26 August 2008

Kangaroos tipped to bounce up tourism numbers in Aus

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Kangaroo tourism has been tipped to become as popular as game tourism in Africa, reports ABC News. A conservation group has put together a guide that shows tourists the best places to view Kangaroos in Australia.

The guide, The Kangaroo Trail, was developed with the Australian Wildlife Protection Council and funded by Voiceless, an animal rights group.

A kangaroo expert from the University of New South Wales spearheaded the making of the guide, which he hopes will encourage more people to visit Australia with the specific purpose of Kangaroo-spotting.  Dr Croft, who has spent his career studying kangaroos, said the guide is designed for both international and domestic tourists, as in Australia there is little awareness of kangaroo tourism.

"You can take the map in hand and you can see all of Australia, so it's showcasing our protected areas, our national parks, it's showcasing the diversity of our wildlife," Dr Croft said.  "And hopefully as people go map-in-hand to these areas they'll reward the local communities through their economic activities who've protected this wildlife."

Maryland Wilson, President of the Australian Wildlife Council, said the success of this guide will have a huge effect on the perception of wild kangaroos in Australia, and will hopefully make “roo-spotting” as popular as game-spotting in Africa.

"If you teach children to learn to love and respect our wildlife, I think that we could turn this into another serendipity like in Africa where huge mobs of wildebeest are seen as something miraculous and wonderful that people go to see and encourage,” she told ABC News.

"What we're saying is, here's 50 species of kangaroos. You could take a hop just into the hinterland of a major destination like Sydney or Brisbane or Melbourne or you could go right into the heartland of Australia to Alice Springs, Top End," he added.

The Australian Visa Bureau is an independent consulting company specialising in helping people apply for an Australia visa.

Article by Jessica Bird, Australian Visa Bureau.

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