“Wildlife Tourism: A Force for Biodiversity Conservation and Local Economies?”
Conference Venue – Mercure Hotel, Geelong
Pre-conference field trip opportunities:
Tuesday 29 September –
- Koalas and Kangaroos IN THE WILD tour with Echidna Walkabout – returns to Geelong for Welcome Reception
- 2.00pm – Narana Aboriginal Cultural Centre tour – special cultural education afternoon session.
Tuesday 29 September: Welcome reception – sponsored by Principal Partner Tourism Victoria
6.00 to 8.00pm – Waterfront Kitchen at Deakin University, Western Beach Road, Geelong (free for all delegates registered for 3 days, $35 for others)… see more information.
Welcome speech by Chris White, Group Manager Product Marketing, Tourism Victoria
(Please note we may need to make minor alterations)
Coloured titles below link to abstracts Keynote Speaker names link to bios
Wednesday 30 September: International Aspects
- 8.45 am – Conference Welcome and information for delegates – WTA Chair (Ronda Green) and Vice Chair (Roger Smith)
- 9.00 am – Official opening of conference by the Hon John Eren MP, Victorian Minister for Tourism and Major Events
Chair: Roger Smith
- 9.15 am – “Wildlife tourism’s untapped potential: How tourists’ emotions contribute to conservation and your bottom line” – Dr Jeffrey Skibins, Keynote speaker from USA (introduced and sponsored by Tourism Victoria)
- 9.45 am – “Wildlife tourism in Indonesia: A Review on Development and Progress” – Dr Jatna Supriatna, Keynote speaker from Indonesia (introduced and sponsored by Tourism Victoria
10.15 to 11.00 am – morning tea, networking and viewing of posters and displays
Chair: Ronda Green
- 11.00 am – “Conservation, Education, Entertainment? Reflections from history and future directions for zoos” – Dr Warwick Frost, Keynote speaker
- 11.30 am – “Conservation Partnerships” at work – from wallaby to albatross! Reflections from New Zealand”. Dr Anna Thompson-Carr. Keynote speaker from New Zealand (introduced and sponsored by Parks Victoria)
- 12 noon – “Threatened Species – ours to protect” – Gregory Andrews, Australian Threatened Species Commissioner
12.30 to 2.00 pm – lunch, networking and viewing of posters and displays
Chair: Janine Duffy
- 2.00 pm – “Playing games and telling stories: opportunities for Responsible Wildlife Tourism” – Christopher Warren, Keynote Speaker
Contributed papers: International Aspects – Chair: Jennifer Laing
- 2.30 pm – “Analyzing food-derived interactions between tourists and sika deer (Cervus nippon) at Miyajima Island in Hiroshima, Japan” – Rie Usui, Hiroshima University
- 2.45 pm – “Wildlife tourism in Okinawa JAPAN: current concerns and future prospects“ – Junko Oshima, University of the Ryukyus, Okinawa Japan
- 3.00 pm – “Saving the Environment through Tourism: the importance of collaboration between Tourism and Conservation” – Peter Miller, Orangutan Odysseys
- 3.15 pm – “Exploring Asia-Pacific Zoos’ Role in Delivering Conservation Messages to Visitors” – Dr Warwick Frost and Dr Jennifer Laing
- 3.30pm – “Marine Wildlife Tourism Interaction in the Philippines” – Maria Rica C Bueno, Office of Tourism Standards & Regulation, Philippine Department of Tourism
3.45 to 4.15pm afternoon tea, networking and viewing of posters and displays
Chair: Ronda Green
4.15 pm – Round Table discussion: – “International wildlife travels: opportunities and challenges”
- What are the main wildlife features attracting Australia to other countries and vice versa?
- What lesser known wildlife and regions could be better promoted?
- What are some of the problems involved in opening up new regions to tourism? (e.g. access and facilities for tourists, increasing pressure on natural resources, changes to local lifestyle, illegal wildlife trade) and how can these be tackled by the tourism industry and governments?
