Globally-significant landscape a growing drawcard for tourists

Outback Australia is one of the last great natural places on Earth but is increasingly threatened, according to a new report released today.

Outback Australia is one of the last great natural places on Earth - but is increasingly threatened by a declining population and a lack of available people to manage the natural values of the landscape, according to a new report released today.

The Valuing A Living Outback report, written by the Our Living Outback Alliance, highlights the incredible richness of the Outback Queensland landscape, and the significant opportunity this presents for the Queensland tourism sector.

However, the report also highlights there are too few people around to effectively manage threats to that unique landscape including uncontrolled fires, feral animals and weeds - a problem expected to continue.

“From the work of Traditional Owners in fire management and controlling feral pests on the Cape, to the work of graziers combating weeds on the Mitchell Grass Downs, people are working hard every day to sustain nature in Queensland,” said Fiona Maxwell, Queensland Manager for The Pew Charitable Trusts.

“But those people are suffering from a lack of support, meaning the beautiful landscapes they maintain – those same landscapes we’re seeing tourists increasingly flock to – are under threat.

“To keep the Outback healthy and to maintain its nature, its wildlife, its people and its economies, we need to support those who live there, looking after and managing its lands.”

Outback Queensland continues to enjoy strong domestic visitation growth, outpacing the state’s average, with a three-year growth-rate of 9.1 percent in the year ending June 2017.

Peter Homan, General Manager of the Outback Queensland Tourism Association, said today’s increasingly hectic lifestyles meant it was little surprise that Outback Queensland held growing appeal for visitors wanting to get off the beaten track and experience nature.

“Outback Queensland has become a powerful tourist drawcard as travellers increasingly seek nature-based tourism experiences,” Mr Homan said.

“We’re hearing from visitors that they’re looking to unplug from technology and re- connect with nature, and the Outback provides a great place for them to do that,” Mr Homan said.

“A key part of the future of tourism for Outback Queensland relies on sustaining our healthy landscapes and supporting vibrant communities.”

To read the report: