Keeping an I (and 1.9 million others) on the reef: the sustainability of tourism on the Great Barrier Reef

Coghlan, Alexandra, and Prideaux, Bruce (2007) Keeping an I (and 1.9 million others) on the reef: the sustainability of tourism on the Great Barrier Reef. In: Proceedings of the 5th International Coastal and Marine Tourism Congress. pp. 293-306. From: 5th International Coastal and Marine Tourism Congress: Balancing Marine Tourism, Development and Sustainability, 11-15 SEP 2007, Auckland, New Zealand.

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Marketed internationally as an iconic tourism experience, Australia's Great Barrier Reef (GBR) faces a range of issues similar to those faced by coral reefs in other parts of the world. According to the Reef's management authority (GRBMPA), 1.9 million tourists visit the reef annually, using a range of operators offering different products catering to different markets. Management of the tourism industry is based on a zoning system, that requires natural and social science input. Data on visitor experiences and satisfaction has been collected in the past under CRC Reef research, and more recently a new long term reporting system of reef tourist visitation funded under the Marine and Tropical Sciences Research Facility (MTSRF) through the Australian Federal Government. The sustainability of this industry is believed to be influenced by a range of natural (climate change, crown-of -thoms, etc) and social (rising cost of fuel, changing travel patters, emerging markets) issues. In this paper, these issues are reviewed, before analyzing the reef tourism experience within the context of these issues; data are collected on sociodemographics, travel behaviour, motivations, activities on the reef, previous reef tourism experience, satisfaction (best and worst experiences) and expectations. The results may then be compared over time with the emerging social and environmental issues and threats to determine their effect on the sustainability of reef tourism. Finally some of the solutions and strategies available to tourism operators are discussed in the light of the arguments presented in this paper.

Item ID: 3168
Item Type: Conference Item (Research - E1)
ISBN: 978-1-877314-66-7
Keywords: reef tourism; Great Barrier Reef
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Date Deposited: 14 Oct 2009 01:16
FoR Codes: 15 COMMERCE, MANAGEMENT, TOURISM AND SERVICES > 1506 Tourism > 150603 Tourism Management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9613 Remnant Vegetation and Protected Conservation Areas > 961303 Protected Conservation Areas in Marine Environments @ 51%
97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970116 Expanding Knowledge through Studies of Human Society @ 49%
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