UNESCO decision on great barrier reef a win for tourism industry

The Tourism & Transport Forum Australia (TTF) has today welcomed the UNSESCO World Heritage Committee’s draft recommendation for the Great Barrier Reef to retain its world heritage listing.

“Listing the Great Barrier Reef as ‘in danger’ would have substantially damaged the local tourism industry,” CEO Margy Osmond said.

“The Great Barrier Reef is an Australian icon, attracting millions of visitors and generating more than $6 billion in economic activity every year.

“Countless numbers of businesses and employees depend on the health and viability of the Great Barrier Reef for their livelihood.

“A ‘danger’ listing for Great Barrier Reef would have been a black mark for the icon, potentially discouraging visitors to the region and depriving tourist operators of work.

“It also would have ignored the amazing work that has been done by the Federal and Queensland Governments to protect this unique natural asset.

“I commend the Federal and Queensland Governments, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, for their efforts to protect and manage and the health of the Great Barrier Reef.

“This includes developing the Reef 2050 Long-Term Sustainability Plan and introducing measures such as the banning the disposal of capital dredge material.

“Huge strides have been made to continue protecting the Reef, and tourism operators will welcome UNESCO’s draft decision,” she said.