The Coffs Coast Advocate

Local eco-tourism is not about dollars but sense

A NEW report has found eco-tourism has the potential to boost regional tourism by millions, but Coffs Coast environmentalists warn the focus should be on raising awareness, not dollars.

The Taskforce on Tourism and National Parks in NSW Report has been accepted by the State Government as part of a campaign to make NSW a world-class eco-tourism destination.

Key recommendations of the report include changes to legislation to increase attractions permitted in parks, a review of accommodation options in parks, and a focus on 'iconic experiences' in key areas such as Coffs Harbour.

But in a submission to the report, Nambucca Valley Conservation Association President Paula Flack objected to any legislative amendments that would allow development for 'unjustified' tourism or for revenue raising.

“While the Association supports increasing park visitation, it is unacceptable to assume that increasing tourism can only be met by enlarging development areas within a National Park,” Ms Flack wrote.

But profit is not paramount, according to Minister for Climate Change and the Environment Carmel Tebbutt who claims national parks have 'enormous potential' for promoting conservation as well as tapping into the demand for nature based tourism.

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