Kimberley Tourism

The Minister for Tourism, Martin Ferguson AM MP and the Minister for Environment Protection, Peter Garrett AM MP, today (13 April 2010) announced the Kimberley region will be included in Tourism Australia’s National Landscapes Program and will feature prominently within Australia’s future international tourism marketing.

Broome WAThe Kimberley is Western Australia’s first region in the National Landscapes Program which highlights iconic destinations across Australia.

Landscapes are nominated by local communities, in this case the Kimberley National Landscapes Steering Committee.

With the support of Tourism Australia and Parks Australia, the Steering Committee will now bring together tourism industry and government stakeholders to identify commercial opportunities, environmental management priorities, infrastructure gaps and marketing plans.

Broome Camel Rides WANearly two thirds of international visitors identify an Australian nature experience as a highlight of their visit.

The National Landscapes Program aims to promote Australian landscapes which will be major drawcards for international visitors because of their natural and cultural values.

It also aims to help regional tourism operators develop quality tourism products and services that capitalise on these values, celebrating the environmental significance and importance of the unique landscapes that are part of the program.

Broome Sunset WAMinister Ferguson said: “The Kimberley’s rich Indigenous history and culture, pearling and mining history, ancient gorges, spectacular waterfalls, rugged wilderness and remote beaches make it an obvious choice for the National Landscapes Program.

“It is a vast wilderness area more than twice the size of my home State, Victoria.

“The National Landscapes Program offers great opportunities for Indigenous training, employment and business development in both tourism and conservation.

“Tourism is a major source of employment across the Kimberley with more than 1500 tourism organisations providing jobs for rangers, pilots, cruise ship crews, chefs and many other trades and professions.

Minister Garrett said: “The Kimberley is a stunning part of Australia, internationally renowned for its vibrant Indigenous culture and unique environment and of course, the world famous Cable Beach.

The Kimberley Tanami Track WA“The inclusion of the Kimberley in the National Landscapes Program recognises the extraordinary environmental importance of the Kimberley, from the beauty and incredible diversity of the marine environment to the ecological diversity of this huge north-western landscape.

“The Kimberley region now joins destinations such as Australia’s Red Centre, Kakadu and the Australian Alps as part of a program which sees tourism and conservation working in partnership to promote some of the extraordinary natural landscapes that make our country both so unique and such an international tourism drawcard.”

The Kimberley Western AustraliaThe Ministers made the announcement on a visit to Broome before travelling to Kununurra for the first Kimberley Land Council Ranger Forum, celebrating the important role Indigenous Rangers play in the management and environmental protection of the region.

Through the Government’s Working on Country Program, supported by the Kimberley Land Council, 65 Indigenous Ranger positions at eight communities across the Kimberley, including the Miriuwung Gajerrong Rangers in Kununurra, have been supported, creating employment opportunities for Indigenous people working on country and protecting the unique natural values of the region.

The Kimberley Fitzroy CrossingThe Ministers congratulated Parks Australia, Tourism Australia, the Kimberley National Landscapes Steering Committee (chaired by Marilynne Paspaley AM), tourism operators and conservation groups for all the hard work they have put in to get the Kimberley ready for inclusion in the Program.

Tourism is a $40 billion industry employing nearly 500,000 Australians and contributing nearly 4 per cent to annual GDP. In Western Australia, tourism directly employs more than 45,000 people and contributes $3 billion to the Western Australian economy each year.

Photos Credit: Tourism Australia

Bureaucracy and Tourism Like Chalk And Cheese

A contributory article by Joanna Gash MP (Mrs)
Shadow Parliamentary Secretary for Tourism

One of the basic rules about retailing is not to impose obstacles to customers to spend their cash.

Obviously a prudent and sensible rule but one, it seems, that has not dawned on government bureaucracy.

In the area of tourism, it is the government’s role to introduce strategies to grow the industry.

Government is a stake holder in tourism, not only supplying the infrastructure but also as a custodian of natural resources upon which a lot of domestic tourism relies.

Take Kakadu Park as an example or Uluru or the Great Barrier Reef. Natural wonders – come and have a look.

Of course some wear and tear can be expected so it is fair enough to defray some of the operational costs. But it needs to be done in such a way as not to be a put off to the customer.

I was perturbed to read recently in an article by Ross Bennett on the website, that the NSW Government, or more specifically, the National Parks and Wildlife Service can charge people for taking photographs within a reserve or nature park.

