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On June 16th – 18th in Toowoomba we tackle the verticals of Tourism & Events.

One of our sponsors would like to see what we can raise in regards to Science Tourism. But what is Science Tourism?

Science Tourism is a proposed area of focus for existing and new tourism experiences. It refers both to the intentional development of a strong science narrative that could be woven into the wealth of tourism experiences already available, and the exploration of new opportunities for visitors to learn, experience and appreciate science, technology, engineering, mathematics and innovation through rich tourism experiences.

The Challenge over the weekend for interested entrepreneurs is to develop “new experiences” or include science into “existing experiences” to create new Science Tourism or Science events.

The opportunity exists throughout much of Australia to expand our tourism narrative and promote and package tourism products in new ways. By working collaboratively with STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) providers and Tourism Operators, Inspiring Australia would like to explore how tourism products can help meet two major outcomes:

  1. Increase science engagement in the wider community
  2. Realise economic benefit from growth in tourism income and audience, through enhanced STEM content in new and existing products

Examples of current Australian “science tourism” experiences that could be incorporated into the strategy:

Description Australian Examples
Science Centre

Science museums that emphasise a hands-on approach, featuring interactive exhibits that encourage visitors to experiment and explore.


Questacon (Canberra,ACT),

CSIRO Discovery Centre (Canberra, ACT),

Science Centre & Planetarium (Wollongong, NSW),

Scitech Discovery Centre (Perth, WA),

Phenomena Factory (Inveresk, Tasmania),

Imaginarium (Devonport, Tasmania)

Zoo/aquarium/wildlife park

An establishment which maintains a collection of wild animals, typically in a park or gardens, for study, conservation or display to the public


National Zoo and Aquarium (Canberra, ACT),

Taronga Zoo (Sydney, NSW),

Taronga Western Plains Zoo (Dubbo, NSW),

Crocodylus Park (Darwin, NT),

Australia Zoo (Bewong, QLD),

Adelaide Zoo (SA),

Healesville Sanctuary (VIC),

Werribee Open Plains Zoo (VIC),

Perth Zoo (WA)

Bushwalking in National and State Parks

An area of land (or occasionally sea or fresh water) protected by the state for the enjoyment of the general public and preservation of wildlife and vegetation. Sometimes have additional visitor centres and interpretive signage


Royal National Park (Sydney, NSW),

Flinders Ranges National Park (SA),

Koscuiszko National Park (NSW),

Purnululu National Park (WA),

Kakadu National Park (NT)

Examples of international science tourism experiences:

ETH Zurich uses the celebrity of its alumni to attract visitors, industry and prospective students, and then engages them in a program of curated learning opportunities to reinforce its status as a world-leading university. The university promotes itself as an iconic Swiss destination upholding national values, and offering cultural and gastronomic experiences with excellent facilities and customer service.
Space X (USA) was founded to revolutionise space technology, with the ultimate goal of

enabling people to live on other planets. The company uses public engagement to reinforce its corporate mythology and in turn inspire its current and future employees. The research facility’s design is futuristic and was used as a location for the sci-fi film Iron Man, giving it celebrity status for Marvel Comics fans. The company uses this celebrity status in its marketing. The facility is only open to visitors with an inside contact, but this exclusivity builds its appeal for ‘box ticking’ fans and science enthusiasts alike.

Ecoventura runs guided package tours to the Galapagos Islands. Tourists experience wildlife of this famous national park through adventure activities and enjoy the exclusivity of small and private group cruising. The company goes to considerable lengths to promote its environmental credentials, but is not a science-based organisation. This integrated business manages and monetises all aspects of the package. In 2016 the United Nations World Tourism Organisation estimated Nature Tourism accounts for 20% of total international travel and continues to grow.

So to be in the running for fortune and fame join us at Startup Weekend Tourism & Events. To compete for the Science prize launch a startup in the Science Tourism Space.

David Masefield