State Government backs eco-trails to boost tourism


The State Government is pushing ahead with new plans to focus on eco-tourism. It’s hoping to build three new bushwalks across the state to attract tourists to see more of Queensland’s natural beauty.

Tom Fleming reports.

TRANSCRIPT

They’re called eco-trails.

In effect nature walks and some of them hopefully will be built through the treetops of Queensland.

The Government wants private enterprise to develop them in Townsville, the Sunshine Coast and the Whitsundays to showcase the state’s natural resources.

Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development: “It has worked really well for Hobart and Tasmania, and we want to see these tourists coming to Queensland and experiencing our world-class rain forests.”

It believes environmental tourism is the way of the future and a big draw card internationally.

The state points to the Mt Coot-tha zipline project as a successful venture using natural surroundings.

Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development: “But we know that there is a mix of experiences that people want, of course people want the high speed experience, but what we want in our national parks is authentic experiences where people can actually experience nature.”

Council has lodged its development application for the zipline with construction planned to start early next year, although there’s stern opposition.

The government expects some concern over the environmental impact of eco-projects but is adamant there will be safeguards.

Kate Jones, Minister for Innovation and Tourism Industry Development: “I can assure all Queenslanders that we’ll be doing this in an environmentally responsible way.”

Companies interested in developing eco-tourism trails should submit their ideas before the 16th of November.

Tom Fleming, QUT News.