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WA to host international ecotourism conference

3Marine tourism in protected areas will be the focus of a major international ecotourism conference to be held next year at Rottnest Island.

Announcing Western Australia as host of the 2015 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference, Tourism Minister Liza Harvey and Environment Minister Albert Jacob said it was a great coup for WA to host the conference on Rottnest Island.

“Rottnest has been a popular holiday destination for West Australians for more than 100 years and attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year,” Mrs Harvey said.

“It is also an A Class Reserve and part of a 3,800 hectare marine reserve which is home to about 360 species of fish and 25 types of tropical hard coral. This makes it the perfect location for the 2015 Global Eco Asia-Pacific Tourism Conference.”

Mr Jacob said activities in the State’s marine parks would be highlighted.

“Marine parks support a growing marine ecotourism market that offer activities including whale watching; sea lion, dolphin and dugong viewing; scuba diving; snorkelling; kayaking and glass-bottom boats. These parks protect some of the State’s most environmentally significant areas, while providing for sustainable use and enjoyment,” Mr Jacob said.

“In the last two years the State Government has created the Lalang-garram/Camden Sound and Eighty Mile Beach marine parks, and three more parks will be created in the waters of Roebuck Bay, Horizontal Falls and across the north Kimberley. The resulting opportunities for sustainable nature-based tourism will be examined by industry delegates at the conference.”

Co-ordinated by Ecotourism Australia, the conference will be held in October or November 2015 and is expected to attract between 200-250 Australian and international participants.

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