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This is a sample ecotourism plan only. Its purpose is simply to give you someindication about what sorts of things are usually included in a plan.You are not expected to reproduce this sample plan for your particularventure. There is a lot of detail in the sample plan. Your plan may not needto contain as much detail. The size of your plan will depend upon the type ofventure you are planning.The format of the sample plan is typical of what a local authority or fundingbody is likely to require. It could be that your ectourism plan will need to beformatted differently to suit the specific requirements of authorities in yourregion. You need to clarify this situation with your trainer before you beginwriting your plan.The content of the plan relates to the tasks that you are asked to completeand file in your portfolio. The research findings that you file in your portfoliowill be relevant, regardless of the format of your plan.Every ecotourism venture will be different. The size of the venture andproposed activities will be different, as will the interests and involvement ofyour community. This will also affect your plan.You will need to conduct your own research and make your own networks.Your ecotourism plan will need to reflect the situation in your own communityand region.

Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism Plan


ATTACHMENTS1 – Letters of SupportCouncil of EldersIndigenous Womens GroupArtists CooperativeIndigenous Business CorporationChurch Management CommitteeReturn the Tern Conservation GroupYaga Bay Council2 – Camp Rules3 – Travel Tips4 – Visitor Brochure5 – Guides6 – Code of Practice7 – Questionnaire (your feedback)Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism Plan

The Indigenous community mentioned in this sample ecotourism plan is notreal. Neither are Yaga Bay, Ngawa Point and any other places or geographicfeatures. Many of the organisations, authorities or departments are also notreal, but they represent possible stakeholders.Yaga Bay and its community reflect a typical town (population 5,000) locatedanywhere on Australia’s coast.Apologies are extended to any group or person who finds the fictitious natureof this plan offensive.1 Introduction1.1BackgroundThe Yaga Bay Land Management Aboriginal Corporation wasincorporated in 1995, under the Aboriginal Councils and AssociationsAct 1976. The Corporation has been active in protecting sites ofIndigenous heritage, managing land and sea resources andrejuvenating bush land in the area.An area of 400 square kms was granted to the Corporation underAustralian law in 1998. This land shares a boundary with the YagaNational Park.The proposed ecotourism venture will be a 100 percent Indigenousowned business. It will operate initially under the Yaga Bay LandManagement Aboriginal Corporation, with plans to becomeindependent and self-funding.The venture will provide visitors and local residents with an enjoyablerecreational and educational experience. It will create an awareness oflocal Indigenous culture and history and an appreciation of the naturalenvironment.All planned activities and land and sea use are in accordance withregulations and guidelines from relevant authorities.As the Indigenous caretakers of this area, we have managed ournatural land and sea resources for sustainability for thousands of years.The community approach to this venture will ensure that we continue toprotect, conserve and sustain these resources.Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage1

1.2Objectives of the ecotourism venture planThe objectives of this ecotourism plan are to show how the Yaga BayIndigenous Ecotour and Cultural Experience will: integrate natural environmental and cultural resourcesplan to sustain natural environmental and cultural resourcesdefine appropriate levels of resource useoutline strategies to monitor impacts on resourcesoutline processes for educating about impactsdescribe the involvement of all stakeholders in the community andlocal region (see Attachment 1)The plan highlights how the venture operations will use best practiceenvironmental and cultural management strategies, according toguidelines from: Regional Land CouncilCouncil of EldersAboriginal and Torres Strait Islander CommissionTourism Council AustraliaEcotourism Association of AustraliaAustralian Tour Operators AssociationDepartment of the EnvironmentState Ecotourism DepartmentState Marine Protection BoardLocal CouncilParks and Wildlife2 Description of Proposed Ecotourism VentureThe Yaga Bay Ecotour and Cultural Experience will initially provide twodifferent nature and Indigenous culture options for tourists.2.1Day visit (6 hours)Guests will spend a day in our community. They will experience ourcoastal environment and learn about aspects of our traditional cultureand history. They will take a bush walk, sample traditional bush foodsand visit a midden. They will have the opportunity to explore our artand craft shop, gallery and museum, and take part in a “SorryCeremony” if they choose.We will share some dances, songs and craft making, and provideexplanations about our traditional medicines and the way we hunted,collected and prepared our food. Guests will be given morning tea,Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage2

