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Eco-voluntourism push for regional Victoria

Wednesday 27 February, 2013

Conservation Volunteers Australia and Parks Victoria have joined forces to promote a new Naturewise voluntourism program for regional Victoria. The role of Tourism Product Development Manager has been created to identify and develop opportunities for nature-based voluntourism across the state. Voluntourism is when tourists do volunteer work as part of their travel experience. It’s a growing market in the tourism industry. Naturewise voluntourism offers opportunities for involvement with environmental and conservation projects.

Marko Sanovic has been appointed to the new role, and will work closely with regional and state tourism bodies, natural resource management organisations and local communities.  He brings with him extensive international tourism experience in Australia and Europe.

A number of new and exciting Naturewise voluntourism products have just been confirmed for 2013. They combine volunteer conservation activities with exciting tour experiences such as working alongside Parks Victoria rangers in threatened species, monitoring large Forest Owls and encounters with elusive Tiger Quolls. Naturewise tours are both rewarding and unique; visitors can experience some of Australia’s most beautiful natural areas, whilst personally contributing to the conservation of native species.

“Increasing tourist numbers are demonstrating the need for new nature - based experiences, and voluntourism is one of those on the rise, says Marko. “ The Naturewise project is aimed at the needs of both global and domestic travellers, and creating a competitive advantage for Victoria.

National Manager for Nature Holidays for Conservation Volunteers Australia, Joanne Davies, is keen to see the Naturewise products grow. “This new position adds to our growing relationship with Parks Victoria, and the environment and tourism sectors in general. Marko will be a valuable asset in developing some exciting tourism products and conservation experiences around Victoria that will promote sustainable tourism growth in years to come.”

Parks Victoria’s Tourism Partnerships Manager Alysia Brandenburg is also looking forward to this new program. “Naturewise tourism products are a great opportunity for people to connect with the natural environment and experience parks working with our ranger staff, undertaking research and conservation activities that make a valuable contribution to park management goals. We have many exciting projects that participants can engage with at the same time as helping the environment, getting out into regional Victoria and enjoying our parks. We’re excited to be working with Conservation Volunteers in developing products that will help us achieve those goals”.

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