Sustainable tourism and visitation to our parks

Protection of nature, cultural and heritage assets is the primary responsibility of the NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS). As a division of the Office of Environment and Heritage, NPWS manages, conserves and cares for more than seven million hectares of protected areas. NPWS completes on the ground conservation work to ensure that cultural integrity, ecological processes and biological diversity continue into the future. At a higher level NPWS fosters understanding and appreciation for our landscapes, and engages our communities to work together for their ongoing protection.

Whilst our parks will always be important places for conservation and the community, they also provide a way for NPWS to contribute to the visitor economy of NSW. In fact, nature-based tourism has become the fastest growing element of tourism; it is considered to have the greatest potential to assist growth in domestic and international tourism in Australia. In NSW, the strength of this potential has been recognised by the State Government through the delivery of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan (VEIAP); the tourism and events strategy to support NSW 2021: A plan to make NSW number one. The VEIAP, which includes references to nature, heritage and Aboriginal tourism, intends to double tourism expenditure to NSW by 2020.

As the premier protector of natural and cultural heritage in NSW, NPWS is at the forefront in the delivery of the VEIAP, both as a lead agency, and in collaboration with our partners in government and private industry.

NPWS works with Destination NSW, Regional Tourism Organisation and local government in the delivery and promotion of visitor experiences and is actively involved in the National Landscapes Program. NPWS plays a role in Destination Management planning and undertakes a range of internal strategic visitation planning.

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Page last updated: 13 August 2014