Simplifying and improving tourism management in the Great Barrier Reef is the aim of an action strategy now finalised after extensive consultation with the tourism industry, key stakeholders and Traditional Owners.
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority CEO Josh Thomas welcomed the new joint strategy, developed jointly with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service, outlines actions to be implemented over the next 15 years in collaboration with the tourism industry, Traditional Owners, Marine Park users and other interested partners.
“Tourism operators are important partners in helping ensure the Great Barrier Reef is protected for the future and we have a long history of well-managed tourism on the Reef,” he said.
“We acknowledge that Great Barrier Reef industries and dependent communities are facing extreme challenges due to the COVID19 pandemic.
“The Strategy aims to simplify and improve tourism management, particularly in light of the challenging times facing the tourism industry.
“We are also keen to ensure tourism is managed in a culturally-sensitive way that sees Traditional Owners effectively engaged about activities occurring in their sea country.
The joint strategy with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service was developed after targeted consultation with stakeholders and partners before being open for broader consultation. It covers both the Commonwealth and Queensland Marine Parks and supports complementary tourism management into the future.
The strategy provides high-level, long-term (until 2035), overarching guidance to managers of Reef tourism, for reviewing and streamlining tourism management policies and tools.