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Evolution of Cultural Tourism in Australia: Cultural Landscapes Case Study Task 3 Answer


Task Length:Individual report, 2000 words

Task Weight:40

  • A brief introduction of your Cultural Route / Landscape as per your allocated case study
  • The current Australian industry trends towards cultural (heritage) tourism
  • A definition of a Cultural Route / Landscape and an analysis on how your Route / Landscape fits into this definition
  • An analysis of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage within your Route/Landscape
  • Analysis of the (potential) threats to the heritage within your Route / Landscape
  • Evidence of stakeholder involvement in the management of this Route / Landscape
  • Explanation of the importance of involvement of local residents as gatekeepers
  • The use and suitability of the Burra Charter as a tool for sustainable development of your Route / Landscape based on the theory as well as suitable real application
  • A rational analysis of the impacts of climate change on your Route / Landscape
  • Recommendations for sustainable tourism and cultural development, including suggestions for the use of technology and management strategies applicable to your Route / Landscape



Executive Summary

The cultural and heritage of any area is a reflection of the history and the evolution of the interaction of the various elements of the society and the environment as well. It provides a unique perspective to follow and behold the nature of the developmental course taken influenced by different natural and ecological reasons. The Canning Stock Route and the Kakadu National Park are such examples of heritage that has developed in Australia which shows exclusive development of intricate relationship with the nature and the with the penetration of the modern methods of living as an exchange of culture, heritage and innovation. These are also excerpting of history that should be preserved in its natural form to sustain the natural balance of nature which has been used by the aboriginal people of the country. The demarcation has allowed transfusion of travel and tourism as an attractive norm that can produce dividends. However, unchecked visitors also lead to damage to the ecology and nature as well as the livelihood of the aboriginal people. Hence, the participation of the local, public and private bodies for the management of tourism in these areas should be done.


The evolution of the tourism which encompasses the cultural and heritage filled inclination has seen a rapid change. Due to the unscrupulous encroaching of the natural way of life of the Aboriginal communities in these distinct boundaries of Australia also means problems for them. However, the “contact” zone had created an interesting mix of indigenous and “white” traditions and interaction in these regions to develop a shared heritage that is historically important not only for the racial intermixing. It also reflects upon the slow integration of the colonial encounters which were earlier geographically separated. The case study had shed light on two such cases of indigenous heritage of the pastoral frontier of Australia which is the Canning Stock Route and the Kakadu National Park. The pastoral means of livelihood in the Kakadu National Park through the buffalo camps and cattle stations not only meant economic activities but also the exchange of culture, arts and others that made an interesting observational requirement. On the other hand, the Canning Stock Route also represents the pastoral frontiers and its heritage that has designated aboriginal importance. It traversed three major deserts where the public access to recent times have been restricted by the local Kuju Wangka association. It provides a unique insight into the innovative and exclusive collaboration between the aboriginal rangers, historians, government, scientists and others for the management and the protection of the rich heritage of the area (Blair and James, 2016). This unique combination of historical and heritage that can prove beneficial for tourism particularly in light of the new and sought-after travel itinerary that needs to be exceptional and different from the competitors. This research would utilize the case study in order to analyse the roles played by various private and public sectors to identify the challenges and the trends in the Environmental and Cultural Tourism initiatives in Australia.

Current trends of heritage or cultural tourism in Australia

It is noted that the cultural and heritage tourism in Australia has been gaining rising importance from the international community. Fairley (2020) has stated that in 2017, 43 % of the international visitors participated in cultural activities in their travel to the country while 33.9 % of them also took part in heritage activity. The report also suggested that the industry has also been growing continuously at a rate of 7.5 % for cultural tourism and 11.2 % for heritage tourism over the last 4 years. Timothy (2017) on the other hand have opined that due to the rise in the number of tourists in the famous travel destinations, there has been the degradation of the experience of the visitors which has fanned the need for a differentiating factor in the tourism, industry. The collaboration of the unique heritage and culture exchanges that are represented through the Canning Stock Route or the Kakadu National Park presents the industry with opportunities (Aph, 2020). The participation of the local aboriginal bodies works for the protection of the culture and the heritage by controlling the inflow of tourists while the governmental and public bodies working to provide a smooth transition of the tourism in the neglected areas of raw pieces of history being presented as a potential tourism alternative.

A definition of a Cultural Route / Landscape and analysis on how your Route / Landscape fits into this definition

According to the World Heritage Conference, the cultural route or landscape can be defined as the borderline area of migration for the recognition of the nomadic or pastoral way of life (Unesco, 2020). The idea of the definition is that due to the limitation of the natural resources to sustain permanent residency in a particular area, the people of the indigenous community had to move around. They generally followed a particular direction that is identified with the cultural route. The case study describes the pastoral way of life for the indigenous people of Australia that has demarcated a severe interchanging of the cultural and social interactions which has defined and differentiated them from other population of the country. Thus, the description of the cultural route is very much the intention argument that inculcates the uniqueness of the area so as to confer tourism attraction to learn about the various facets of cultural and heritage which has developed.

