25th GLOBAL ECO CONFERENCE WRAPS UP IN ADELAIDE
When delegates of Global Eco Conference 2017 walked through Adelaide Zoo and heard – as if orchestrated – a zoo keeper asking a group of children "Does anyone know what I mean when I say reduce, reuse, recycle?” it was obvious the conference organisers had got the venue right.
It was Ecotourism Australia’s 25th Global Eco Conference, the longest running ecotourism conference in the world, and this year’s theme of ‘ecotourism - transforming urban and regional tourism’ aligned perfectly with the United Nation’s International Year of Sustainable Tourism for Development 2017.
Held from the 27th – 29th November in Adelaide Zoo, South Australia, the conference brought together expert representatives from government, academia, protected area management, architecture, conservation, Indigenous groups and the environmental sector to address the big issues affecting ecotourism.
Keynote presenters from 11 countries spoke on diverse topics including conservation and wildlife, social license and philanthropy; sharing both success stories and struggles in their efforts to deliver ecologically sustainable tourism that fosters environmental and cultural understanding, appreciation and conservation around the world.
Conference convenor Tony Charters AM said the Adelaide Zoo and South Australia, as the hosts, proved to be excellent choices given Ecotourism Australia’s focus on privately funded conservation efforts, indigenous ecotourism and best practice wildlife ecotourism experiences.
State-wide, tourism in South Australia currently supports 32,000 direct jobs and injects $6.3 billion into the economy. South Australia’s goal is to grow its tourism industry – especially its nature-based, or ecotourism industry – to generate 42,000 jobs and $8 billion in revenue by 2020.
For more information about how South Australia plans to utilise its nature tourism offerings to boost employment and income for the state, visit the South Australian Government’s “Nature Like Nowhere Else” Strategy and Action Plan, and its Nature-Based Tourism: New Business Opportunities 2017-18