The delegation - representing Government, Tourism and Community organisations from the Nusa Tenggara Barat (NTB) province, Java and Indonesia - visited the region as part of a University of Sunshine Coast-led fellowship program aimed at marrying Australian expertise with Indonesian tourism leaders and decision makers.
Whilst Lady Elliot and Fraser Island’s iconic attractions were a welcome distraction, the group was primarily on island to learn about best practices in integrated coastal and marine management from two of the Fraser Coast’s leading tourism operators - Kingfisher Bay Resort and Lady Elliot Island Eco Resort.
Kingfisher Bay Resort Group’s General Manager of Touring and Marine, Colin Anderson, said he was chuffed he and other Fraser Coast operators were able to donate their time and showcase best environmental tourism practices in an environment not too dissimilar to the east coast of Lombok - which has small, fragile and pristine offshore islands that have been targeted for development.
“During their visit, the group was taken on a series of back-of-house tours incorporating Kingfisher Bay’s worm farm, waste management and recycling station and Lady Elliot’s solar diesel hybrid power station,” he said. “They also met with Queensland Parks and Wildlife Rangers during their time on Fraser.”
The University of the Sunshine Coast’s (USC) Dr Gayle Mayes said their Australian Award Fellowship (AAF) programs had been very successful in assisting international decision-makers and leaders to develop more sustainable practices, policies and plans in their home countries.
The first AAF Indonesian tourism mentoring project to this region ran back in 2012 and, with the continued support of AusAID Federal Government funding, Dr Mayes and team were able to continue showcasing the Fraser Coast’s environmental know how on the world’s stage this year.
Ms Mayes said the aim of the four-week program - which included theory, case studies workshops and site visits with industry - was to assist the group in developing sustainable and integrated approaches tourism development and resource management in their own island backyards.
The delegation also visited the Maroochydore Sewerage Works during their time in Queensland.