Boost for SA's nature-based tourism

ADELAIDE (South Australian Tourism Commission) - Three innovative South Australian tourism projects have been awarded more than $130,000 in funding, through a tourism and conservation partnership aimed at fostering nature-based tourism.

Recipients of Commonwealth funds through the Tourism and Conservation Partnership Program are:

Seal Bay Sea lion Research Support Program: $44,250
Submitted by Exceptional Kangaroo Island, partners are the South Australian Tourism Commission, Department for Environment and Heritage, South Australian Research and Development Institute. This project will explore “hands-on” visitor experiences, assisting wildlife researchers in an Australian Sea lion colony at Seal Bay on Kangaroo Island. This work will help establish a benchmark population count and provide research labour.

Ediacara Fossils in the Flinders Ranges: $60,000
Submitted by Nilpena Partners, partners are the South Australian Tourism Commission, Department for Environment and Heritage, SA Museum. This project will explore a range of new tourism products to provide visitors with an interactive experience of Ediacara fossils. These include an outback dining experience in the Ediacara Woolshed on Nilpena Station, ‘Pay to be a Palaeontologist’ scientific research trips to the Mt Michael fossil site and a 4WD tour to the Ediacara fossil site.

Flinders Ranges Discovery Tours: $28,500
Submitted by Rawnsley Park Tourism Pty Ltd, partners are South Australian Tourism Commission, Department for Environment and Heritage. This project is a guided walking tour showcasing the plants and animals of the highlands of Wilpena Pound. The Flinders Ranges are arid zone mountain ranges that provide habitat for a diverse range of rare and threatened plants and animals.

Tourism Minister Jane Lomax-Smith congratulated recipients and said nature-based tourism was a fast growing industry in South Australia.

“In 2004-05, more than 1.1 million visitors to South Australia took part in some form of nature-based experience, from bushwalking in national parks to whale watching and diving,” the Minister says.

“As the popularity of nature tourism grows, it is important that visitors are encouraged to see it as more than just entertainment, but also as a learning and contributing experience.

“The three projects selected for funding under the Tourism and Conservation Partnership program will assist in the development of sustainable nature-based tourism attractions while also increasing our capacity to protect and conserve South Australia’s fragile environment.”

The Minister says the three projects are great examples of partnerships at work, with private industry and State Government and Federal governments working together to create smart, sustainable tourism attractions.

“When complete, all three projects will significantly impact on both tourism and conservation on Kangaroo Island and in the Flinders Ranges and help build South Australia’s reputation as a leader in responsible nature based tourism,” says Minister Lomax-Smith says.

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