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US tourists focus on conservation sites, says expert

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef could be crucial to tourism, an expert has claimed.
In recent months, the Australian tourism sector has been focused on pushing the food and drink side of the country's culture, but according to one expert, the nation should be looking to push nature as a main selling point.

Jean-Michel Cousteau, who is an environmentalist and a film producer, has said that ensuring the Great Barrier Reef is protected and conserved will be crucial to ensuring tourists flock to the nation, particularly those from the US.

"These are jewels, so whether you are a snorkeler or a scuba diver or whatever ... if (the coral) is not there people won't come anymore, people will go somewhere else," Mr Cousteau said. 

Mr Cousteau, who is the son of famous explorer Jacques Cousteau, added that the Reef is potentially being damaged by run-off from developments and farms, fishing and dredging.

And calling the destination a "special place" he said it needs to be protected in order to ensure there is no drop in the 250,000 people per year who visit Queensland alone from the US.

Posted by Ravin Chatlani

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