The Margaret River region will be recognised as the leading sustainable nature and adventure tourism destination in Australia, according to a new region-wide Nature Based Tourism Strategy unveiled by the Margaret River Busselton Tourism Association (MRBTA).
The strategy recognises the importance of the environment not only to tourism, but to the economy of the whole region, and aims to guide MRBTA’s decision-making process around the development of nature, Aboriginal and adventure based initiatives and activities.
Outlined in the strategy are the region’s existing ‘hero’ products, including caves, whale watching, Aboriginal cultural experiences and the Cape to Cape Track, while mountain biking, Geotrails, botanic gardens and voluntourism are identified as areas with strong potential for future product development.
The first of its kind for MRBTA, the strategy will be delivered through a collaborative, cross-region approach and the document itself has been produced following engagement with MRBTA members and local environmental groups. MRBTA will explore partnerships with local, state and federal government, as well as community and cultural groups, higher education establishments and voluntourism programs in order to realise the vision outlined in the strategy.
Delivery of the strategy will also incorporate activity to elevate the ‘nature’ pillar of the Your Margaret River Region brand in order to drive economic growth for the MRBTA commercial attraction assets, which will in turn benefit conservation goals.
MRBTA CEO Pip Close emphasised the importance of the natural environment as an issue affecting all areas of the region’s economy.
“The Margaret River region’s environment is not a background issue; no significant part of the economy will survive if its environment is destroyed, especially the tourism industry.
The importance of the environment to our lifestyles and livelihoods cannot be dismissed as a ‘greenie’ issue but instead needs to be front and centre in our minds, and in all of our actions and plans.
The vision outlined in the strategy is ambitious and there is much work to be done, but we look forward to working alongside new and existing partners to establish the region as a leader in this field.”