Ecotourism Australia
Ecotourism Australia's 2006 International Conference

Dr Rowan Mactaggart
Managing Director of the Sustainable Tourism Development Consortium
  Dr Rowan Mactaggart

Dr Rowan Mactaggart has had 30 years professional experience in senior positions associated with the planning and management of international development. He began his career planning the new city of Milton Keynes in the UK, and first worked overseas in the Suez Canal Zone in Egypt, where he was involved in some early tourism planning for the Red Sea Coast. Rowan has had managerial responsibility for large multidisciplinary projects in a number of sectors including tourism, governance, natural resource management, urban development, health and agriculture. He has lived and worked in Australia, Indochina, Africa, the Middle East and the UK.

Rowan took his first degree in civil and architectural engineering, followed by a PhD in development planning. His career has included the preparation of integrated sector plans, policy studies, master plans, regional plans, area plans, and has featured development coordination, project management, and all aspects of human resource development, including mentoring, coaching, training and performance appraisal. He has been involved in tourism studies in Egypt, Oman, Ethiopia, Cambodia, Fiji, Thailand and Vietnam.

Rowan is currently the Managing Director of the Sustainable Tourism Development Consortium (STDC). A private limited company providing international services in sustainable tourism, STDC was born out of a partnership between one of Australia's major development project management companies, Brisbane based GRM International, and the Sustainable Tourism Cooperative Research Centre, one of the Supporters of the Ecotourism Australia Conference. STDC is currently working on sustainable tourism planning and development projects in Cambodia, Fiji, Thailand and Vietnam.


The presentation will acknowledge the role of ecotourism in sustainable tourism development and poverty alleviation within the Greater Mekong Subregion (GMS), a region encompassing the countries which share the river basin catchment of that magnificent river, namely Cambodia, China (Yunnan Province), Laos, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. A number of donors have supported ecotourism in the GMS, including the bilateral donors such as AusAID, NZAID and the European Union, and multilateral donors such as the Asian Development Bank. The contributions of various international agencies of the United Nations, and international NGO's must also be acknowledged.

As noted by another keynote speaker, Dr Sasithara Pichaichannarong, in her presentation, STDC is working on a Queensland Government funded initiative to develop high quality approaches to ecotourism in Thailand's national parks and protected areas in the tsunami affected Andaman Coast region. Whilst in its early stages, the project provides a unique opportunity to demonstrate Australian expertise in the planning, design and implementation of up market ecotourism development in a tropical environment. STDC is also working with the national tourism organizations in Cambodia and Vietnam to develop community based tourism projects, which embody ecotourism principles.


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