Tourism operators and conservation groups joined in a forum today to explore ways to encourage more people to hit the road in the State’s fantastic multi-day walks, such as the iconic Heysen Trail and the recently opened 61-kilometre Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.

The State Government recently sought expressions of interest from the private sector to invest in exclusive eco-sensitive accommodation facilities along the KI Wilderness Trail within the Flinders Chase National Park.

The Government is now looking for partnership opportunities to encourage more people to enjoy “the top and the tail” of the Heysen Trail, which spans 1,200 kilometres from Cape Jervis on the Fleurieu Peninsula to Parachilna Gorge in the Flinders Ranges.

South Australia’s growing suite of multi-day walking experiences includes the Arkaba Walk in the Flinders Ranges, the Murray River Walk and the Walk the Yorke experience.

Nature-based trips account for $1.1 billion in expenditure in South Australia each year. Strategic action to develop nature-based tourism is expected to inject $350 million a year into the economy and create 1,000 new jobs by 2020.

Background

The Nature-based Tourism Standout Walking Journeys Forum is hosted by the Department of Environment, Water, and Natural Resources (DEWNR) in partnership with the South Australian Tourism Industry Council (SATIC).

Walking journeys are a key pillar of the State Government’s nature-based tourism strategy: Nature Like Nowhere Else.

The strategy and action plan outline the State Government’s vision and plans to make South Australia a world leader in nature-based tourism, while supporting the ongoing conservation of our State’s natural and cultural heritage.

Quotes attributable to Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter

The Government is committed to investing in unique tourism experiences that will create jobs and help the regions prosper.

I encourage South Australians and our visitors to get out into nature on a short walk or one of the longer ones that showcase so much of our State’s beauty.

The Government is investing more than $23 million in the next two years to grow nature-based tourism experiences in South Australia.

This includes investment in mountain biking in the Mount Lofty and Southern Flinders Ranges, kayaking and climbing in the Onkaparinga River National Park, bird watching in the Adelaide International Bird Sanctuary and hiking the KI Wilderness Trail.

It is encouraging that South Australia’s tourism industry has hit a new high, with tourism-related expenditure reaching $6.3 billion this year. Our state is closing in on its target of reaching $8 billion in tourism-related expenditure by 2020.