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Nature-Based Tourism

Nature-based tourism is tourism that relies on experiences directly related to natural attractions.  Australia is blessed with a diverse range of ecosystems, breathtaking landscapes and unusual wildlife. These natural attractions make Australia one of the leading providers of nature-based tourism in the world, attracting over 5.6 million international visitors in 2009. Australia’s national parks and protected areas are the basis for nature-based tourism experiences and underpin Australia’s $80 billion tourism industry.


Browse Nature-Based Tourism case studies:

Tourism in Different Ecosystems

Forms of Nature-Based Tourism


Browse case studies:

Best Practice Model for Low-Impact nature-Based Sustainable Tourism Facilities in Remote Areas

This project was undertaken to determine the specific criteria for low-impact sustainable tourism in remote areas, and then apply this criteria to two locations in Western Australia. A multidisciplinary team with expertise in sustainable planning and design, environmental technologies, sustainability assessment and indigenous  consultation collaborated to design and develop the criteria for the project outcomes.

by David Beyer, Martin Anda, Bernhard Elber, Grant Revell and Fred Spring

Characteristics of Interstate and Overseas Bushwalkers in the Arthur Ranges, South West Tasmania

This report presents social data regarding bushwalkers who visit low-use walking destinations within the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The aim of the research was to determine the characteristics of bushwalkers during the 2000-2001 summer season.

by Douglas A. Grubert and Lorne K. Kriwoken

Examining the Critical Success Factors of Small Operators: Entry to the Nature-based Tourism Sector

This report examines the current issues relating to individuals intending to start-up a nature-based tour operation using public land. Specifically, the study focuses on the challenges these individuals face and the type of support required from the early stages to actual business establishment.

by Sue Bergin-Seers, John Breen, Elspeth Frew and Linda Roberts

Good Environmental Practices: Snorkeling

Originally founded in 1994 to galvanize the dive community for conservation, CORAL has grown from a small, grassroots alliance into the only international nonprofit organization that works exclusively to unite communities to protect our planet’s coral reefs.     In this easy-to-follow guide, CORAL provides valuable do’s and don’ts for marine operators and their guests when snorkelling.


Nature-Based Tourism in Australia and Beyond: A Preliminary Investigation

The purpose of this report is to describe, in an introductory way, the character, magnitude and impact of nature-based tourism within Australia, and to consider the salient issues which will influence the future sustainable development of this crucial sector.

by David Weaver, Bill Faulkner and Laura Lawton

Snapshots 2009: Nature Tourism Fact Sheet

This data is sourced from Tourism Research Australia National Visitor Survey (NVS) and International Visitor Survey (IVS), 2005–2009.

by Tourism Research Australia

Tourism and Protected Area Management Research Snapshot

This document profiles key STCRC research in the field of tourism and protected area management from 2005 to October 2008. The aim of this summary is to provide a ‘snapshot’ of research that informs the parks-tourism relationship and its management.


Tourism And Protected Areas: Partnerships In Principle And Practice

The aim of this report is to describe a selection of successful partnerships between commercial tourism and protected area managers, and to identify the advantages of expanding such partnerships.

by Ralf Buckley and Michael Sommer

Tourism and the Kimberley Coastal Waterways: Environmental and Cultural Aspects of Expedition Cruising

The overall objective of this report is to provide an overview of current tourism activities with focus on the expedition cruise industry and to identify some of the key issues to the management of tourism in the area. This information is aimed at providing the foundation towards the development of a tourism plan for the area which should be part of a strategic planning framework for future development affecting the Kimberley coast. Specifically, the objectives of this study are to: identify the environmental and cultural hotspots in the region; identify the characteristics of current expedition cruise ship operations; assess environmental/cultural management practices; recommend sustainable environmental and cultural management alternatives by offering alternative approaches to managing the sustainability of environmental and cultural assets along the Kimberley coast. A photobook was also used as a tool to disseminate the research outcomes to the Traditional Owners and other project stakeholders. For further information regarding this project or reprints of the photobook, please contact Dr Pascal Scherrer, Sustainable Tourism Research Fellow, Edith Cowan University on [email protected]

by Pascal Scherrer, Amanda Smith and Ross Dowling

What is the Role of Canadian Travel Agents in Providing Offsets to Travelers?

A 2008 study by Kole, L., Krestell, S., Parlagreco, L. and Dodds, R. at Ryerson University aimed to determine the level of awareness Canadian travel agents have regarding climate change, and their willingness to offer carbon offsetting as a mitigation strategy to their clients.

by Greg Kuenzig and Dr. Rachel Dodds