The small rural communities in Australia's tropical savanna landscapes depend upon the region's natural resources for income and employment. Historically primary industries - including mining, grazing and, in the case of coastal communities, fishing - have been the pillars of economic activity in those regions. More recently, tourism has emerged as an additional nature-based industry, which offers new development and employment opportunities for populations in remote regions. Net benefits from tourism accrue from the balance of economic, social and environmental interactions of tourists with a destination. This paper presents a model of tourism impact in the Carpentaria shire of North West Queensland. A methodology is developed for tracking and quantifying social, economic and environmental impacts. Data from an in-progress research project are presented and analysed to test the hypothesis that community benefits could be improved without an increase in visitor numbers, by changing the composition of visitors to the region. Interpretations are offered as to how both, sectorial and regional planning and management can effect improved community benefits from tourism.


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