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Key departmental publications, e.g. annual reports, budget papers and program guidelines are available in our online archive.

Much of the material listed on these archived web pages has been superseded, or served a particular purpose at a particular time. It may contain references to activities or policies that have no current application. Many archived documents may link to web pages that have moved or no longer exist, or may refer to other documents that are no longer available.

Coastal Tourism - A Manual for Sustainable Development

Based on a draft paper prepared by Southern Cross University
Portfolio Marine Group, Environment Australia, 1997
ISBN 0 642 27129 1

About this manual

Who is this manual for and how can it help?

This practical manual is designed to help tourism developers and operators, and officers in local government and other authorities who play a role in the development approval process. The manual will help these sectors work together and with other relevant experts and professionals to develop and operate coastal tourism ventures that are 'good' for the environment and the community or region that hosts them, and also 'good' for business.

Basic philosophy of this manual

This manual is based on the philosophy of ecologically sustainable development (ESD). ESD involves paying due regard to environmental, social and economic outcomes of your tourism development proposal and its operation. Part 1 of this manual outlines the relationship between and interdependency of these three dimensions.

Objective of this manual

The broad objective of this manual is to assist in protecting the coastal tourism industry's primary asset - the coast. It outlines environmental, social and economic criteria to consider when planning, constructing or operating a tourism venture. These criteria are applicable to all types and sizes of tourism developments - from small-scale, low infrastructure developments to large-scale resorts.

Please note that this manual is not a substitute for obtaining professional advice from qualified planners, market research analysts, financial planners, environmental consultants, engineers, architects, landscape architects, and so on. While the manual alerts you to the many issues to consider to make your tourism venture sustainable, it is not definitive and should be used in conjunction with the advice of professionals. You will find the manual a valuable tool for selecting and communicating with those professionals.

Part 4 of this manual contains contact details for some of the professional associations representing these groups.

In this manual you will find:

Some information in this manual may be very familiar and of second nature to some tourism developers and operators; other information may not. At the risk of offending some readers by 'stating the obvious', this manual has attempted to comprehensively address the environmental, social and economic issues. This has been done to stress the interdependent nature of environmental, social and economic issues, and in the belief that what may be obvious to one person may not be obvious to another.

The manual brings together in one document the range of information complementing the legal rules and regulations of a development application that coastal developers need.

What this manual does not provide

This manual does not provide detailed information on the sorts of approvals you will need to obtain for your development. This is because the approvals required and the process for obtaining them varies considerably from state to state and from site to site. Your local government or the authority with jurisdiction over your potential or chosen site can help you with this information.

Also note that this manual does not provide a set of legislative or enforceable requirements - its application is voluntary. Neither is it intended to be prescriptive. Rather, it is a common-sense practical guide to help you find creative solutions to environmental, social and economic problems when considering tourism development within the coastal zone.

The information in this manual can help you:

Structure of this manual

This manual is divided into four parts:

This manual is filled with practical ideas on how to make a tourism venture sustainable, ideas which have been tried by other coastal tourism developers and managers and found to be successful. We urge you to use the checklists in this manual when planning and operating your tourism venture, and to try some of the many good ideas contained in the case studies to set Australia on the path to sustainable tourism.