Dr Nigel Hardiman from the Top Education Institute to present on Long-Distance Walking Tracks and Tourism

Dr Nigel Hardiman, Academic Director, Business Programmes at Top Education Institute to present at the Australian Regional Development Conference being held next week (26– 27 August 2015) at the Commercial Club Albury.

The Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation.

Dr Nigel Hardiman

Dr Nigel Hardiman

Speaker Introduction: Dr. Nigel Hardiman’s early career spanned 20 years in the private commercial sector, specialising in marketing, international business and strategic management within companies such as British Leyland, NEC, Alcatel and Telstra, throughout Europe, Asia and Australia. After completing his MAppSc and PhD in environmental science at the University of Western Sydney in 2002, he has taught widely at universities in the UK, Australia and Singapore. His research and consulting interests today focus on social, economic and biophysical impacts of ecologically sustainable tourism and the potential for private and/or public sector sustainable development initiatives to contribute to biodiversity conservation.

Presentation Title: Long-Distance Walking Tracks: Offering Regional Tourism in the Slow Lane
Co-Author: Shelley Burgin, Professor of Environmental Management at Bond University

Overview: Nature-based destination tourism has witnessed substantial growth in recent years, particularly in Regional Areas. This type of tourism is for people who do not want to merely passively view scenic landscape but to actively immerse themselves within it, for example by undertaking long-distance walks. Many tourism agencies and local governments have responded to such demand by developing, branding and promoting ‘walking products’; overseas examples include: the UK’s Pennine Way; the USA’s Appalachian Trail; Peru’s Inca Trail; New Zealand’s Tongariro Circuit and Milford Track; while in Australia enthusiasts can tackle the Overland Track and South-West Coast Track (Tasmania), the Larapinta Trail and Jatbula Trail (Northern Territory) and Thorsborne Trail (Queensland). Such products offer benefits to visitors in terms of healthy exercise undertaken in stunning scenery, along with enhanced awareness and appreciation of the natural environment. Local governments, commercial tourism operators, and land conservation agencies within whose purview such walks are located, derive economic benefits in terms of increased employment and/or income with minimal outlay in the development of the walking tracks. In this paper we (i) review trends in consumer behaviour driving demand for such products; (ii) consider potential regional economic benefits arising from them and (iii) describe a proposal for a new long distance walking track in the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area in New South Wales.

About the Conference
The Australian Regional Development Conference is an initiative of the Association for Sustainability in Business Inc., a non-Government ‘not-for-profit’ organisation. The 2015 theme is “Redefining the Future of Regional Australia”, it will explore the issues and opportunities facing Regional Australia today and into the future.

Concurrent streams will focus on the following topics:

  • Sustainability / Renewables
  • Population Movements
  • Community Development
  • Government Policy
  • Innovation
  • Infrastructure
  • Cultural Tourism / Regional Tourism Development
  • Free Trade Agreements
  • Transport and Logistics
  • NBN / Broadband Communication
  • Banking / Finance

To view and/or download the Australian Regional Development Conference program please click here.

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