lunch and afternoon tea. Some foods will be traditional, cooked in ourtraditional way.Day visits will take place on Tuesday and Thursday of each fortnight.Guests will arrive on Oceans Bus Lines at 10.00am and depart at4.00pm. We will cater for 28 guests.Day visits will not be offered during December. They will recommencein the second week of January.2.2Four day visit with camp over two nightsGuests will spend their first day in our community. They will take abush walk and see the midden. They will have the opportunity to visitour art and craft shop, museum and gallery, talk to local elders aboutour culture and history, experience traditional food cooked in atraditional way, and see our people making craft. Guests will alsoexperience some of our dances and songs. They can take part in a“Sorry Ceremony” if they choose.They will stay at the Yaga Bay Motel on the first night, and have time toexplore our town at their own leisure.The camp will take place over the next two nights. Guests will be takento the camp site at Lobby Point at 10.00am. The activities over the twonights and three days will include traditional hunting and collectingexperiences, learning about traditional land management, cooking intraditional ways, and bush walking and planting traditional food andmedicinal plants. Guests will also walk to the carved tree site and learnthe Creation stories of the area. They will visit middens, dig a soak(find water) and learn to make string from grasses and weave it.Guests will participate in many activities in the running of the camp.They will stay overnight at the Yaga Bay Motel on return to our townand leave the next morning at 10.00am.There will be 20 camps over the year starting on the third week inJanuary. The camps will be offered on the weeks that the day trips arenot offered. We will cater for a maximum of 20 guests on each camp.Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage3

3 Proposed ActivitiesInitially, the Yaga Bay Ecotour and Cultural Experience will involve: a day visit to Yaga Bay for an environmental and cultural experiencea day visit to Yaga Bay, followed by a 2 night - 3 day environmental andcultural experience on campThese can be flexible. Longer periods of time will be considered, dependingon demand and the success of the venture.3.1Day VisitThe day visit will include the following activities: Traditional welcome dance.Visit the Dormitory Museum and Gallery and Art and Craft Shop toview and buy art works and craft.Watch painting demonstrations by local artist/s in residence.Watch traditional craft manufacture demonstrations by localcraftspeople.Walk with guides to local sites in the township that are of historicalsignificance to the Indigenous community. These include:- 3.2the site of a midden (traditional camp site on the edge of town)site of reclaimed bush land, replanted with native plants thatprovide bush tucker to sample, craft resources and medicinessite of Aboriginal cemeteryplace of recent "Sorry Day" ceremonies, with the opportunity toparticipate in a “Sorry Ceremony” with the eldersLunch - seafood cooked in a traditional oven (coals/sand) withlocally grown fresh vegetables and sauces made from native plants.Dance and song performances.Opportunity to ask questions and discuss issues with guides andother interested volunteer community people.Tea and damper for afternoon tea.Traditional farewell dance.4 Day / 2 Night CampDay 1 Visitors will experience the same activities listed above on Day 1.Stay the first night in Yaga Bay at the Yaga Bay Motel.Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage4

Day 2Day and night activities will include: Set up camp.Attend orientation for health, safety and security, environmentprotection, resource management and protection of culture – CampRules.Fish and collect seafood using traditional methods where available,or contemporary technology.Listen to knowledge about tides, winds and seasons in relation totraditional methods for fishing and collecting, involving resourcemanagement.Experience manufacture and use of a method of water transport(traditional canoe is available) at the Lake.Lunch.Walk on paths in natural and reclaimed bush land, identifyingspecies, sampling foods and explanations about their use.Plant native vegetation in tagged and dug holes in a bushregeneration area.Cook in traditional way for evening meal - different traditionalcooking methods (fire and ground ovens). Visitors can help.Talk about night sky knowledge.Listen to Creation stories at camp fire.Exchange cross-cultural experiences with visitors (their stories).Day 3Day and night activities will include: Regular breakfast prepared using traditional methods.Visit to a site (carved tree – public site) and hear the Creation storyof the site.Learn about traditional medicines – explanations about the rangeand use.Learn about the year cycle, food supply and lifestyle with practicaldemonstrations and hands on experiences, involving hunting andcollecting techniques.Hear about land management techniques.BBQ lunch. Damper and tea.Take a bush and beach walk to explore coastal camps and inlandwinter camps – outline differences.Visit the 3 middens on the beach.Try bird watching from a distance – tern colony and other species.Attend a class in making grass fibre and weaving – small mat tosouvenir.Opt for “quiet time” or dance class for those interested – welcomedance.Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage5

