Tourism stakeholders in the North-West have welcomed a proposal which would effectively make it free to take a car across the Bass Strait.
On Thursday, Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin called on the federal government to extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme and throw "a life raft to the visitor economy" once the domestic borders reopen to tourism.
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The scheme has subsided the cost of taking a vehicle on the Spirit of Tasmania since 1996 and effectively equates the travel with the cost of driving the same distance on the national highway network.
"Our proposal is that the scheme be temporarily increased to cover the full cost of taking your vehicle across Bass Strait, to make it free to take your vehicle across Bass Strait," Mr Martin said.
Proponents across the sector have welcomed the proposal, which Premier Peter Gutwein said the federal government could fund through the $1 billion tourism stimulus package announced in March.
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Tom Wootton, chief executive of regional tourism body West by North West, said he "wholeheartedly, thoroughly" supported the initiative.
"The Spirit of Tasmania is a critical piece of the puzzle for us," Mr Wootton said.
"We would anticipate self-drive tourism market to be very significant in the coming months and years."
He said encouraging people to visit Tasmania with their own cars, as soon as the public health advice allows it, would tie into projects already in the pipeline.
The Western Wilds drive is one of five self-drive tourism campaigns the state government is promoting, and it will soon be complemented by a Northern route.
He said self-drive tourism also organically feeds into the state's rich agricultural tourism opportunities, such as the Cradle to Coast Tasting Trail.
And, he said, mountain bike tourism would also be revived in the state with incentivised Spirit of Tasmania travel.
Cradle Coast Mountain Bike Club president Chris Stredwick agreed and said many of the trail projects were funded with interstate tourism expectations.
Travelling to Tasmania with a motorhome would also be subsidised under the proposal, and Campervan and Motorhome Club of Australia chief executive Richard Barwick was enthusiastic about the idea.
"Domestically tourism in Australia will boom [once restrictions are lifted] and Tasmania has to do a little bit more to get people back on the boat," he said.
When CMCA members visit Tasmania, he said, they stay an average of three months.