Tourism directly contributes around $950 million each year to the State's economy and supports approximately 2,400 businesses (Tourism Tasmania).
Tasmania's ancient forests and other natural features are at the core of the State's attraction for tourists. Carefully managed development of forest-based tourism will ensure the economic and commercial benefits of Tasmania's unique forest environment are realised, while conservation values are protected.
About the initiative
As part of the 2005 Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement, the Australian Government funded $3 million towards the Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative to assist the development of environmentally sensitive tourism infrastructure in Tasmania.
The Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative incorporated two related programs:
Tasmanian Forest Tourism Development Program ($2 million)
To assist the development of forest-based tourism infrastructure in Tasmania focussing on the new reserves created as part of the Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement. Infrastructure includes works such as access points, visitor rest stop amenities, and walking tracks.
Tarkine Bushwalk Program ($1 million)
To assist the development of bushwalking and related infrastructure in the Tarkine region, taking advantage of 73,512 hectares of new formal reserves. The reserves protect a largely undisturbed extensive tract of rainforest identified by ecologists and conservationists as significant on a global scale.
The common objectives of both Programs were to:
- protect and promote conservation values;
- develop environmentally sensitive tourism infrastructure;
- provide experiences that appeal to a broad range of visitors; and
- promote long-term economic benefits from tourism.
Outcomes of the Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative
The Tasmanian Forest Tourism Initiative used an open and competitive grants process to identify suitable proposals. The following eight projects were completed as part of this Initiative providing new infrastructure and visitor interpretation facilities, walking tracks and a mountain bike path
- Cradle Coast Authority's Tarkine wilderness gateway experience
- Forestry Tasmania's Blue Tier Forest Reserve and associated visitor sites
- Forestry Tasmania's Edge Sinkhole mountain bike track
- Forestry Tasmania's Styx State Forest tourist infrastructure development
- Kentish Council's Mount Roland Regional Reserve walking track upgrade
- Tarkine National Coalition's guide to walks and self drive tours in the Tarkine
- Tarkine National Coalition's Tarkine short bushwalks project
- Tarkine Wilderness Pty Ltd's enhanced visitor access and interpretation at the Southern Tarkine Gateway
- Tasmanian Community Forest Agreement
- Tasmanian Forest Conservation Fund
- Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry
- Tourism Tasmania - A paper for Tourism Tasmania's planning forum