Cook in traditional way for evening meal – different traditionalcooking methods (fire and ground ovens). Volunteers can help.Take nocturnal walks with torches to view insect and animal life.Day 4Activities will include: Regular breakfast prepared using traditional methods.Dig a soak and sample fresh water.Walk along beach and into hinterland to view The Rangeescarpments and hear the creation stories of The Range.Try boomerang throwing on the beach.LunchPack up camp.Farewell dance.Return to town – opportunity to revisit Dormitory Museum andGallery, Art and Craft Shop.Evening spent in Yaga Bay, staying at the Yaga Bay Motel.4 Impact on the Environment4.1Environment history of the areaThe site and areas for bush and beach walking and other ecotourismactivities is situated on the coastal strip of land north from Yaga Bay toNgawa Point, including Lobby Point. The proposed campsite is locatedat Lobby Point near Yaga Lake. It was the location of a traditional allyear camp.In the late 1980s an evaluation of the land and resources wasconducted by a land care group, the Local Council and a team from theSmart University. At this time, the site of the carved tree was heritagelisted as a site of Indigenous cultural significance.Land careThis land has been used for mixed farming and cattle grazing over thepast 100 years. It is degraded from intensive use. The soil was foundto be salinated and contaminated with weedicides, pesticides andfertilisers. In the paddock areas, the soil surface has been damaged bydairy cattle. The area is also criss-crossed by dirt roads and tracks thatdrain poorly.Professional and recreational fishermen and campers have used thebeaches between Yaga Bay and Ngawa Point. Four-wheel drivevehicles and camping have caused dune erosion, damage to middensIndigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage6

and erosion of the beachfront. Local land care groups havecommenced reclaiming these areas with the support of the Yaga BayCouncil. Our Land Management Corporation has also been activelyinvolved.Plants and wildlifeMost of the natural vegetation has been removed. Native speciesincluded eucalypts, hakias, melaleucas, acacias and banksias, with arange of shrubs that produce fruit and berries, grasses andgroundcovers. There has been minimal natural regrowth. Someplanting of natural species has occurred in the area near Lobby Pointand into the hinterland, as far as the granite escarpments of TheRange.Weeds include blackberries, grass species, bracken and lantana.The mangroves along the Yaga River have been degraded as a resultof recreational boating activities.Some species of wildlife have managed to sustain numbers. Theseinclude wallabies, koalas, possums, reptiles, insects and bird species(land and sea). However, some species of bird (terns and wadersespecially) and the pobblebonk frog are on the endangered list. Feralcats are a problem in the area. Their control is underway in YagaNational Park.The ocean is home to dolphin, migrating whales, big game fish liketuna and marlin and the fish sought by recreational and professionalfishermen. Many of the smaller species and crustaceans areendangered. Fish, crab, oyster and prawn stocks in Yaga Lake aredepleted. Introduced carp are threatening the fragile native fishpopulation in the streams.Water and water usageDairy cattle have eroded the banks of the fresh water streams that flowinto the Yaga River. The streams have also been contaminated withfertiliser, weedicides and pesticides and some are choked with algae.Local authorities have been addressing this issue for the past ten yearswith success. Fish stock and other fresh water creatures are starting torejuvenate and remain protected.Some soaks still provide fresh water along the beachfront.Yaga Lake is not contaminated. A native species restocking programhas been under way for the past 5 years.Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage7

Yaga River and Lake are far enough away from the town precinct not tobe affected by a town sewage system that overflows at peak holidaytimes.PollutionFive kilometers north of Lobby Point is the site of an old rubbish dumpfor the town of Yaga Bay. Although the dump has not been used since1978, there is still a need to clean up the area. Investigations haveshown that the refuse is non toxic and that some of the rubbish mayhave historical value. However, the metal and glass create a hazardfor curious bush walkers.Sections of the beachfront are littered with rubbish that poses a dangerto people and sealife.Energy and resourcesTown water is not available in the area of the campsite, but can bebrought in if necessary. The town water supply meets state standards.Bore water supplies in the area are plentiful. The annual rainfall in thearea will usually ensure that water tanks on site are adequate.Generated solar and wind energy is reliable, due to the climate of theregion.There is a plentiful supply of timber at a local recycling outlet. Buildingtechniques will make minimal use of made materials.The local fruit, vegetable, fish, prawn and dairy farming industries aresustainable.4.2Land management strategies in placeIn association with local and regional groups (Local Council, Parks andWildlife, Marine Authority, Return the Tern Conservation Group), theYaga Bay Land Management Aboriginal Corporation has been active ina range of land management programs aimed at: replanting native vegetation (including traditional edible andmedicinal plants, plants for manufacturing craft, grasses for fibresand dyes)restocking fresh and salt waterways with native fish and crustaceanspeciesprotecting Indigenous sites (fencing middens and carved tree site)stablilsing dune areasdecontaminating fresh water streamseradicating weeds without poisonsIndigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage8