5.00 pm – Skype Presentation “Wildlife tours to save nature – What can Australia learn from Sweden?” – Marcus Eldh, Wild Sweden 5.30pm Close – Those who have booked the optional Mt Rothwell guided spotlight walk and bbq dinner will leave venue (optional field trip extra cost)
Thursday 1 October: Value of Wildlife Tourism to Biodiversity and Conservation
- 8.50am – Announcements, general information for delegates – Ronda Green and Roger Smith
- 9.00am – “Nature-based tourism – the political perspective” – Senator Janet Rice, Keynote speaker
Contributed papers: How can wildlife tourism contribute to biodiversity conservation?- Chair: Jeffrey Skibins
- 9.30am – “Tourism assisting biodiversity: how can we make it work?”– Ronda Green
- 9.45am – “The benefits of including a client conservation action on tours” Janine Duffy, Echidna Walkabout
- 10.00am – “Using a zoo based behaviour change model to drive pro-environmental actions in visitors to wildlife destinations” –Brooke Squires, Zoos Victoria
- 10.15 am – “Educational-Recreational Activities in Parks for Nature Connection and Post-visit Conservationist Outcomes: Possibilities and Challenges at an Operational Level in the Gold Coast region” – Dr Ismar Borges de Lima and Betty Weiler, Southern Cross University
10.30 to 11.15 am – morning tea, networking and viewing of posters and displays
Chair: Maree Treadwell-Kerr
- 11.15 am – “A review of the conservation actions and outcomes of wildlife tourism enterprises” – Cassandra Wardle, Griffith University School of Environment
- 11.30 am – “Why the future of Wildlife Tourism in Victoria depends on sustainable private land management” – Dr Kaye Rodden, Victorian Landcare Council
- 11.45 am – “Look, Listen, and Let Your Senses Guide You” – Penny Irons, William Angliss Institute
- 12.00 noon – “Mt Rothwell’s conservation model: protecting threatened species, providing uniquely wild encounters” – Annette Rypalski, Mt Rothwell
- 12.15 pm – “Conservation on Spicers Hidden Vale – A Cooperative Venture” – Andrew Tribe, University Of Queensland Gatton
- 12.30 pm – “Humans in the cage: Exploring the white shark Carcharodon carcharias) cage-diving experience” – Kirin Apps, Southern Cross University
12.45 to 2.15 pm lunch, networking and viewing of displays
Chair: Ronda Green
- 2.15 pm – “The Role of Citizen Science in Sustainable Tourism” – Justin Foster, Earthwatch Institute
2.30 pm – Round Table Discussion: “Citizen Science by tourists”
- How do we assure valid and useful data are collected? How do we assign different tourists to different tasks?
- How useful are bio-blitzes and how do we involved tourists in them?
- How can we improve WTA’s research network?
3.15 pm – Round Table Discussion: “Making a difference (wildlife tourism enhancing conservation)”
- What more can wildlife tourism do to enhance biodiversity conservation?
- What can large operators and micro-businesses do?
- What can tourism organizations and government departments do?
- What are some of the obstacles to emulating success stories elsewhere, and how do we overcome them?
4.15 to 4.45 pm afternoon tea, networking and viewing of displays
Chair: Ronda Green
4.45 pm – Round Table Discussion: “Up close and personal? Human-wildlife interactions?”
- How close should we get, both in the wild and in captivity?
- What do already know and what do we need to know to assess what kinds of interaction are acceptable in terms of both animal welfare and conservation?
- What do we know and what do we need to know about interactions with animals leading to support for their conservation?
5.30 pm – Close sessions 5.45pm – Some will drive or walk to Eastern Park to see the Grey Headed Flying Foxes leave their roost
Friday 2 October: the value of wildlife tourism to local economies
7.15am – 8.30am Wildlife Tourism Australia Annual General Meeting in Terrace Room at Mercure. AGM starting at 7.45am. You can bring your breakfast to the room and network from 7.15am.
