Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Keith Pitt will visit the Belair National Park near Adelaide today as the Government examines new ways to promote Australia's natural beauty.
South Australia's oldest national park boasts an array of attractions, including pristine woodland, heritage buildings, sporting facilities and walking trails.
Mr Pitt said Australia's unique natural environment was a key drawcard for international visitors and demand for related tourism infrastructure was growing.
"The Australian Government recognises the important contribution nature-based tourism makes to our visitor economy and we're encouraging appropriate, sensitive investment in national parks to maximise their potential," Mr Pitt said.
"Together with the Minister for the Environment and Energy Josh Frydenberg, I will be working to ensure we have the right conditions for sustainable development in Commonwealth national parks."
Federal Member for Boothby, Nicolle Flint, welcomed the opportunity to showcase the park in the year of its 125th anniversary.
"I consider us lucky to have such a wonderful space for families and the community right here in Adelaide's inner south," Ms Flint said.
"Belair National Park, which is Australia's second oldest, offers an impressive array of activities from barbecue and picnic areas to no less than eight walking trails of varying difficulties.
"With 835 hectares of woodland and historical buildings to maintain I applaud good work of groups such as the Friends of Belair National Park and Friends of Old Government House who do a magnificent job maintaining the park."
Tourism Research Australia figures show 68 per cent of international visitors to Australia – a total of 5 million people – engaged in some form of nature-based activity in the year ending in June 2016.
Of those, 3.3 million visited national or state parks, a 15 per cent increase on the previous year.
During the same period, over 9 million Australians visited their own national and state parks.
In order, the top international markets for Australia for nature-based tourism were China, the United Kingdom, New Zealand and the USA.
Mr Pitt said tourism employs one in 12 Australians and is a key driver of our economy.
"Through our Tourism 2020 strategy, we are working hard to ensure the industry meets its full growth potential, including nature-based tourism.
"Under the Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure Programme, for example, over $9.3 million has been committed to projects focused in this area, nearly a quarter of the total programme funds."
- Minister's office: (02) 6277 4122
- DFAT Media Liaison: (02) 6261 1555