It seems that under a very broad definition, photographers can be fined $3,300 for taking a snap. Although they talk about a ‘commercial photograph’, no one has bothered to define exactly what that means.

Can you imagine what sort of publicity that would generate and what sort of signal that would send to overseas or interstate tourists.

And there are similar policies in other jurisdictions which leads me to believe that perhaps with policies like these who needs a global financial down turn when you have a short sighted government?

The whole idea of taking photos is to capture special moments during your holiday.

I know when I see a parking ticket being issued to a car with out of state plates, I think of the sour taste that visitor will have when he tells his friends about his ‘special’ visit.

Talk about poor advertising and word of mouth constitutes a powerful communication medium.

In the 70’s, the Gold Coast Council had bikini-ed meter maids put coins into meters where visitors had outstayed their permit.

That is positive marketing, acknowledging the fact that you have to spend a buck to make a buck.

Not so some of our bureaucracies whose obsession with regulation and control can sometimes be a turn off.

Fining a visitor for some petty infringement is a liability not an asset. It shows that any sense of entrepreneurship, which is needed in tourism, is absent.

The key to successful tourism is the same as successful marketing; make them want more. To my mind, applying a $3,300 fine or even a small portion of the fine, represents a false economy.

Tourism has been in decline for the last ten years and in NSW, the State Labor Government actually cut the tourism budget before it dawned on them to have a look at the real world.

Ask yourself this; would you ever go back to a shop that charged you an entry fee?

No matter how you describe it, any levy, tax, fine, charge, toll or fee, without something to show for it, is not an inducement to try more.

Especially when it is done by an over bearing and zealous government agency. There are other, less intrusive ways of making a dollar and if the government wants to play in the business world, it should adopt the behaviour of the merchant. 

A note on hospitality for the government – Don’t put potential customers off before they even get there. I’m sure if they encouraged business, and business made money, they would get their share through increased tax revenues.

It’s called ‘profit sharing – Hello!  But you have to make the profit first before you can share it and that should be left to business.

Published: 8 April 2010

Handmade In Country

ln a world that that is becoming increasingly homogenised and dotted by mass produced goods and international brands, we’d like to position Toowoomba and the Darling Downs as a leading region in Australia, known for its high quality handmade goods and produce.

Offering visitors and residents alike, unique and real experiences and products that reflect our rich cultural heritage.

Handmade In Country

This fresh approach to economic, education and community development would help preserve our heritage trades for future generations and deliver valuable entrepreneurial skills for our artisans and local communities.

Handmade In CountryWe envisage developing an exciting network of artisans that produce high quality handmade products with the vision of developing better skills and visitor experiences.

The network could lead to projects such as visitor trails, tours, events, public art, training, retail outlets, website opportunities and even “handmade holidays”.

Whether you’re a wood worker, a blacksmith, stonema son or quilter, if you’re a n individual artisan, group or just interested in the project, we’d like to ensure you are included in our communications network and invitations.

To register is FREE. Just forward your name, address, email / website and
phone details to either:
Phone: 0421 148 098 or
Post: Krista Hauritz c/- BMO Business Centre, PO Box 180, Dalby QLD 4405

An Indigenous tourism story audit tool

This research developed a Story Audit Tool to be used in the field with Indigenous people and other key informants to collect local stories for use in tourism enterprises and marketing; established a prototype Intellectual Property agreement for commercial tourism for the use of images, film and written accounts of local Indigenous stories in tourism; and critically reviewed the Story Audit Tool as applied in the pilot projects at Groote Eylandt and Hermannsburg.

Download or order hard copy from

$1.7 million commitment for Launceston tramways heritage tourism hub proposal

Boost for Unique Local Tourism Opportunity

Kim Booth MP

The Tasmanian Greens today (Saturday, 13th February 2010) released their $1.7 million support package, Putting the Launceston Trams back on Track for the Launceston Tram Inveresk Heritage Tourism Hub proposal, which has been developed by the Launceston Tramway Museum Society.

Greens Member for Bass, Kim Booth MP, who was joined by Greens Leader Nick McKim MP to launch the commitment at Festivale in Launceston, said that the historic tram project was an exciting opportunity to create a unique northern Tasmanian heritage tourism attraction that would also boost other local businesses.

“Putting our local Launceston heritage trams back on track at the original Inveresk tramshed is a great and exciting opportunity,” Mr Booth said.

“The Greens are ready to deliver the necessary funds to get Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Heritage Tourism Hub proposal up and running, which is the main assistance being requested by the Management Committee.”

