Natasha Paul has been involved in sustainable tourism development since working in the Northern Territory tourism industry, focusing on tourism in protected areas and sustainable tourism for over ten years.
Natasha has been with TRC Tourism as a consultant for over two years and since joining has worked on various sustainable tourism projects, including the development of the Pacific Tourism Organisation (SPTO) Pacific Sustainable Tourism Policy framework.
Natasha has held various roles, from managing the tourism service delivery and industry engagement in World Heritage-listed and jointly managed Kakadu National Park, then with Tourism NT, the Northern Territory Government’s Tourism Authority, in a range of Territory-wide policy development, industry development, strategy, and planning roles.
Natasha developed a framework to support the Northern Territory tourism industry to improve environmental sustainability through education, delivery of funding programs, and support for businesses to attain EcoCertification.
She also worked on a framework to support sustainable commercial tourism development in Northern Territory parks.
Natasha believes that recovery following the aftermath of the COVID-19 pandemic represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a more inclusive, resilient, and sustainable tourism industry.
She mentioned that the challenge would be to navigate the way forward by balancing the urgent need for economic revival while prioritising a transformation to a more sustainable and resilient form of tourism to enable the industry’s long-term survival.
“In the face of a changing climate, the changing needs of visitors, and a range of other compounding risks to the sector, the industry needs guidance and support to adapt,” she said.
“This means support to adapt business models, target markets, visitor experiences, and business practices and to develop more integrated, sustainable supply chains and sustainable workforce solutions.
“The focus must be on ensuring that local businesses and communities receive a greater share of tourism’s benefits. Pacific tourism industries must integrate resilience into their commercial endeavours and core operations.”