Becoming more than just a tourist but also a nature protector with the Litchfield’s Gold project
BECOMING MORE THAN JUST A TOURIST BUT ALSO A NATURE PROTECTOR WITH THE LITCHFIELD’S GOLD PROJECT
Project Status: 18 months
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
Ethical Adventures tour agency wants to transform the mainstream tourism industry from a passive environmental conservation position of the eco tourist into a more proactive position of an ethical adventurer. Pivotal to this is bridging the gap between the tourism industry and the conservation movement with the result being a business model which achieves true sustainable industry and environmental outcomes.
The ‘Litchfield’s Gold’ tour creates a comfortable environment from which to learn and discuss issues which are stressing the environments visited but also allows us to enjoy key aspects of that same environment. This luxury tour presents issues, explains the mud map of environmental interactions and allows people to see cause and effect all the while having an enjoyable holiday experience. We leave it to clients to make the connection between conservation and the fact they are benefiting from it as they sit there in comfort. Moving ahead these same people who come on tour become members of our social network with the objective being that this social network once it grows in size will be a formidable avenue though which to disseminate information and coordinate responses across borders for significant issues.
HOW DOES IT CONTRIBUTE TO MOUNTAIN PROTECTION
Ethical Adventures operates within the Litchfield National Park which is dominated by the Tolmer Range and a flat table top of sandstone. The beautiful features of the park (waterfalls, running streams and creeks all year round) can be easily disturbed if inappropriate activities are allowed with the park boundaries. Prior to becoming a park the region included mining, farming and logging as the main industries, which all left their scars. Looking to the future the park is included within the areas open for unconventional gas extraction and further mining operations. If these are permitted then the ecosystem as it stands is in peril. Our tour focuses on highlighting the links within the system and the fragility of the components and links.
COLLABORATION WITH LOCAL COMMUNITIES AND AUTHORITIES
Ethical Adventures includes the visit of the aboriginal culture centre and museum in its itinerary to support local capacities and incomes of local population. The agency contributes over 30% of the income for the museum alone as well as encouraging the purchasing of cultural items which support indigenous peoples. We also include material from the NT environment centre on issues which they are focusing on and participate in community involvement days at the local wildlife park.
GOING FURTHER THAN “BUSINESS AS USUAL”
Being more a conservation group than a business, Ethical Tour stresses on the fact that people stay in their network and spread the message. It insists on transparency in the communication and organisation. Here are some examples: 1. open door policy for anybody, access ET’s drop box folders of information 2. Actively positing on social media and presenting in public forums information on issues 3. Providing after tour access to images 4. Providing honest opinions 5. Open book when it comes to finances.
Ethical tours managed to have enough certain number of guests on board and to keep price consistent with not for profit objectives whilst being able to meet financial obligations and despite receiving very little flow from hotels and traditional booking avenues. To take the next step will require broader support and awareness of Ethical Tour’s product and mission.
Ethical Adventures’ project supports stewardship by identifying components within the system, relating them to the whole and then presenting possible influencing factors. Stewardship then becomes a desire amongst visitors as they witness first-hand the benefits of maintaining such places. Ethical Adventures provides the forum through which people can become re-acquainted with the natural world.