Ecotourism Australia has expressed strong disappointment in the announcement yesterday by the Northern Territory Chief Minister regarding a proposed trial of safari hunting of saltwater crocodiles in the Northern Territory.
“ The essence of our concern is that Safari Hunting of a protected species Crocodylus porosus will have long reaching impacts” said Kym Cheatham, Chief Executive, Ecotourism Australia.
“The Northern Territory tourism industry is worth over $1.4 billion, most of it coming from eco (or at least nature) tourism. The maximum potential economic impact from safari hunting of Saltwater Crocodiles would be miniscule in comparison and fundamentally puts at risk in reputation of the NT as a destination that values and protects its environment.”
While the NT Government has claimed that Safari Hunting will benefit aboriginal people, Ecotourism Australia believes that while some of the revenue may end up in aboriginal hands, it is still a relatively small amount compared the value of the industry overall and the potential negative impacts.
“Surely there are many opportunities for government to help traditional owners develop viable tourism experiences that do not involve the killing of animals for entertainment” Kym Cheatham said.
“The NT Government has invested substantially over many years to lead the way and develop a global reputation in sustainable nature tourism. Surely it is not hard to envisage the ramifications of government condoned Safari Hunting of Crocodiles on the NT’s key core market of nature tourism.”
For more information contact: Kym Cheatham, Chief Executive Officer, Ecotourism Australia
Ecotourism Australia was formed in 1991 as an incorporated non-profit organisation, and is the peak national body for the ecotourism industry. Ecotourism Australia aims to grow and promote ecotourism and to assist tourism operators to become environmentally sustainable, economically viable and socially and culturally responsible.
Ecotourism Australia’s certification program ECO is a world first. It provides objective monitoring and auditing of organisations’ ecotourism claims and provides travel agents and tourists with an assurance of best practice ecological sustainability, natural area management and quality ecotourism experiences.
In 2011, Ecotourism Australia was one of only ten organisations recognised globally by the UN Supported Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Ecotourism Australia added ROC (Respect Our Culture) Certification for Indigenous Tourism operators and Climate Action Australia Certification to help the tourism industry work towards a more sustainable future.
In 2008, Ecotourism Australia was awarded the prestigious World Travel and Tourism Council “Tourism for Tomorrow” Award for Conservation at the World Tourism Summit in recognition of Ecotourism Australia’s significant contribution to the conservation and preservation of natural heritage.