SAVE THE DATE for NPAQ’s upcoming seminar ‘Ecotourism & Protected Areas: Are we on the right track?’ at Brisbane Square Library on Tuesday 30 July.

Queensland is home to some of the world’s most impressive natural wonders, including the Great Barrier Reef, Gondwana Rainforests, the Daintree and a wealth of unique national parks and other protected areas. Annually, millions of visitors experience our state’s amazing wild places and wildlife, often with the assistance of local ecotourism operators. 

Showcasing Queensland’s wonders to the world ensures we’re all connected with, and engaged in, preserving these protected areas, while also improving our own physical and mental well-being. Of course, we all want to ensure we do that in a way that is respectful of nature, champions biodiversity and safeguards protected areas.

Ecotourism is ecologically sustainable tourism primarily focused on experiencing an area in a way that fosters understanding, appreciation and conservation of the area and its natural and cultural values. That’s why it’s specifically included as one of the management principles of national parks in the Nature Conservation Act 1992.

Genuine ecotourism operators are important allies for raising awareness and channelling funding into conservation activities. For nine decades, NPAQ has shared a wonderful partnership with Advanced Ecotourism Certified Binna Burra Lodge, right on the doorstep of stunning Lamington National Park. NPAQ believes that ecotourism businesses like this, located adjacent to national parks, add immense value to our parks and to the local visitor experience – a topic that will be further explored at NPAQ’s upcoming seminar ‘Ecotourism and Protected Areas: Are we on the right track?’

Join in the discussion of how ecotourism and protected areas can work together to aid conservation with speakers from NPAQ, the tourism industry, and government. 

Susanne Cooper: President NPAQ; international experience in environmental planning and sustainability strategies.  

Susanne has over 28 years’ experience in sustainability assessments and integrated natural resource policy and planning at strategic and site specific scales across a wide range of landscapes. She has developed over 50 plans and strategies for the effective protection and management of natural areas including rivers, wetlands, catchments, national parks and other conservation areas for all levels of government and internationally. Susanne has worked with leading organisations across six industry sectors that embedded sustainable outcomes into the design, construction and operation of major projects.  She has been an invited speaker at national and international conferences, and is co-author of the internationally recognised book Insight Trading, which captures her practical insights and approaches for achieving innovation and transformative change.

Alyssa Sanders: Head of Destinations and Member Services, Ecotourism Australia

Alyssa holds a Bachelor of Tourism and Event Management, and a Bachelor of Business majoring in marketing, both from the University of South Australia. She is trained in global sustainability practices through Green Destinations, a global organisation supporting sustainable destination management. At Ecotourism Australia, Alyssa leads regional tourism organisations and local government through Ecotourism Australia’s eco and sustainable tourism destination certification program. She has grown the program from the ground up to what it is today. Her role also includes overseeing Ecotourism Australia’s communications, events and member services and managing various grants and industry partnerships.

Peter Shooter

Peter Shooter: Past President of Fraser Island Defenders Organisation (FIDO)

For more than 25 years, FIDO has been in the forefront of raising public awareness and influencing decision-making in the interests of protecting one of the great natural wonders of the world.

Kristie Gray: Manager Ecotourism, QPWS & Partnerships


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