Date: 10 December 2007
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A meeting to advance the Australian Alps for recognition as an international tourism destination will be held in Canberra on Tuesday, which is also International Mountain Day.
The Australian Alps Region steering committee spokesman Peter Jacobs said the proposal is very exciting and he is very optimistic the Alps region will receive recognition under the National Landscapes Program and be marketed overseas as a tourism destination, along with other iconic Australian sites.
“The bid, being developed under Tourism Australia’s National Landscapes initiative, has wide stakeholder support from throughout the region. Over 20 people from right across the Alps region will be at Tuesday’s meeting.
“We are particularly concerned to ensure that any tourism in the Australian Alps national parks is sensitive and compatible with conserving the unique mountain environments and the natural and cultural values found in them.
“Mass tourism would have the potential to seriously degrade those mountain environments. That is why we are so happy to take the approach that the National Landscapes initiative provides – targeted towards the ‘Experience Seeker’ – people in a sector of the market that are sensitive to the need to conserve these unique values.
“The fact that the meeting coincides with International Mountain Day is a bonus. This year the theme of the day is climate change.
“International Mountain Day is an opportunity to create awareness about the importance of mountains to life, to highlight the opportunities and constraints in mountain development and to build partnerships that will bring positive change to the world’s mountains and highlands.
“The natural environments of the Australian Alps are already under a great range of pressures, not the least of which is climate change. We are developing a range of initiatives to help us deal with this problem.”
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