Abstract of Articles of TRR 26(1), 2001
Theme: Tourism and Heritage Sites
How Great is the Great Barrier Reef? Tourists' Knowledge and Understanding of the World Heritage Status of the Great Barrier Reef.
(Gianna Moscardo, David Green & Tanya Greenwood)
World Heritage (WH) Listing brings with it an obligation on the part of the responsible government to protect, conserve and present the area listed on behalf of current and future generations. Presentation of a World Heritage Area (WHA) has multiple and related goals. One goal is to explain the significance of the place and why it is listed as a WHA. A second goal is to encourage support for its protection and conservation, while a third goal is to develop more sustainable behaviour from those who live and/or visit the area. The present research is part of a larger project aimed at developing effective presentation of the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area (GBRWHA) in Australia. The paper reports on both a nationwide telephone survey and a survey of visitors which examined such factors as levels of awareness of the World Heritage status of this area, understanding of the reasons for the listing, images of the area, and perceptions of threats to this environment. In conclusion a discussion of the implications of the research for developing effective programs for presenting the GBRWHA to visitors is presented.


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