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

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

It’s official. NSW is the nation’s favourite tourist destination

New independent figures released today show NSW enjoyed a bumper end to 2009 with domestic overnight visitors to the State increasing by 7 per cent.

This follows figures released last week that show NSW continues to lead the nation’s international tourist recovery.

Minister for Tourism Jodi McKay said the latest National Visitor Survey showed NSW was the only State to see a significant increase in visitor numbers in the last quarter of 2009.

“While domestic travel by Australians saw no significant change overall, visitor numbers to Victoria and Queensland actually fell by 4 per cent and 9 per cent respectively,” Ms McKay said.

“So the fact that NSW bucked that trend with a 7 per cent increase in the number of visitors over the quarter is another clear sign that we’re leading the nation’s tourism recovery.”

Ms McKay said that the State’s share of domestic visitors increased by 3.2 per cent to 37 per cent over the quarter, compared to Victoria and Queensland, both at 23 per cent.

“NSW is the number one State for Australian visitors, visitor nights and visitor spending,” Ms McKay said.

“Our State is the nation’s favourite destination and these results are great news for the State’s tourism businesses and for the economy.

“Last week’s International Visitor Survey showed that international visitors to NSW increased by almost 7 per cent last quarter, with visitor nights up by almost 13 per cent.

“The best news is that 2010 is already shaping up to be a great year for tourism in the State with operators reporting strong bookings over the summer.”

Ms McKay said the results also show a 12 per cent increase in the number of visitors to Sydney in the quarter ending December 2009 compared to the same quarter in 2008.

“Sydney saw more than 1.8 million Australian visitors in the last quarter of 2009, an increase of around 200,000 compared with the previous year.

“Regional NSW also recorded a positive quarter with a 6 per cent overall increase in the number of domestic overnight visitors,” Ms McKay said.

A few regions in particular saw significant increases over the quarter, including the Murray (up 40 per cent), Capital Country (up 36 per cent) and New England North West (up 28 per cent).

For the year ending December 2009, NSW received 22.6 million domestic overnight visitors who stayed 77 million nights and injected more than $12.25 billion into the State’s economy.

* Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey December 2009 quarter.

 Discover NSW Heritage Tourism

Yass Valley Heritage Tramway Tourism Feasibility Study

Council has received funding, in partnership with the Yass Valley Development Corporation and Yass Railway Heritage Centre, to undertake a Feasibility Study to determine the tourism potential for reopening the Yass Valley Heritage Tramway.

Expressions of Interest are invited from suitably qualified persons to undertake the project management of the study. Copies of the Project Management Brief are available from Council by contacting (02) 6226 1477.

Expressions of Interest will be received up until closing time 5:00 p.m. on Monday 22 March 2010. David Rowe General Manager PO Box 6 YASS NSW 2582.

The Cultural Moment in Heritage Tourism

New perspectives on performance and engagement
Ask most tourists and they will tell you that visiting heritage sites is primarily about ‘having a nice day out’. Recreation, leisure and sometimes a desire for education or the expression or demonstration of cultural ‘taste’ are all well documented motivations for touristic activities.

But what cultural work does the act of visiting cultural sites actually do?  What, in cultural and social terms, is achieved by having ‘a nice day out’?  What also, beyond the economic, is obtained by the delineation of cultural sites and places for touristic consumption?

This work explores the cultural and social work that both the act of visiting, and the provision of heritage sites for touristic use, does – it aims to capture the cultural moment in heritage tourism.

In identifying and capturing this ‘moment’, the volume also aims to explore what this may mean for a critical understanding of both tourism and heritage itself.

In providing a deeper and nuanced understanding of the motivations, on-site activities, meaning construction and other cultural work by both tourists and tourist operators, the work aims to provide a critical and holistic understanding of the interrelation between heritage and the tourism industry.

We therefore invite contributions from established scholars across a range of fields who might want to address, refine, take issue with or replace some of the following questions:

  • How are cultural encounters best understood in tourism contexts?
  • To what extent are moments of engagement premeditated or random?
  • Can such moments be created, and what does this imply about agency and subjective understandings?
  • How are cultural moments configured in cyberspace, with the advent of Web 2.0 in particular?
  • To what extent is the cultural moment constitutive of other social relations such as power and authority, gender and history?
  • How is the moment embodied? What movement is revealed? What senses are involved?
  • How is performance modulated by moments of engagement, and what are the reciprocities of engagement and performance in tourism places?

It is our intention to present a collection of chapters to explore these and other related questions that our contributors may offer. We invite theoretical and conceptual contributions; the results of empirical research; reflections on lived experience; and applications of emergent theory to cases preferably of international significance. To be considered for this publication, you should submit a 300-word abstract to Laurajane Smith, Emma Waterton and Steve Watson at no later than 31st March, 2010.

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

Creation of historic theme accommodation village

The Story behind the creation of Woollamia Village Retreat on the South Coast NSW.

