOTOURISM: A GEOPARK stimulates economic activity and sustainable development through geotourism.
  • Geopark LevelsGeopark Levels Level Example National Kanawinka, Australia Regional Asia Pacific: Malaysia, China Global Tianzshushan, Hong Kong
  • What is a GeoTrail?What is a GeoTrail? Are predetermined routes, whichAre predetermined routes, which link sites oflink sites of geoheritage significancegeoheritage significance or interest (possiblyor interest (possibly geosites/parks).geosites/parks). Visitors travel by car/coach/bikeVisitors travel by car/coach/bike along aalong a recommended itineraryrecommended itinerary to nominated sites whereto nominated sites where they can participate in a range of passive and activethey can participate in a range of passive and active pursuitspursuits.. TheThe Island of Tasmania National LandscapeIsland of Tasmania National Landscape couldcould feature an exciting new geotrailfeature an exciting new geotrail CradleCoast CradleCoast GeoTrailGeoTrail
  • Geotourism Establishing Common Ground withGeotourism Establishing Common Ground with the Parks Movementthe Parks Movement There is an opportunity for geotourism advocates to engagegeotourism advocates to engage with park managerswith park managers to determine commonality on issues relating to: Connecting LandscapesConnecting Landscapes Forming PartnershipsPartnerships Attracting VisitorsAttracting Visitors Development of Regional CommunitiesRegional Communities IndigenousIndigenous Engagement Identification and Establishment of Geosites/GeotrailsGeosites/Geotrails Geoscience information & interpretation e.g. web sitesGeoscience information & interpretation e.g. web sites
  • Take-AwaysTake-Aways 1. The incorporation of the geotourism experience (with traditional nature tourismtraditional nature tourism and elements of other place based tourism)and elements of other place based tourism) creates a more holistic experience, and is a move towards the experiential tourismexperiential tourism modelmodel. In short, experiential tourists seek memorable experiences. 2.2. GeotourismGeotourism,, Ecotourism and Cultural TourismEcotourism and Cultural Tourism are inextricably linked.
  • Take-AwaysTake-Aways 3.3. Australias National Landscapes, geotrails andAustralias National Landscapes, geotrails and geoparksgeoparks are key places where geotourism is centrewhere geotourism is centre stage.stage. 4. Australia offers a big future for geotourismbig future for geotourism particularly given the emerging demand from overseas markets including China. 5. Geotourism offers potential employmentpotential employment opportunities for geoscientistsopportunities for geoscientists.
  • Contact DetailsContact Details Join the LinkedIn Australian GeotourismLinkedIn Australian Geotourism DevelopmentDevelopment Discussion Group!