|Marine tourism in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia|
In: Geographical Research. Blackwell: Oxford. ISSN 1745-5863; e-ISSN 1745-5871
ecotourism; sustainable development; marine tourism; Kimberley
Marine tourism is an important component of nature-based tourism in the Kimberley Region of northern Western Australia. It offers a wide range of passive and active recreational activities in near-pristine wilderness areas. Marine tourism in the region is recognised as a growth sector having expanded rapidly since 2000, and it is unusual in that growth has been limited by a lack of vehicular access points to the coast. This unplanned growth has been irregular. A marked downturn in visitation by yachts has coincided with an increase in visits by charter boats. Although only five bush camps are established along the coast, boat visits occur at approximately 216 locations that are all subject to potential environmental damage. The extent to which this unplanned industry can be sustained without jeopardising environmental, social and economic values remains open to question.