An analysis of the tangible and intangible cultural heritage within your Route/Landscape

The listing of the Kakadu National Park as a World Heritage Site was for the unique interaction of the indigenous people with “whites” as well as the intricate relationship that has been described with the nature of the places to sustain the livelihood of the indigenous people (Blair and James, 2016). The ubiquitous proof of cultural and heritage development can be seen. The tangible cultural heritage includes natural floodplains that reflect the ecological impacts of the changes in the sea level in northern parts of Australia along with wetlands. On the other hand, the intangible cultural heritage refers to the heritage of the area is also on the indigenous people who have preserved the hunter-gatherer way of life including the spiritual and antique tradition of long-lost culture. The cultural heritage of the Canning Stock Route also means that the interaction of the traditions of the indigenous people and the modern culture which were introduced by Canning's team have produced a seemingly interesting and exclusive culture native to the area (Blair and James, 2016). The intangible heritage also includes the tradition of buffalo hunting, the emergence of hiding trading and other forms which can be seen along the route. The ecological beauty of the desert, springs and the mountains as well as the traditions of Martu people, quarry sites used by them to make tools speaks of historical and cultural significance (Blair and James, 2016). This tangible and intangible cultural heritage are very interesting and custodianship of the indigenous people as well as respecting their method of living is of utmost importance while observing the evolutionary changes that show the sustainability of the tourism in the area.

Analysis of the (potential) threats to the heritage within your Route / Landscape

One of the major reasons due to which the tourists and visits in the area have been limited is because of the potential threats to the heritage within the Canning stock route. One of the most prominent and common threats to the heritage of the Canning National Park is damage to the ecological diversity of the area which involved unique flora and fauna of the region (Thecanningstockroute, 2020). In addition to it, the encroachment of the heritage sites which are largely the lands utilized by the traditional and aboriginal people of the area was also restricted and affected by the visitors. The overt nature of uncontrolled visitors to the heritage sites means that the actions of the visitors cannot also be controlled such as the menial collection of souvenirs signifying the travel may also affect heritage of the area. On the other hand, the Kakadu National Park is largely threatened by global warming and temperature changes. Due to the rise in the number of invasive species and the consequential fall in the number of wildlife in the area also is a threat (Abc, 2020). These threats were also compounded due to the rise in the number of visitors to these areas which were unregulated.

Evidence of stakeholder involvement in the management of this Route / Landscape

The primary stakeholders in the management of the Canning Route or the Kakadu National Park are the local, national and indigenous participation. The case study clearly shows that the Kuju Wangka Management strategy has been actively coordinating the with the tourists and the issuance of the permits for access to these travel destinations is noted for the preservation of the traditions, culture and the heritage of these areas (Blair and James, 2016). The part played by Kuju is that it informs and controls the native titles along the Canning Route whilst ensuring the protection of the inflow of the visitors as well as their activities are checked. The Government of Australia has also made legal implications such as the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1972 and others which is aimed particularly for the protection of the heritage of the unique cultures of the aboriginal people of the country that shows the development of the country as well as the evolution through the years of coexistence with colonial and modern powers (Dortch and Sapienza, 2016).

Explanation of the importance of the involvement of local residents as gatekeepers

The importance of the involvement of the local residents as gatekeepers is necessary for the protection of the culture and heritage of the areas. The local residents are well aware of the importance of the areas as they are informed about how the utilization of the various things of nature and its importance for the aboriginal people (Altman, Larsen and Buchanan, 2018). This leads to a more comprehensive controlling of the tourist's activities. The essence of the local residents and their knowledge about the culture of the area can only be used to leverage so that any activity apart from the allowed by the management strategy can be carried out. The value which is endowed to the menial actions of the tourists can also be a great source of threats to the local ecology as well as the heritage of the area. The local involved parties can also act as a first-hand oversight to screen the visitors along with making contributions to suggest certain changes that would ultimately enrich the protective abilities of the management bodies of the tourism in these culturally protected areas. 

Use and suitability of the Burra Charter as a tool for sustainable development

Buckley and Fayad (2017) stated that the use of the Burra charter is to define a detailed set of instruction for the management of the heritage sites in Australia. The charter has been in practice for more than 40 years. There have been changes made to the charter but it can be said that the management of the heritage sites is a constant process and pervades many diverse fields that cannot be managed with the help of the outlines provided. These limitations also meant that the sustainability of the heritage sites is being affected due to it. While the theoretical application provides very detailed guidelines that can be followed by the management bodies in the country while the application of the guidelines cannot be squared off (Mackay, 2019). There are minute differences that should be considered for the application of the Burra Charter. This charter has been very effective for ethics in the management of the heritage sites.

A rational analysis of the impacts of climate change on your Route / Landscape

The climate has been a constant factor that has impacted the Canning Stock Route as well as the Kakadu National Park. Since these areas are rich in the unique interaction of the ecology and the human elements to form a distinguishable alliance which are necessary for the survival of the indigenous species. The climate has also changed the months in which the travel is viable in these regions. Hall et al. (2017) also stated that the interaction of the external factors such as climate has an impact on the heritage sites of Australia. Kakadu national park such as the saltwater intrusion in the area which would ultimately destroy the ecology of the area. The changes to tidal pressure as well as the frequency, extent and the duration of the floods have also become unpredictable due to the impacts of climate change.


The recommendations which can be made for sustainable development of cultural tourism are as follows:

  • The travellers can be issued bands which have a tracker that can be utilized to check and control the traversing area for the tourists. The trackers can also be employed int eh cars to track the footfalls in the area so that technology can be leveraged to generate positive controlling and protection of the heritage of the area. This technology can also help to find any lost travellers as well.
  • The issuance of the permits for the travellers can be made online with the requisite recommendations for the permitted activities clearly stated for the travellers to read upon. This would save time as well as provide a detailed information session so that the onus of the knowledge is on the travellers. It would also invite participation from the travellers and make the experience of travel a more intricately involved one.


It can be concluded from the above discussion that cultural and heritage tourism has risen in significance and demand. Hence, it is the responsibility of the management strategies to be employed by the locals as well as the private and governmental interventions to protect the culture and heritage of Canning Stock Route and the Kakadu National Park as well. The tourism should be controlled and methodically managed so that the authentic history of the area is not damaged by any unscrupulous actions of the visitors.

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