removing rubbish from beachesremoving rubbish from the site of the old dumpcollecting timber for recyclingeducating local people and visitors in land care strategies andactivitiespatrolling the beach front during peak holiday seasonsWith cooperation between the groups, there have been considerablesuccesses.4.3Campsite design, infrastructure and resourcesThe proposed campsite was the location of an all-year traditional camp.Permanent infrastructure will prevent degradation of the site andsurrounding area over time.A horticulturalist and environmental architect were consulted to provideadvice on the final detailed plans of the campsite. The campsite hasbeen designed for minimal environmental impact and allows visitorsdirect involvement with the natural surroundings. The design andcampsite activities focus on sustaining non-renewable resources. Theyconform to regional and local building and environment protectionguidelines and regulations.Infrastructure: separate visitor and staff sleeping areaswooden platforms built one metre above the groundpositioning of the platforms and landscaping to promote privacyand make the best use of sun, shade and breezesrecycled and kiln dried timberheavy canvas tents that are easy to erectnative plant species with fire retardant qualilties.canopy trees that do not shed leaves or lose branchesboughshed (with guttering) for communal eating and meeting areasarea for "sitting under the stars”positioning of communal and cooking fires to eliminate accidentalfires or health and safety risksperishable food stored in large eskiesrainwater tanks filled from boughshed guttering for drinking watertimber storage shed for tanksbore water for washing-up and showering (solar heating)timber ablution block with holding tanks and grease traps for wastewaterbiodegradable (vegetable and palm oils – no animal fats) soapsand shampoos in refillable bottlesoff-site laundry facilitiesIndigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage9

4.4dry, self-composting toilets with solar fans for ventilation and handwashing facilityrechargeable battery operated lanterns for tentssolar charged torches (low watt) for pathways and campsitecomposting facility for vegetable (with seeds removed) andpaper/cardboard (shredded) wasteoff-site recycling or disposal of all other rubbishuse of reusable containers for food (jams, sugars, sauces) anddurable glassware and crockerylow fuel consumption vehicles, regularly maintainedsmall area for parkingrecycled paper for all visitor information, promotional material andbusiness stationeryBush and beach infrastructureConstruction of pathways and walkways in the area of the campsitehas started. The following infrastructure is planned: extend pathways and platform walkways in the area (also accessfor the disabled)increase signs explaining plants, animals, sea life and sites ofcultural significanceinstall rest areas on pathways with seatingextend protective structure and viewing platform at the carved treesitebuild new viewing platforms and rest areas in the hinterlandtowards The Rangeinstall two dry, self-composting toilets in the tour areaincrease fencing and pathways at middens (3)expand sleepers and planting for dune erosionextend walkways in Bush Tucker GardensTimber used in construction will come from trees felled in local road orhousing development or natural attrition. It will be kiln dried fordurability. All platforms and timber walkways will be installed withminimal impact on the ground below (possible archaeological sites).They will also be easily removed.Guides will be responsible for maintenance of the pathways andgeneral infrastructure, as well as land care activities, during the weeksthat the camps do not operate.4.5Town infrastructureThe proposed activities for the day tour will use existing infrastructure.These include:Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage10

bus interchange and rest roomsDormitory Museum, Gallery and Art and Craft ShopChurch facilities and cemetery"Sorry Ceremony" boughshedBeachside Park facilities (boughshed, toilets)Community CentreBush Tucker Gardens (pathways, walkways, signs)These facilities and infrastructure are already maintained by relevantbodies. Permission has been obtained to use them, with the guaranteeto assist in their upkeep.4.6Possible negative impacts and management strategiesThe following tables outline the possible negative impacts on theenvironment and strategies we have in place to minimise theseimpacts.Land careNegative ImpactMinimisation StrategyDegradation of land by ventureFixed campsite infrastructureUse only walkways and pathwaysActive regeneration of soilsReclaim stream banksLlimit vehicle accessSmall parking area at campsiteSingle road access onlyControlled burning in season to supportreforrestation and protect the area fromincoming fires (in association with Parksand Wildlife)Degradation of land by visitorsControl tourist numbersRestrict accessControl bush walking activitiesDegradation of beachesControl tourist numbersRestrict accessControl beach activitiesProtect dunes and middensRemove all rubbish for disposal orrecyclingDisallow vehicle or boat accessDamage to existing town infrastructureHelp with maintenanceEducate local residents, staff and visitorsErect signsDamage to environment from newinfrastructureUse low impact building practicesMonitor impact on the environment atcamp and bush/beachReport regularlyAddress issues immediatelyUse existing roads and tracks (low use)Indigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage11

