IGNITE – Integrated Geotrail Networks in the Top End. A conceptual framework for expanding Geotourism in the Northern Territory.
Can Geotourism assist in developing the Northern Territory, promoting its regions and communities and the capital Darwin? We believe it can. The search for collaborating partners and like-minded individuals has exposed several opportunities which have the potential to enrich regional development through expanding Geotourism initiatives in the Top End.
SEGRA covers multiple contemporary themes of regional development including trade, investment, infrastructure, business development, water security and innovation. Geotourism directly supports three of these themes – indigenous entrepreneurship and business, a diversified economy and research and innovation - and has the potential to influence the others. Geotourism is a well-stablished industry overseas, but is only starting to gain momentum in Australia, primarily through state-initiated projects, however, a National Geotourism Strategy was released on the 7th April 2021 by the Australian Geoscience Council with the potential to coordinate national geotourism initiatives under 7 strategic goals, all of which are relevant to Northern Australia and the Top End.
Our presentation focuses on 3 main elements.
- The learnings from producing the Darwin City Geotrail (DCG), a self-funded and resourced self-guided on-line tour of the Darwin Central Business District, designed to encourage exploration of the City and the region.
- An exploration of several projects currently being progressed or planned, and the search for social licence, capital, sponsorship and support from academic and professional organisations and government agencies to translate these concepts into realities.
- The much larger, complex and ambitious pursuit of the Integrated Geotrail Trail Network (IGNITE). The objective of which is to connect the DCG to a regional network of geotrails covering the Top End that highlights our geoscientific, scenic, social and cultural heritage.
Mark Asendorf has over 20 years experience in geospatial and information technology and the application of these specialised skills in government and the geosciences, mining, and utility industries.
Duties have ranged from the management and coordination of spatial teams to the design and implementation and day-to-day operation of spatial data management systems.
He maintains an active interest in geoheritage and geotourism activities, particularly in northern Australia and the potential of the industry to advance regional development and prosperity.