The move has been driven by small tourism businesses and conservationists from Daintree to Townsville, seeking to deliver a sustainable and vibrant future for the region.
Australia’s National Landscapes Program identifies Australia’s best nature destinations, helps locals refocus and refine what they’re offering visitors, and then markets that natural competitive advantage to the world. It is led by a partnership between Tourism Australia and Parks Australia.
Environment Minister Tony Burke and Tourism Minister Martin Ferguson said that “The Wet Tropics has long been one of our great ecotourism destinations, and through Australia’s National Landscapes Program the local community is building on that.”
“The region includes World Heritage listed rainforests that give us a fascinating insight into the way Australia’s plants and animals have evolved since the breakup of Gondwana 35 million years ago. Cassowaries, the mahogany glider, frogs, bats, tree kangaroos and wallabies are among the distinctive species with profound stories of evolution and survival – many found nowhere else on earth.
“Local tour operators and conservationists are passionate advocates for this region – many of them are involved in the industry specifically because it allows them to go out into the rainforest or Tablelands environment every day. They want to help a new generation of visitors fall in love with this place and become champions for its protection.”
Minister Ferguson said the Wet Tropics National Landscape profiles Australia’s competitive advantage and is a chance for the region to reach a global audience with the strength of a unified voice.
“With good growth in visitation across tropical Queensland, there’s no denying the appeal of this region for visitors. Their National Landscapes planning will make the most of that, helping the Wet Tropics thrive well into the future.
The nature and culture on offer in the Wet Tropics will feature prominently in Tourism Australia’s international marketing. It now joins 13 other National Landscapes, including Australia’s Red Center, the Kimberley and the Great Barrier Reef.