18th November 2013



NOOSA, QUEENSLAND: On the opening day of the Global Eco 2013 Asia-Pacific tourism conference Bruce Leaver, Chairman of Sapphire Coast Tourism and one of the founders of Tourism Australia’s National Landscapes program launched Ecotourism Australia’s Geotourism forum.


“Geotourism is sustainable tourism which focuses on an area’s geology and landscape as the basis for providing visitor engagement, learning and enjoyment. Visitors are hungry for quality information about Australia’s amazing natural environment including our spectacular geological landscapes, many of which are world famous such as Uluru, the Blue Mountains, the 12 Apostles and the Kimberley” said Bruce Leaver.

“Australia’s unique natural environment is the main travel motivator for all of our top international markets. Geology underpins almost all of a destination’s natural features and visitors are increasingly keen to learn about this distinctive part of the environment” said Bruce Leaver.

“Ecotourism Australia is excited by this new initiative and sees the Geotourism Forum as the first of other Forums to be established. Other sectors in ecotourism can develop a strong voice and create a venue to share their ideas in the same way as leaders in geotourism have done.” said Rod Hillman, Chief Executive of Ecotourism Australia.

The main purpose of the Geotourism Forum is to advise how best geotourism can be promoted and to further Ecotourism Australia’s interest in inspiring environmentally sustainable and culturally responsible tourism.

“On Wednesday this week, the Global Eco conference includes a workshop focusing on a wide range of geotourism topics. These include two National Landscape case studies, conservation issues relating to geosites and caves and geotourism with outstanding potential for visitor appeal through geoparks with a particular focus on South-East Asia. There are also exciting collaboration opportunities through a proposed Australia/China relationship in geotourism.” said Rod Hillman.

To pursue these global opportunities, three members of the Steering Committee will attend the Asia Pacific Geotourism Conference in Hong Kong on 30th November 2013.

The Forum Steering Committee comprises Ecotourism Australia members with extensive experience in geotourism. The Chairman is Angus M Robinson, Managing Partner, Leisure Solutions®. He is supported by Dan Cove, Manager at Jenolan Caves; Ross Dowling, Foundation Professor of Tourism, Edith Cowan University; Rod Hillman, Chief Executive, Ecotourism Australia; Bruce Leaver, Chairman, Sapphire Coast Tourism; Rick Murray, Director, Nitmiluk Tours; and Dr Young Ng, Chairman of the Association for Geoconservation, Hong Kong.

ENDS: For further information contact:

Rod Hillman, Chief Executive, M: 0427 279 414 or Angus M Robinson, Chair, Geotourism Forum, M: 0418 488 340.

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