Nature-based Tourism

Nature is at the heart of Queensland’s tourism story. Emerging global trends and consumer research highlights the ongoing importance of nature and wildlife as a key pillar for Queensland. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has heightened the desire of travellers to connect with nature as restrictions ease.

Tourism and Events Queensland’s Nature-based Tourism Strategy 2021 - 2024 aims to support the revitalisation of the Queensland nature-based tourism offering to more effectively capitalise on the growing and evolving consumer demand for experiences in nature and to maximise Queensland’s world class natural and cultural assets.

The Strategy provides a set of clear directions and actions for TEQ and provides a series of recommendations for nature tourism operators and key industry and government stakeholders. Revitalising the Queensland nature-based tourism offering is focussed on inviting and providing opportunities for travellers to go beyond simply admiring and passively experiencing Queensland’s natural wonders and engage in truly transformational experiences that connect with them on a deeper level in order to drive greater levels of guest satisfaction, higher operator yields and increased length of stay. 

This summary of the Strategy provides practical advice on how tourism operators can reimagine their visitor experience to better meet the needs of an ever-changing nature-based tourism market.

Focussing on immersive experiences

Based on research insights TEQ has determined that the most valuable proposition for Queensland’s nature-based tourism industry is to focus on immersive engagement, with experiences that offer knowledge, appreciation of the natural environment and the ability to participate and contribute. These are the experiences that will:

  • Feed the mind, activate the body and lift the heart,
  • Enable visitors to make a positive contribution to the environment and communities they visit,
  • Stimulate industry to deliver more engaging, memorable and transformational experiences that exceed visitor expectations, and
  • Increase visitor numbers, spend and length of stay.

Queensland’s World Heritage Areas

Queensland’s diverse natural assets provide the basis for a strong nature-based tourism sector. A wide variety of Queensland’s nature-based and Indigenous tourism experiences are available in and around our five World Heritage Areas and as such, these iconic areas and the acknowledgement of the World Heritage brand provides a powerful platform to promote Queensland’s nature-based offering to Australia and the world.

  • K’Gari (Fraser Island)
    A dedicated K'Gari World Heritage Area content toolkit for tourism operators is available.  Content from this resource can be used in consumer-facing collateral to inspire travellers to visit the largest sand island in the world.
  • Gondwana Rainforests of Australia
    The Gondwana Rainforests of Australia Content toolkit includes inspirational content found on TEQ's channels that showcases the variety of experiences on offer in the region.  This content can be used to inspire travellers to stay longer and explore further.

Guided experiences

Tour guides play an important role in nature-based tourism. Reviews from travellers participating in nature-based tourism experiences around the world commonly refer to the crucial role that tour guides have in the delivery of the nature-based experience such as:

  • sharing valuable information,
  • being a source of entertainment and interaction,
  • providing safety and security to the tour group,
  • language translation and cultural explanations,
  • representing the community as a welcoming local,
  • sharing expertise in wildlife and flora identification, and
  • sharing knowledge of landscape and environmental interpretation.

For more information on tour guide programs and resources refer to the following links:

Sustainability Storytellers – case studies 

Profiles of three of Queensland’s sustainability heroes have been created by Tourism Australia. What better place to start to demonstrate the depth and diversity of Australia’s sustainable travel offering than with stories direct from some our great storytellers and tourism legacy-makers.

Claire Baguley

Claire Baguley

Group Sustainability Product and Design Manager, Spicers Retreat

Amy Gash

Amy Gash

Custodian, Lady Elliott Island, Queensland

Alan Wallish

Alan Wallish

CEO, Passions of Paradise, Queensland