It’s 2030, imagine if…

The Travel Better Project (TTBP), first initiated on Tasmania’s North West coast, has been cited as a key Tourism sector contributor to Australia’s Nature Positive plan. TTBP’s innovative framework and toolkit not only empowered communities to decide what they wanted tourism to look like in their region, but gave operators the knowledge and skills to make regenerative changes to their businesses. Government investment in supporting small, local operators to implement Positive Impact tourism practices has helped drive this shift. And, with the support of key donors, there are now clear pathways for community organisations to partner with tourism operators in meaningful ways. Now a global platform and vibrant community of practice, TTBP continues to inspire and enable an approach to tourism that is transformative for people and places.

Summary of solution

Conventional models of tourism can be wasteful, destructive, unjust and exploitative. Together with local tourism stakeholders and communities, this project develops a regenerative tourism framework grounded in place. The big-picture vision for this project is to ensure tourism supports local livelihoods, ecosystems, and community resilience on the NW Coast of Tasmania. To achieve this, this project will create a toolbox with learning materials and practical resources to help tourism providers design positive impact experiences for visitors.

The framework and toolkit will also aim to strengthen the capability of tourism providers to design and offer positive impact experiences for visitors, including in ways that contribute to ecosystem restoration and enhance local livelihoods. This project aims to spark the regenerative tourism movement in Australia. It aims to protect biodiversity and restore nature, celebrate cultural values and stories, avoiding damage through sustainable tourism operations, and encourage tourism enterprises to reinvest funds to support environmental or community projects.

Why is this solution innovative

This project disrupts the conventional models of mass tourism which frequently disempower host communities who often end up having tourism "done" to them in ways that do not necessarily support local values and priorities. This project engages with community to develop a place-based solution. It seeks to ensure tourism infrastructure and activities protect wild spaces and threatened species, while also helping to alleviate disadvantage in regional communities, place control back into the hands of local communities, prevent economic leakage and support Indigenous-led travel experiences to build pride in our unique Indigenous heritage.

The big picture vision for this project has potential to build resilience among tourism operators and communities in NW Tasmania. It could create potential for new forms of community organising.