Action 4.4: Support increased diversity and quality of natural and cultural tourism opportunities in the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area

The issue to be addressed

An Australian Electoral Commission experience audit of the Wet Tropics (2012) identified that the regional offerings were limited and much more could be done to deepen and enrich visitor experience to highlight the range of experience opportunities in the Wet Tropics of Queensland World Heritage Area. At the same time, tourism markets have matured and are seeking richer, more meaningful experiences, including Aboriginal cultural experiences. There is also an identified need for longer multi-day walking tracks and diversification of experiences.

Action we will take

The Authority will:

  • facilitate investigation into appropriate tourism opportunities for presenting the World Heritage values of the Area by working with the tourism industry to identify sites where appropriate nature-based tourism might be developed in the future. This could include:
  • jointly investigating potential opportunities such as those identified in the Nature Based Tourism Strategy, Walking Strategy (eg Misty Mountains, H-Road, Bartle Frere, Cape Tribulation to Mission Beach walking trail) and other strategies
  • identifying new opportunities within the existing zoning system in which small, medium and larger-scale tourism opportunities could be developed
  • supporting Rainforest Aboriginal People to better link with mainstream tourism business to develop and establish new cultural tourism ventures
  • continuing to explore and advocate for a Wet Tropics Gateway and World Heritage centre in Cairns
  • simplifying zoning in the revised Wet Tropics Management Plan 1998, and definitions around what kinds of infrastructure is allowed in each zone
  • maintaining a map (see map 1—potential future tourism roads) of old roads that may have the potential to be restored and used as presentation roads, and potentially building a database of old forestry roads, and other previously disturbed areas, or future visitor sites (e.g. such as those roads or sites identified in the Wet Tropics Nature Based Tourism Strategy 2000 and the data recorded in documents prepared by the Wet Tropics Ecotourism Strategy Steering Committee in 1996).

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