Professor Ross Dowling AM has worked in the School of Business & Law, Edith Cowan University, Western Australia since 1998. He has been Associate Professor of Tourism (1998 -2002), Foundation Professor of Tourism (2003-2018), Honorary Professor of Tourism (2019-2020) and is now Emeritus Professor of Tourism (from 2021 on).
Ross works internationally in the development of Ecotourism, Geotourism and Cruise Ship Tourism. He is a Member of the World Commission on Protected Areas, Switzerland; an Advisor to UNESCO Global Geoparks, France; and Co-founder of the International Cruise Research Society, Germany.
In Australia he is Co-founder and Life Member, Ecotourism Australia; Chair, Australian Geoparks Network; and Honorary Advisor, Australian Cruise Association. In Western Australia he is an Ambassador, WA Parks Foundation; Deputy Chair, Geoparks WA and Chair, Cruise Western Australia. In addition he is Chair, Destination Perth; Senior Vice President, Royal Automobile Club and Life Member, Forum Advocating Cultural and Eco Tourism.
As a Director of Ideology Pty Ltd, Professor Dowling plays an active role as a consultant and international speaker on tourism around the world including in Borneo. He has been a keynote speaker and panel facilitator at the Borneo Ecotourism Conference held in Kota Kinabalu in 2005; Co-Convenor and keynote speaker of the 4th International Borneo Tourism Conference in Sarawak, in 2007; and keynote speaker at the Developing Sabah’s Tourism Products & Brand Seminar in Kota Kinabalu in 2008. Between 2006 – 2018 Professor Dowling brought four groups of tourism students from Edith Cowan University to Sukau Rainforest Lodge where they undertook conservation and community activities.
Professor Dowling and his wife Wendy have visited the Kinabatangan River Basin and Sukau Rainforest Lodge on many occasions and they are always enthralled by the alluring beauty of this region.
He states “We first stayed at the Sukau Rainforest Lodge for a couple of days and were struck by the beauty of the place. I think that Mr. Albert Teo is a visionary pioneer who has opened up this region for discerning, environmentally friendly tourists to view. He and the whole Sukau Rainforest Lodge team should be commended for the way in, which they have, integrated tourism with the local community and surrounding tropical rainforest. This is one of the last pristine wilderness regions on the face of the planet and Albert and his staff are the custodians of it. In my opinion they are doing this in a magnificent way working with the local people to secure the future of this area through ecotourism”.
Professor Dowling was born in Auckland, New Zealand and now lives in Perth, Western Australia. He holds degrees in Geology, Geography and Environmental Science as well as diplomas in Educational Administration, Sport & Recreation, and Teaching. His passion for ecotourism has kept him in this field for over forty years and he has worked as a tour guide around the world including Asia, the Pacific and the Antarctic. For his contributions to the environment he has been awarded a New Zealand Conservation Foundation Citation and a Mobil Environmental Award. He was also the recipient of the Medal of the Order of Australia [OAM] in 2011 for ‘service to the hospitality and tourism industry, education, and the development of ecotourism’. In 2019 he was made a Member of the Order of Australia [AM] for his ‘significant service to higher education, tourism and conservation’. Also in 2019 he was awarded the Sir David Brand Medal by the Western Australian Tourism Industry which ‘recognises extraordinary personal and professional achievement and contribution by an individual over many years to the Western Australian tourism industry’.
As recognition for his active involvement and contribution to ecotourism in Sabah and Sukau, Sukau Rainforest Lodge dedicates Villa No. 3 to Prof. Ross Dowling.
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