Taming the wild: is the rise in ‘eco-accommodation’ a threat to Australia’s national parks?

Taming the wild: is the rise in ‘eco-accommodation’ a threat to Australia’s national parks?

Commercial accommodation in parks promotes advocacy for the land, say tour companies, but critics argue it puts wilderness at risk

Mick Ripon has fished from the rugged coastline of NSW’s Ben Boyd national park for the past 45 years. Off the remote rocks of Green Cape, Ripon reeled in his biggest catch, a 68kg (150lb) yellowfin tuna, and even proposed to his wife.

Now he’s racing to stop the construction of multiple huts at Mowarry Point and Hegartys Bay that he says will rob the park of its wilderness appeal.

A proposal to construct hut accommodation along the Light to Light Walk, south of Eden, has become one of many hard-fought battles against development inside Australia’s national parks.

“Once you start building … structures, you start to compromise the wild values of the park,” Ripon, a spokesperson for the Green Cape Fishing Alliance (GCFA), says.

“National parks are areas protected for future generations and some of the last refuges for many of Australia’s vulnerable species.”

Ripon is not alone in his concern at the growing trend across Australia for tourism-driven developments within national parks.

This is an excerpt from an article by The World Travel & Tourism Council , originally published by The Guardian.

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