Paving the Way for Community-led Initiatives on Flinders Island
Flinders Council Mayor, Rachel Summers, believes that The Islander Way project has laid the foundations for a transformative future for Flinders Island.
“In recent years, the need to redefine tourism on the Island has gained significant momentum. This was driven by a series of events that led to an unease within the community. In response, Flinders Council embarked on an innovative project called ‘The Islander Way’ to explore a different, regenerative approach to the Island’s visitor economy.”
Funded by the Department of State Growth, the Council engaged ‘Designing Tourism’ a Tasmanian-based company who specialises in regenerative tourism, to undertake the 2-year project. During this time, the local community was invited to co-design the future of tourism on the Island; a future that respects community values, contributes to a resilient economy and takes responsibility for the impact of tourism on the natural environment. The community contributed more than 1000 hours to a process of deep engagement and discussion.
Chair of Visit Northern Tasmania, Paul Seaman noted that, “a key pillar of the current and future visitor economy strategy for Tasmania is ‘positive impact’ tourism; regenerative tourism supports this strategy. Through The Islander Way initiative, the Flinders Island community has been provided with an opportunity to consider its tourism goals through a regenerative lens, providing practical and positive outcomes. These include a number of projects to address local concerns - e.g. waste management and food security - which were highlighted during a period of high tourism demand on the Island.”
“Visit Northern Tasmania looks forward to working with Council, industry and community to secure the success of the Flinders Island visitor economy”, Mr Seaman said. “The Island has been at the forefront of an emerging and important shift towards tourism ‘giving back’ to those communities upon whose resources it relies. The work undertaken on Flinders will no doubt inspire and inform other destinations in their ‘positive impact’ journey.”
As the formal part of the project comes to a close at the end of this month, Mayor Summers is confident that the DNA of The Islander Way project will continue through community-driven initiatives. “The project has sparked a new sense of enthusiasm among a passionate group of Flinders Island residents, who have a shared vision for a bright future here.”
“The final stage of the project will see the development of a roadmap for the Island’s regeneration, where tourism can thrive harmoniously with our local community, our place and the natural environment.”
“Flinders Island stands poised to become a beacon of positive impact tourism, setting a shining example not only for Tasmania, but for the world."
To learn more about ‘The Islander Way’ Regenerative Tourism Project, visit the website at www.islanderway.co