Policy: Developing Wildlife Tourism Trails
Wildlife Tourism Australia Inc.
Policy Document, April 2005
Wildlife Tourism Australia (WTA) supports the development of “wildlife trails” around Australia to promote and increase regional tourism and raise public awareness of Australia’s unique wildlife.
WTA sees wildlife tourism trails as a strategic way to work collaboratively in partnership with members representing industry, non-profit organisations and government at local, regional and State levels. WTA will provide part of the seed capital funding and assist members in developing and marketing wildlife trails on the following conditions:
1. Projects have the support of local, regional and State tourism organisations to ensure long-term viability and integrated success of the project.
2. Each wildlife trail shall be open to all responsible tourism operators in the local/region/State who operate wildlife-based tours/attractions (as long as these do not contravene conservation, animal welfare or other ethical considerations), and this opportunity should be advertised as widely as possible.
3. The project must include ‘Wildlife Trail’ in the title.
4. There must be a written plan detailing project brief, target markets, funding, distribution of brochures and evaluation monitoring.
5. The WTA logo must be included in the final brochure in a prominent position along with the following sentence: “For more information about wildlife tourism in Australia, visit www.wildlifetourism.org.au“.
6. A delegate from WTA must sign off final artwork for the trail brochure prior to printing and remain updated of progress by the organising coordinator/ committee.
7. All participants are financial members of Wildlife Tourism Australia. This way, WTA will provide ongoing marketing and support of the wildlife trail and continue to provide standard membership benefits.
From WTA’s experience in the development and planning of trails around Australia, we offer the following recommendations:
1. Trail brochure folds out to A2 and down to DL size.
2. Trail brochure features a quality road map printed on high quality plantation paper.
3. Trails may feature wildlife parks, zoos, sanctuaries, protected areas (e.g. national parks), ecolodges, museums and tours with significant wildlife components.
4. Wildlife experiences should where possible include both captive and free-ranging animals, and both land and marine based tours/attractions.
5. Ongoing costs of printing is split between participants. Costs should be split equally where possible, with equal representation for all participants, but a different level can be considered for small nonprofit ventures to be included on the map without a detailed description.
6. Where relevant the description for each participant should state their commitment to conservation (e.g. wildlife parks breeding rare species for release into wild, tour operators adhering to the ideals of ecotourism).
7. Where relevant the description for each participant should include educational opportunities (e.g. facilities for school groups, quality interpretation by naturalist guides, educational books/CDs/pamphlets available).
8. Final copy of a low-resolution Trail pdf is featured on web sites of each operator and WTA.
9. The brochure is to be given away FREE to visitors and other interested parties.
For contacts and sample trails, please visit WTA’s web site: www.wildlifetourism.org.au