The year 2015 was a milestone for global development as governments adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, along with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The bold agenda sets out a global framework to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change until 2030. Building on the historic Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), the ambitious set of 17 Sustainable Development Goals and 169 associated targets is people-centred, transformative, universal and integrated.
Tourism has the potential to contribute, directly or indirectly to all of the goals. In particular, it has been included as targets in Goals 8, 12 and 14 on inclusive and sustainable use of oceans and marine resources, respectively. Sustainable tourism is firmly positioned in the 2030 Agenda. A clear implementation framework, adequate financing and investment in technology, infrastructure and human resources is required to achieve this agenda.
Ecotourism is about uniting conservation, communities, and sustainable travel. This means that those who implement, participate in, and market ecotourism activities should adopt the following ecotourism principles.
1) Minimize physical, social, behavioural, and psychological impacts
2) Build environmental and cultural awareness, and respect
3) Provide positive experiences for both visitors and hosts
4) Produce direct financial benefits for conservation
5) Generate financial benefits for both local people and private industry
6) Deliver memorable interpretative experiences to visitors that help raise sensitivity to host countries’ political, environmental, and social climates
7) Design, construct and operate low-impact facilities
8) Recognize the rights and spiritual beliefs of the Indigenous People in your community and work in partnership with them to create empowerment
Australia is the world leader in the preservation of natural, historical and cultural sites. There is signiﬁcant potential of bilateral collaboration in promoting and developing environmentally responsible tourism. Most Australian tourism promotion has been narrowly limited to Australian urban and coastal areas which have caused growing concerns over its environmental impact and its toll on Australian long-term, sustainable economic growth.
There is a pressing need to change this situation. This project funded by the Australia China Council aims to promote Australia-China bilateral tourism by raising public awareness in both countries of ecotourism and geotourism which are nature-based tourism. Nature-based tourism represents an innovative, sustainable and more inclusive tourism model which can be explored to drive Australian and Chinese regional socio-economic development, the protection of Aboriginal and locl cultural heritage and the overall sustainable growth of tourism in the long run.