August 13th 2010
Jewel in the Crown Needs Polishing
Magnetic Island may be the ‘jewel on the crown’ for tourists visiting the region, but many visitors miss out on the natural resources that the island has to offer, according to the chair of the local tourism group.
In a press release to Magnetic Times it was announced that, TOBMI (Tourist Operators & Businesses Magnetic Island), the LTO for Tourism Queensland, is hosting a panel on sustainable tourism this Sunday August 15 which will offer major stakeholders in the island – GRMPA, TCC, Solar City, Parks & Wildlife, Dry Tropics as well the island community, a chance to put their heads together to work out a sustainable future for tourism on the island.
Chair of TOBMI, Dr Lindsay Simpson, said it was time to have a more unified approach to promoting and looking after the island’s natural assets.
She said she was delighted at the positive response from the groups that had been invited to take part in the panel.
“After five years living on the island, I feel there is often a fragmented approach to its management. Yet, we have a wealth of experienced people at our fingertips – all of whom want to conserve the island’s natural and cultural heritage,” she said. “Let’s get everyone around the same table.”
Simpson, the author of Australian Geographic Guide to Tasmania, said the island needed better lobbying power for more resources and a more coherent approach to its promotion.
“In Tasmania, the slogan on the car registration plates was: ‘Discover your natural state’. Our island has got so much to offer which is not promoted. We tend to equate more visitors with more problems. Two thirds of the island is national park, yet much of it is inaccessible.
“More tourists need not mean an increase in pollution or violation of the island. What’s needed is long term planning, and committing more resources to managing the island and its surrounding World Heritage listed Marine Park so that everyone has the opportunity to experience it.”
Simpson said that TOBMI had discussed the possibility of an interpretation centre that could house all of those experiences under one roof as well as including the island’s historical and maritime heritage.
“Essentially, this would be a first stop for all visitors to the island where we could educate tourists to think sustainably in a pro-active and interactive way,” she said.
“Opening up more walkways and getting the State & Federal governments to see this national treasure is on their doorstep can only help us move in the right direction.”
TOBMI was formed last November by a local group of business professionals committed to representing tourism and business operators on the island.
The panel, which is open to TOBMI members, and which invites non-member to join on the night, will be held on Sunday August 15, 5-7pm at Peppers Blue On Blue in the Indigo room. For those who wish to network after the event, $15 canapes and a beverage are available. For more information contact TOBMI Secretary: Alli Angus at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 07 4758 1173.
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