The marine tourism industry is a key partner in the protection and management of the Great Barrier Reef. Tourism operators help enhance visitor experiences of the Reef and play an important role in protecting the amazing biodiversity that supports their industry.
Many tourism operators ensure their activities are best practice by following the Responsible Reef Practices for tourism operators.
High Standard Tourism Operators voluntarily operate to a higher standard than required by legislation as part of their commitment to ecologically sustainable use. These operators are independently certified as meeting best practice standards for the key areas of protection, presentation and partnership.
The Great Barrier Reef is vulnerable to a range of environmental incidents such as oil spills, ship groundings, cyclones, flooding and coral bleaching. Two responses to environmental incidents that impact on tourism have been developed in consultation with the marine tourism industry. The first response outlines a framework for coordination and communication between organisations after an environmental incident, the second assists operators who are impacted by a severe environmental incident.
As an iconic global destination, tourism operators are taking proactive action to tackle climate change to ensure the best outlook for the Great Barrier Reef into the future.
There are also many tourism operators situated across the Marine Park who regularly work in partnership with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to monitor the Reef.
- Tourism staff who are involved in the Eye on the Reef Monitoring Program are trained to monitor and record the health of the Reef. Scientists use this information for their research activities and Marine Park managers use it to identify areas requiring concentrated effort.
- Tourism staff assist with management of the Reef by reporting any interesting and unusual things they see in the Marine Park through the Sightings Network
In the face of an emerging outbreak of crown-of-thorns starfish, the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators and individual operators are working with the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority on crown-of-thorns starfish control activities in the Marine Park. The program is funded under the Australian Government's Caring for our Country program.
Finally, tourism operators who are regularly out on the water, play a vital role in reporting incidents in the Marine Park through the Eyes and Ears Incident Reporting Program.
If you're heading out on the water, don't forget your free Zoning Map so you know where you can go and what you can do.
The Great Barrier Reef is a hive of activity. If you're lucky enough to see a humpback whale from May to September, make sure you keep a safe distance.
We're delighted to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park's World Heritage listing.
Visit our Great Barrier Reef and discover its amazing plants, animals and habitats. There are a range of tourism experiences on offer.
Everyone has a role to play in protecting our Great Barrier Reef. Find out what you can do to help protect this Great Australian icon.
If you see sick, dead or stranded marine animals please call RSPCA QLD 1300 ANIMAL
(1300 264 625)
A Vulnerability Assessment: of the issues that could have far-reaching consequences for the Great Barrier Reef.