Malcolm Pitts hopes a growing ecotourism in this region will provide employment opportunities for people interested in nature-b
Malcolm Pitts hopes a growing ecotourism in this region will provide employment opportunities for people interested in nature-b

Ecotourism industry is on the move



MALCOLM Pitts reckons the hills behind the Coffs Coast are ideal for mountain biking and he plans one day to be taking locals and visitors on bike tours to 'show them what they can do with their lives'.

"Ecotourism presents us with an opportunity to enter a business which suits our lifestyle," the owner of Woodsey's Wheels bike shop at Woolgoolga said.

"The vast range of hilly country and rainforest behind the Coffs Coast is ideal for mountain biking and hiking. Taking tourists and, say, schoolkids, on tours will enable us to show people the aesthetically beautiful and uncrowded natural assets we have here, as well as to tour with other mountain bike enthusiasts."

With three active sons in the family, Malcolm and his biking wife Leslie see opportunities for employment for the younger generation in the ecotourism industry.

"Our boys would love to build a life based on nature or adventure tourism here on the Mid North Coast," Mr Pitts said.

"If we begin to build the ecotourism industry now, this may be possible. Some resorts are already looking for new activities for their patrons, and Forests NSW are marking trails through state forests for mountain bikes."

n Stuck in the office? Like some field work? Perhaps you have a spare cottage on the family farm, or you're a mother wishing to return to the workforce ? the newlyformed Mid North Coast Ecotourism Society is looking for members.

"We aim to promote the region as a destination for tourists and locals looking for recreation which is healthy, environmentally sound and exciting," president of the society, Roger Fryer, said.

"The Mid North Coast of New South Wales is a hotspot for wildlife and wilderness.

"Yet, although there are existing ecotourism operators like whale watching and some accommodation, the industry is poorly represented between the Hunter and Clarence rivers.

"Membership is cheap and includes assistance with cheaper insurance, access to a secure on-line chat room, a booking referral service, promotional material and a transport collective."

You can join Mid North Coast Ecotourism Inc. by writing to MINCE, PO Box 703, Woolgoolga 2456, or phone 6654 9555.



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