Tourism providers encouraged to comment on draft ecotourism plan

Redland City Council is encouraging local tourism operators to review Queensland’s draft ecotourism plan recently released for comment by the State Government.

Spokesperson for Council’s Tourism and CBD activation portfolio Councillor Craig Ogilvie said it was important local providers reviewed the Government’s plan.

“Our unique location and beautiful natural attractions are a major drawcard for tourists and bring strong economic benefits to the Redlands,” he said.

“The Redlands is well positioned as a destination of choice and our many attractions include the pristine environment of North Stradbroke Island, our southern Moreton bay islands and our hinterland locations,” Cr Ogilvie said.

Cr Ogilvie said as tourism provided a number of benefits to the Redlands, it was important to keep the industry strong.

“Our location provides strong potential for nature based tourism and is a differentiator that sets us apart from some of our competition, so this plan needs to provide the necessary support to ensure our local industry continues to attract visitors to the region.”

Redland City Mayor Karen Williams said Council strongly supported the growth of nature-based and ecotourism in the Redlands with key goals including environmentally sustainable buildings.

“One example of this is Council’s approval of the Mt Cotton eco cabins.  Initiatives like this by local tourist operators help promote the region’s natural beauty and are part of the reason more than one million visitors come to the local area each year,” Cr Williams said.

“Our natural environment in the Redlands is our local industry’s strength and we have to be constantly looking for new ways to improve what we do and new opportunities to expand our tourism product.”

Sue Panuccio from Mt Cotton Guesthouse said the eco cabins approved by Council were nearing completion and would add to an already strong local ecotourism industry.

“There are some good examples of ecotourism in the Redlands, including parts of North Stradbroke Island, Moreton Bay and Mt Cotton bushland,” she said.

“I think there is huge opportunity to capitalise on the location and natural beauty we have available so I would encourage everyone to read the draft plan and comment.”

The draft plan is available for viewing and comment until Friday 31 May 2013 on the department of National Parks, Recreation, Sport and Racing website