and monitor impactBuild with careful planningPlan (but not build) camp layout toaccommodate expansionDeterioration of timber infrastructure andsignsMonitor and treat with chemical-freeproductsAbuse of infrastructureMonitor useRequire permits and fees for useRestrict accessReport abuses to appropriate authoritiesInstigate finesEducate local residents, staff and visitorsPlants and wildlifeNegative ImpactMinimisation StrategyDestruction of replanted native speciesExpand replanting of native species(including tour activity)Compost wasteRecycle grey waterErect signsEducate visitors and other campersHarvest to sustain bush tuckerControl weeds (minimal and controlleduse of chemicals, biological controls),Quarantine weed growth areasControl introduction of non-nativespecies (seeds)Further destruction of mangrovesMonitor use for recreation (boating andfishing)Build raised walkwaysDisallow fishing or collectingDecrease in native animal populationsNo hunting; no feedingRestrict visitor access to bush by usingpathways and walkwaysErect signsMonitor wild life populations in the area(including campsite)Work with Parks and Wildlife to eradicateferal catsThreat to endangered speciesMonitor population numbers (tern, wader,pobblebonk frog)Educate visitorsErect signsObserve from a distanceReport any abuse of coloniesRegenerate habitatsThreat to marine/fresh water speciesObtain fishing licencesObserve bag limitsControl visitor fishing and collectingactivitiesSupplement seafood with supplies fromtown outletsDisallow use of netsDisallow boat accessReport any illegal professional orIndigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage12

recreational fishing to relevant authoritiesSupport restocking projectsDisallow fishing or collecting in streamsor LakeMonitor fish and crustacean numbersWater and water usageNegative ImpactMinimisation StrategyDegradation of waterwaysDisallow swimming in streams, Lake orRiverEnsure toilet placements are 50m fromfresh waterwaysUse biodegradable soap and cleaningproductsDiscourage use of chemical basedsunscreen lotionsUse non-chemical repellantsRecycle grey waterSupport regeneration of streams andrestocking projectsTest water qualityDestruction of beach soaksDemonstrate only with minimal samplingTest water quality frequentlyShortage of drinking waterUse tanks at camp siteMaintain gutters on boughshedProtect tanks in timber shedTest water qualityEducate in controlled use of water (staffand visitors)Supplement with town supply ifnecessaryRestrict access to campsiteWastage of bore waterUse in controlled amountsEducate staff and visitorsMonitor water quality and supplyPollution of fresh waterwaysTest quality of grey waterTest water for sewage contaminationPollutionNegative ImpactMinimisation StrategyIncrease of rubbish in areaSupport rubbish dump regenerationprojectKeep visitors away from rubbish dumpErect signsEducate visitors about recycling anddisposal (town facilities)Support clean beach project (visitors toparticipate)Provide recycling and rubbish disposalcontainers at the campsiteGeneration of camp rubbishCompost vegetable matter for recyclingUse composting toilets for appropriatekitchen wasteProvide containers for rubbish disposaland recyclingIndigenous Ecotourism ToolboxSample Ecotourism PlanPage13

Use town recycling and disposal facilitiesEncourage visitors to take small itemswith them (film containers, cotton buds)Energy and resourcesNegative ImpactMinimisation StrategyDegradation of fresh/bore water supplyControl use of tank waterMinimal use of town supply (only inemergencies)Educate staff and visitors in sustainableuseUse chemical free cleaning and soapproducts (to allow for recycling of greywater in replanted areas)Maintain tanks for water qualityTest water qualit

Traditional farewell dance. 3.2 4 Day / 2 Night Camp Day 1 Visitors will experience the same activities listed above on Day 1. Stay the first night in Yaga Bay at the Yaga Bay Motel. Indigenous Ecotourism Toolbox Sample Ecotourism Pla

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