The Greens’ $1.7 million support package for Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the Heritage Transport Hub includes:

  • $1,220,000 for Stage 1Launceston’s proposed new Heritage Transport Hub, and Museum extension at Inveresk
  • $200,000 for overhead power to be provided to the Inveresk tram track
  • $280,000 over four years to employ a Project Manager

“This nationally significant collection will value-add to the historic Inveresk site and will assist it to develop into an iconic large scale heritage attraction. Tourism sites that offer such a unique and genuine experience on this scale become the engine drivers of local economies, and that is the potential of this proposal.

“This is a positive plan for local tourism, local jobs and local businesses.”

“This diligent group of people had the vision and the tenacity to undertake such a labor of love collecting and restoring Launceston’s historical municipal trams.  Their vision could now provide a genuine and enduring asset for Launceston and the broader northern region with the project having an identified capacity to attract between 10,000 and 30,000 visitors each year.”

“The Greens are ready to get behind this exciting tourism and heritage proposal and deliver for the broader community,” Mr Booth said.

Mr Booth paid tribute to the years of hard work undertaken by the Launceston Tramway Museum Society and its Management Committee to build up their heritage tramway collection and develop such a comprehensive business case for the proposed Heritage Transport Hub.

Developing natural and cultural heritage tourism in Australia

Planning a sustainable future
Planning a sustainable future for tourism, heritage and the environment a tool to use when managing and developing regions, places and tourism products.

This document is designed for tourism operators, heritage and environment managers, community groups and others with an interest in places, regions and associated tourism products. The approach outlined in the following pages, fosters a mutual understanding of issues and shows how to work together to achieve a range of sustainable benefits for tourism, communities, the environment and heritage. More Details.

Successful Tourism at Heritage Places
A guide for tourism operators, heritage managers and communities. This guide provides information to help people more clearly understand the issues involved and includes practical pointers for those aiming at successful and responsible tourism at heritage places. More Details

Understanding the Value of Heritage Tourism in Alice Springs ‘ (PDF, 1,900 Kb) – reveals some exciting findings and gives a factual basis for the heritage tourism sector to plan for its strategic development. More Details

How should Historian be involved with Tourism

Assessments (of tourism potential, development and management requirements) should include both tourism and heritage issues so that they can inform subsequent planning.

Improved assessment methods are also needed to help consider the feasibility of tourism activities at heritage places. More informed assessments would help local government, developers, funding agencies and Indigenous communities in particular.

History is a vital companion to tourism. Tourists want to see ‘old things’, places where their ancestors lived, learn about things their ancestors did. The study of history can help to identify places and objects of interest to tourists…Loreley Morling University of Western Australia.

Cultural heritage tourism is largely untapped in Australia. Tourist authorities stress natural heritage (coral, kangaroos and wildflowers) or the larrikin ocker (Paul Hogan, Steve Irwin). Heritage tourism showcases Australia’s history and, as the experience of other new world societies like the United States and Canada, has great potential to attract travellers with education, money to spend, and high expectations … Assoc Prof Jenny Gregory University of Western Australia.

There can be a judicious mix of history and tourism provided that tourism ventures provide the correct history and not a jumbled version. And that is where the role of professional historians can come in, as they are the people who should be providing the information to tourism operators … Dr Christine Wright (Braidwood)

Professional historians already have a central role in heritage tourism, primarily through the preparation of thematic histories for local government heritage studies and historical research of individual heritage items. As history is principally the activity of telling stories about the past heritage tourism needs to tell engaging stories that are based on the work of professional historians and local researchers. History is therefore vital in reclaiming tourism from the dry recitation of facts that too often passes for the interpretation of heritage places. Stories connecting places with people from the past are the key to a more involving tourism experience … Murray Brown Heritage Office NSW.

History does not need to be sacrificed for tourism development. The general public are more than interested in history, it is the ways and means through which historians choose to communicate history which need to be sacrificed. Historians need to work collaboratively and have an understanding of the needs of tourism development … Megan Sheehy University of Melbourne

Whether natural, cultural or Indigenous heritage, or a combination of all three, Australia’s regional heritage tourism importance cannot be underestimated. Heritage tourism has enormous potential for growth in regional communities … Australian Heritage Commission

Heritage Tourism logo

There must be building of relationship between tourism and heritage. Development and promotion of Heritage tourism products and services to be completed by professionals not hobby or social groups … Cathy Dunn Program Director.