The State Government is inviting expressions of interest to develop and operate a world-class ecotourism experience, including accommodation, in one of Western Australia’s World Heritage areas. Tourism Minister Kim Hames said the site in Francois Peron National Park, located in the Shark Bay World Heritage Area, was about 10kms north of world-famous Monkey Mia and offered a unique opportunity for potential investors.
“The State Government is looking for investors to create a unique, world-class ecotourism resort of the same calibre as Sal Salis at Ningaloo Reef; Karijini Eco Retreat; or the Eco Beach Resort at Broome,” Dr Hames said.
“Francois Peron is one of the truly extraordinary areas of WA with its scenic coastline featuring red cliffs, turquoise blue water, white beaches and abundant wildlife.”
Environment Minister Bill Marmion said the land would be released under the Naturebank program, which was jointly managed by Tourism Western Australia and the Department of Environment and Conservation, with funding from Royalties for Regions.
“Naturebank aims to position WA as a premier ecotourism destination by releasing land for eco-friendly accommodation, mainly in national parks and reserves,” Mr Marmion said.
“The Francois Peron site will be the fourth released under the program, with the first two projects recently opening their doors to guests.”
The first two Naturebank sites are the Bungle Bungles Safari Camp in the Kimberley’s World Heritage-listed Purnululu National Park and the Mt Hart Wilderness Lodge in the King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park.
Regional Development Minister Brendon Grylls said Naturebank encouraged tourism operators to grow regional businesses by investing in ecotourism developments which created jobs and other business opportunities in regional WA.
“Naturebank projects will assist regional communities through responsible tourism practices that provide training and employment opportunities and stimulate businesses by local purchasing of goods and services,” Mr Grylls said.
“I am pleased to see Royalties for Regions funding of up to $20million invested in Conservation Parks infrastructure, including camping grounds and the development of Naturebank sites at Francois Peron National Park, Purnululu National Park, King Leopold Ranges Conservation Park and Bramley National Park.”