National Strategy for Ecologically Sustainable Development

Prepared by the Ecologically Sustainable Development Steering Committee
Endorsed by the Council of Australian Governments
December, 1992
ISBN 0 644 27253 8

Part 2 Sectoral Issues - Chapter 7


To develop and manage the tourism industry in a way which conserves its natural resource and built heritage base and minimises its environmental impacts.

Strategic Approach

Key actions will include development and adoption of industry codes of environmental practice and impact minimisation programs, examination of regulatory mechanisms for the tourism industry, including performance bonds, improving public information and education materials on environmental impacts associated with tourist activity, and encouraging further research into economic and environmental impacts of tourism

Objective 7.1

  • to ensure tourism strategies developed at all levels of government are based on ESD principles and provide effective mechanisms for industry and community input

Governments will:

  • encourage agencies at all levels of government who are currently preparing tourism strategies, to include ESD principles and guidelines in their strategic tourism plans
  • where strategic and geographically-based tourism strategies have not been, or are not currently being developed, encourage action as a high priority
  • work with industry and community groups to develop guidelines on environmentally appropriate tourism development and tourist activity

Objective 7.2

  • to examine the most appropriate use of regulatory measures to ensure tourism development is ecologically sustainable

Governments will:

  • continue work on the effectiveness of applying performance bonds or non-compliance penalties as a means of regulating tourism development
  • identify further examples of regulatory measures for tourism development, including their possible impacts on industry and seek industry and community input on the acceptability of this range of measures

Objective 7.3

  • to encourage environmentally appropriate tourist behaviour through the production and adoption of codes of environmental behaviour and practice and to improve tourist awareness of ESD principles

Governments will:

  • encourage further work by industry organisations on development of codes of environmentally appropriate tourist behaviour and practice and assist in the wide dissemination of this information
  • continue to develop programs to provide the community with access to a wide range of environment related tourist information and encourage inclusion of the information on ecologically sustainable tourism in all new interpretive materials and programs

Objective 7.4

  • to develop a greater understanding of the economic and environmental impacts of tourism developments, including monitoring of tourism trends, such as eco- tourism

Governments will:

  • encourage organisations such as the Bureau of Tourism Research and other State and Territory agencies to undertake further strategic and regionally focused research, including monitoring of international information and developments in this area
  • examine the most cost-effective and appropriate mechanism for undertaking further research into the environmental, social and cultural impacts of tourism, including practical dimensions to theoretical concepts such as carrying capacity, environmental load and limits of acceptable environmental change