Getting Real About Wildlife Tourism
The 2nd Australian Wildlife Tourism Conference was held at the Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, Western Australia on 13-15 August 2006. Hosted by Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA) and FACET, the aim of the conference was to build knowledge, networks and participation in the development of a truly sustainable wildlife tourism industry.
Australia’s second national conference on wildlife tourism was attended by approximately 135 delegates from all over Australia (and beyond), and was very successful in helping to focus the attention of operators, researchers and policy makers on this very important component of the Australian tourism industry. Delegates represented a wider range of sectors, especially tourism industry, government, researchers, conservation NGOs and consultants. The conference highlighted the unique quality of the Australian wildlife tourism experience that international tourists are searching for. The highly positive feedback from delegates showed that they felt inspired by the common vision of sustainable, profitable wildlife tourism that contributes to conservation, and by meeting with people working hard towards this vision from a range of sectors.
Presentations were given on a wide range of topics, such as the impacts of tourism activity on wildlife (negative and positive), strategies to effectively manage tourism to minimise any adverse impacts, techniques to educate tourists through innovative interpretive programs and approaches to effective marketing of the wildlife tourism product.
The exciting range of keynote speakers (from South Africa, Malaysia, Canada, New Zealand and Australia) were drawn from various sectors and each provided insightful observations about wildlife tourism and its potential to contribute to nature conservation. The range of fieldtrips and social events helped give the conference its distinctive flavour and ensured that delegates had great opportunities to network and make new contacts in a variety of contexts. The workshops provided opportunities for examination of topics of particular interest to operators and to those involved in planning and management of wildlife tourism. Consensus was reached on a detailed set of conference resolutions.
The content of the presentations and nature of the discussions showed that, compared with the more exploratory approach shown at the 2001 Hobart conference, Australia is now “getting real” about wildlife tourism and moving into a new era of professionalism in supporting, managing and promoting tourism based on our unique and wonderful wildlife.
2006 AWTC Program (pdf 111kb)
2006 AWTC Abstracts (pdf 218kb)
For copyright reasons full presentations and author contact details are not provided.
Each of the following “how to” workshops aimed to provide information and practical tips to assist operators in running their businesses profitably and sustainably. Please click on the links below to download the proceedings of each workshop session.
Tourism Operator Workshops
- WORKSHOP 1: Promoting Your Product – Proceedings (pdf 33kb)
- WORKSHOP 2: Wildlife Interpretation – Proceedings (pdf 29kb)
- WORKSHOP 1: Strategic Planning of Wildlife Tourism – Proceedings (pdf 60kb)
- WORKSHOP 2: Wildlife Feeding and Interaction – Proceedings (pdf 110kb)
A detailed list of resolutions was developed based on all the presentations and workshops, and agreed to by consensus. These resolutions detail broad actions required to achieve sustainable growth, enhance product quality, minimise negative impacts on wildlife and habitats and increase conservation benefits associated with Australian wildlife tourism. Further work is currently been undertaken to develop and disseminate suggested specific actions.
For a copy of the final resolutions from the conference, please click below to download.
2006 AWTC Key Issues and Resolutions (pdf 46kb)