In early February 1998 Sue & Brian Brown commenced construction of Woollamia Village Retreat. The original thought was to build cedar weatherboard cabins however when it came to putting pencil to paper they changed their thinking. As it was approaching the centenary of Federation the idea developed to recreate public buildings of the federation era.

Barry Richards a long time acquaintance and draughtsman was given the concept and came back shortly afterwards with the idea on paper. He then set about completing the working drawings, which were submitted to council in August 1997. Council granted approval late January 1998.

Construction of the Police Station, Post Office and Church commenced on the 1st February 1998.

Overseer’s Cottage had been built prior to the Village for Sue’s Dad George who did unfortunately return Overseas. This was built incorporating the properties original garage and carport. The garage was turned into a bedroom, ensuite and WIR, an extension to the north was made to form a living area and kitchen and surrounding veranda to match the original home on the property.

Police Station: constructed between February 1998 and December 1998 opened for business 26th December 1998. The Police Station was inspired by, Brian’s Grandmother who purchased the Old Cobbora Courthouse near Dunnydoo and proceeded to restore it when her husband passed away.

The Cobargo Police Station was also an inspiration (although it was the original Court House), which we did not find out until we had completed our Police Station.  The weatherboard building adjacent was the original Police Station.

The Cell block adjacent to the Woollamia Village Retreat Police Station was constructed using the Cell doors off the Old Jervis Bay Village Police Station built in the 1950’s.

The Charge Dock inside is from the Old Tea Garden’s Court House unfortunately we don’t know when it was built or demolished. Our Cell Block was loosely modelled on the one at the Pambula Court House.

The General Store: Constructed between November 2000 and September 2001. The inspiration for this building came from a number of sources, Burrawang and Barrengarry General Stores, an old store in Carcoar (which we thought had been a General Store but in fact had been a Boot Makers Shop).

We also liked a sketch by Gordon Hanley a Queensland artist, which is on display in the store. The cash register from a Pub, the Milk Cart from the Camden area. The signage and other items on display come from far and wide

The Post Office: Constructed between February 1998 and December 1998 it also opened for business on Boxing Day 1998.

This building was constructed from left overs and recycled building materials. The timber panelling in the bedroom was from the Captains Cottage at HMAS Creswell. The windows from Garry MacDonald’s home in the high ground above Berry. Bricks were left from varied building projects undertaken.

The Falls Creek Post Office sign was located in Goulburn, where it was explained, it had been used for concrete formwork (marks can be seen on the sign) by its previous owner. The Post Office was originally located at the corner of the Princes Highway (now Falls Road) and Parma Road and was later relocated to Falls Creek Village (Klimpton) but no longer exists. The Huskisson 2540 came off the old Huskisson Post Office built in the 20’s (where the Dolphin Explorer Cruises are now locate).

The Village Church: Constructed from February 1998 to July 1999 is a little unusual perhaps as, it was inspired by a Pre-School we built in Berry. It is built in the fashion of the old country Churches seen dotted around old Towns throughout Australia. The timber panelling was recycled from an old home in Nowra, the Pew is from the old Wandanian Church, which was moved off site (the site now houses Wandanian Yard & Garden). The 1880’s Easty Organ was from Armidale, the Lectern from the Asian Pentecostal Church (don’t know where) and the shutters on the western elevation from Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Earlwood.

The Bank: constructed between July 2000 and opened on 12th December 2000. It is a reflection of the good old days of Australia’s first bank the Bank of New South Wales established in 1817. There is some old banking memorabilia on display, moneyboxes, cheques etc. The shelves in the display cabinets are the old Teller screens from the Westpac Nowra refurbishment. The plaque was obtained from Queensland and arrived just prior to our opening.

The School: Constructed between January 2001 and October 2001. The inspiration for the School comes from the old family property “The Springs’ near Dubbo settled in the early 1800’s. The weatherboards at the end of the veranda come from the old Birriley Street School at Bomaderry, which was built in 1893. The blackboard is from Kiama a School built in the 1950’s, the bubbler was located in Wollongong.

The Village Inn: Constructed from March 2002 and completed in December 2002 being the final cottage. Inspired by the Slim Dusty song “A Pub With No Beer”. It’s hard to determine where all of the memorabilia comes from. The piano is 1800’s English most other bits have been picked up locally.

The Gazebo: This was constructed mid 2005 as an area for guests to sit and have a couple of drinks or a barbecue. Also ideal for intimate wedding Ceremonies.

The Village Hall – Guests Activities Room: This completes the construction phase at Woollamia Village Retreat. This building started its life as a workshop and has been converted to facilitate as an area for our guests to have get togethers or for small conferences etc. This is the most rustic of our buildings, however it comes with all the required facilities. It contains a kitchenette, disabled toilet, tables and chairs. This area was completed in April 2006.



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.