Ecotourism to the Great Barrier Reef
Tourists who flock to the Great Barrier Reef frequently are unaware of the ecological damage they cause. The
Australian government wants to provide ecotours of the Great Barrier Reef, but it needs qualified tour guides.
You will be learning about responsible tourism, and will be "training" to be tour guides. You will make a
brochure to “sell” your trip.
For this lesson, students should work in pairs. Each team of students will create a presentation to convince the
Australian government they are the best people to hire to give ecotours.
Have students work in pairs. Each team's goal is to convince the Australian government that it would be the
most qualified team to give ecotours of the Great Barrier Reef.
Students will work in their teams to gather basic information about coral reefs. You will answer questions such
as the following:
What is a coral reef?
What is the Great Barrier Reef?
Why is the coral of the Great Barrier Reef important?
What are some of the threats to the health of the reef?
What do the terms "preservation," "conservation," and "restoration" mean? How might these terms
apply to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia?
Students can start their research by reading this Fact Sheet on Coral of the Great Barrier Reef.
The Great Barrier Reef lies off the east coast of Australia. It is the world's largest coral reef. Coral reefs have
been called the "tropical rain forests of the ocean." Designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific
and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Area, the Great Barrier Reef is a popular tourist site,
as well as an important environmental resource. To get the job as ecotour guides, teams will need to know a lot
about the reef, and about how to visit it in an environmentally sound way. They can start their research at the
following Web site:
Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (http://www.gbrmpa.gov.au/)
First, students will gather information about the Great Coral Reef, keeping in mind points they may want to
address in their brochures.
Here are some suggestions on what you might want to include in your brochures:
A map of Australia and the Great Barrier Reef. A description of a coral reef. What is a coral reef? Why
are coral reefs important?
The reason why the Great Barrier Reef can be called a region. What are the unique characteristics of
A list of
o some of the species that inhabit the Great Barrier Reef, including various kinds of fish, coral,
mollusks (such as clams and sea slugs), seaweed, birds, sea snakes, and sea turtles;
o natural and human-induced threats to the Great Barrier Reef; and
o things people can do to help save the reef.
Tips for responsible techniques and practices for marine ecotourism.