Plans to develop an “activity base” within Narawntapu National Park have been welcomed by the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania.
TICT chief executive Luke Martin said developing horse-riding adventure infrastructure in Narawntapu would boost the value of North-West based tourism.
Mr Martin said while the experience would attract a niche market, offering unique experiences was a Tasmanian trademark.
“I don’t think we’re going to see a flood of people but if there’s demand for it then it we welcome it,” Mr Martin said.
“It should give confidence to other operators that they can go through the process and put forward their own plans.”
Cradle Country Adventures owners Ray and Laura Becker have signed a lease agreement to develop accommodation and existing trails within Narawntapu National Park.
The project was one of 37 tourism concepts outlined under the state government’s expressions of interest process.
Mr Martin said reducing red tape would encourage further innovation and development in tourism.
He said ecotourism could be a major drawcard for the entire state.
“There are some big proposals around in the North-West at the moment but the key will be moving forward with Cradle Mountain development,” Mr Martin said.
“The challenge is licensing and leasing issues and once that system is robust you can create more business.”
Mr Martin said public debate surrounding the environmental impact of the Becker’s project was expected.
The project – expected to be in business by October – would include accommodation for six guests.
“These operators want to create a real difference in parks and you find they often have the best of intentions as they appreciate the environment the most,” Mr Martin said.
“The experience may encourage people to advocate for appreciation of the area.”
Liberal MHA for Lyons Mark Shelton said the state government remained committed to the proper protection of natural and cultural heritage within Tasmania’s parks and reserves.
“All projects that are approved through the EOI process must comply with statutory approvals,” he said.
“Through the EOI process, job opportunities and economic development will be realised in regional and rural areas of Tasmania.”