The Tourism Industry Council Tasmania has released an unprecedented $41.75 million infrastructure wishlist in the lead up to the state election.
Highlighting major tourism icons, including Freycinet, Maria Island, Cataract Gorge, and the Tamar River, the council said investments needed to be made to future proof the industry.
“We know tourism is going to be a priority in the election,” TICT chief executive Luke Martin said.
“Clearly we need to invest in some of these infrastructure sites that are really experiencing pretty significant stress with the extra visitor numbers they’ve seen.
“There are real priorities in regional parts of the state that can make a real difference as regional tourist destinations and we want to see them on the agenda.”
Out of the $41.75 million infrastructure wishlist, $17.3 million was in the North and East Coast.
One of the priorities listed was an $8 million Freycinet visitor hub at the national park to relieve existing pressure during peak visitor periods, while managing future visitor growth.
“The proposed Freycinet National Park visitor hub would see major visitor facilities and car parking relocated outside the national park boundaries, with a new service hub and the introduction of a shuttle bus service to transport visitors into the park,” TICT’s proposal said.
“Freycinet National Park is Tasmania’s most visited national park and the major visitor attraction on Tasmania’s East Coast. More than half of all visitors to the East Coast visit Freycinet National Park and it is a global icon of Tasmania.”
Another outlined $2 million to “awaken Cataract Gorge at night”. The proposal involved the establishment of an iconic evening experience with a new laser light and sound show at the first basin.
“… The proposed light and sound show seeks to leverage the Gorge’s natural amphitheatre, famous landscape, and proximity to the Launceston CBD to establish a long-desired demand-generating evening visitor experience within the city.”
Mr Martin said TICT would be pushing for commitments on the proposed infrastructure investments in the lead up to the election.
“The infrastructure challenge is pressing and immediate. We want to encourage operators in these regional parts of Tasmania to lobby for them and advocate for them.”