Australia's rarest waterbird, the Freckled Duck, picture Eleanor Dilley
Posted: 01/07/2019; Regional Victorians Opposed to Duck Shooting Inc.
Following our last blog about domestic overnight tourism trends, https://www.regionalvictoriansotds.com/single-post/2019/06/04/Domestic-Tourism-Results-NSW-Still-Ahead-Queensland-Closing-In, results just released show Victoria - including some regional areas - saw an increase in international tourists year ending March 2019.
While Phillip Island and the Great Ocean Road continue to go gangbusters, Lake Tyrrell, discovered by the nature loving Chinese, is set to welcome circa 190,000 visitors a year (on par with Kakadu) by 2025.
Nature-based tourism is on the rise and Victoria could be on the way to joining its northern cousins NSW and QLD in reaping the rewards.
This is important because many rural towns rely on tourism for their livelihoods. As agriculture and manufacturing become less predictable, they will likely rely on it more so.
"The influx of overseas visitors means more work for local businesses and more jobs" (Mark Gepp, Member for Northern Region, Swan Hill Guardian July 1, 2019).
It's time we shared the love around towns which need it most.
Across our state, wetland habitats which could rival Kakadu with little effort, lay largely undiscovered.
Consider Lake Boort, known for its rich array of birdlife and recently nominated to the National Heritage List for outstanding aboriginal culture.
Not far away, the 23 stunning Kerang RAMSAR wetlands of International importance.
Or Bellarine’s Lake Connewarre and Hospital Swamp, both near Geelong and just over an hour from Melbourne.
With Kakadu having just won a top tourism award, our opportunity is clear.
By protecting our natural assets including wildlife unique to our country - one of the greatest calling cards for tourists - we can preserve these assets for future generations and realise sustainable livelihoods along the way.
And we don’t all need to be as busy as Phillip Island or Kakadu.
Just a fraction of the year-round visitation enjoyed by other thriving nature tourist attractions will go a long way to keeping many of our rural towns afloat, securing financial futures.
Pictures courtesy Eleanor Dilley; Picture Header; Australian White Ibis, often referred to as "farmer's friends",unique to mainland Australia. Picture Body; Australia's rarest waterbird, the Freckled Duck, unique to Australia.
Tourism Research Australia International Visitor Survey Year Ending March 2019
Kakadu Takes out Top Tourism Award 2017https://parksaustralia.gov.au/kakadu/news/kakadu-takes-out-top-tourism-award/