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The Great Barrier Reef is vulnerable to a range of environmental incidents such as oil spills, ship groundings, cyclones, flooding and coral bleaching.

These incidents can significantly impact the Reef-dependent tourism industry. In turn, this can generate severe economic hardship for the industry and local coastal communities and significant economic losses for the regional and state economies.

Being prepared to respond to an environmental incident in an effective and coordinated fashion is crucial for both the marine tourism industry and Reef managers.

Marine Tourism Contingency Plan

The Marine Tourism Contingency Plan focuses on assisting tourism operators to temporarily relocate to an alternative site following a severe environmental incident.

  • Supporting information for the Marine tourism contingency plan can be found in the information sheet
  • For operations impacted by a severe environmental incident complete the Marine Tourism Contingency Plan application form
Coral Bleaching Threats to the World Heritage Great Barrier Reef Marine Park

Marine tourism coordination framework for environmental incidents

The Marine tourism coordination framework for environmental incidents sets out a mechanism for coordinating and facilitating responses to an environmental incident relevant to the marine tourism industry. In the event of an environmental incident, the Marine Tourism Incident Response Group will be convened to assess the incident and develop a joint response plan, with special consideration of communication and information sharing between members of the response group, the tourism industry and the media.

  • The Marine Tourism Incident Response Group consists of:
  • Director, Tourism and Recreation, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, (the coordinator)
  • Executive Director, Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators
  • Chief Executive Officer, Queensland Tourism Industry Council
  • Director, Communications and Publicity, Tourism Queensland
  • General Manager Marine, Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service.
Reef Rangers Queensland Parks Wildlife Service working with Tourism Operators

Tourism Management Action Strategy

The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority and the Department of Environment and Science’s Queensland Parks and Wildlife Service’s Tourism Management Action Strategy aim to provide contemporary, agile, risk-based and efficient management that supports ecologically sustainable tourism; and tourism that is world-leading, supporting inspiring visitor experiences and strong stewardship by tourism operators and visitors alike.

Master Reef Guide Interpreting Reef Health and Impacts
Updated 31 May 2024
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