Contributed papers: How can wildlife tourism contribute to local communities? Chair: Janine Duffy
- 8.30 am – “Wildlife/people conflicts: how can tourism help to solve them”? Ronda Green
- 9.00 am – “Phillip Island Nature Parks contribution to the local community and State of Victoria” – Matthew Jackson, Phillip Island Nature Parks – Sponsor
- 9.30 am – “Elevating the role of nature in the Australian Tourism industry – a case study from Kangaroo Island” Craig Wickham, Exceptional Kangaroo Island
- 9.45 am – “The spill-over effects of zooscape experience: new challenges for developing zoo identity, zoo attachment and conservation outcomes” Aise Kim, University of South Australia
- 10.00 am – “American couples who travel internationally to watch birds: An exploratory study of a large and under-explored market” – Denise Goodfellow (in absentia)
10.15 to 11.oo am morning tea, networking and viewing of displays
Chair: Aise Kim
- 11.00 am – The benefits of expanding the wildlife tourism offering (title TBA) – Greg Lewin AM, WAMA Foundation Ltd
- 11.15 am – “Local Government opportunities and challenges in wildlife tourism and economic development” – Nina Hewson, Western Australia Local Government Association
- 11.30 am – “Creating jobs by boosting nature-based tourism in South Australia’s national parks, marine parks and reserves” – Chris Thomas, Dept of Environment Water and Natural Resources, South Australia
- 11.45 am – “Bats and Tourism; A way to coexist and benefit financially from the other mammals with which we share the city” – Maree Treadwell-Kerr, Australasian Bat Society Inc. and Sera Steves, The Wildlife Habitat, Port Douglas
- 12.00 noon – “An opportunity for an Ecotourism destination on the doorstep of Geelong” – John Newman, Geelong Field Naturalists Club
- 12.15 pm – “A collaboration between a wildlife tour operator, a zoo and science: Monitoring nose patterns throughout life in tagged and captive koalas” – Janine Duffy, Echidna Walkabout and Yvette Pauligk, Werribee Zoo
- 12.30 pm – “The Making of Koala Clancy of the You Yangs “ – Melinda King, Koala Clancy Foundation and Wathaurong Co-operative
12.45 – 1.45 pm lunch, networking and viewing of displays
Chair: Ronda Green
1.45 pm – Round Table Discussion: “Solving human:wildlife conflicts with wildlife tourism”
- What are the real wildlife problems that people face (danger to crops, human safety, limited access to protected and private areas etc.)?
- What problems may be exaggerated?
- How do we get accurate information to all stakeholders (local residents, politicians, tourism operations, NGO’s)?
- How can wildlife tourism contribute to solving the problems?
2.30 pm – Skype presentation “How wildlife tourism can benefit the local communities living with wildlife in Kenya“ Daniel Sambu and Paul Sadera Ole Kilelu from Kenya 3.00 pm – Final Plenary Discussion “Where do we go from here?” General summary of conference and voting on priority actions. Suggested actions to follow the conference: lobbying of governments, information to be sent to tourism organisations, travel agents, tourism operations (wildlife or other), new projects, research priorities etc. 4.00 pm – Close of conference and final afternoon tea and networking
Post-conference field trips –
more information and more to come
Saturday 3 October
- Koala Conservation Day in the You Yangs Regional Park
Sunday 4 October
- **Venus Bay Ecolodge – 2.30pm afternoon guided walk and refreshments
- **Lantern-lit evening tour – Moonlit Sanctuary Wildlife Conservation Park, Pearcedale
- Wildlife Journey – 4 days in the wilderness coast of far East Gippsland – with Echidna Walkabout
** can be another time perhaps combined with a Phillip Island or Wilsons Promontory trip
Whenever it suits you –
Check out some of the great opportunities to experience the wildlife and diversity of Victoria and particularly the surrounding area if you are able to spend a bit more time here!
NEW - Information for Delegates.
Check out the presenters abstracts in a number of ways
- Conference Program – titles link to specific abstracts
- Abstracts list
- Program and Abstracts – pdf download
- do you have a poster presentation?
- presentation times are now set so please let us know if anything needs to change!
“Volcano Dreaming“ – 12 metre x 2 metre display focuses on the precarious existence of one of the world’s most endangered ecosystems, the wildflower grasslands of the Victorian volcanic plains.
Round Table Discussions
We will move into small groups, each discussing the questions posed and with a scribe taking notes, then combine in a plenary discussion. Major points and calls to action will be published on the WTA website.