The announcement of planned refurbishments to the Spirit of Tasmania vessels and the introduction of an additional 42 day sailings per year by 2018 is welcomed by the caravanning and camping sector.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia Chief Executive Officer Stuart Lamont said the announcements went a long way to addressing some of the barriers to undertaking a holiday in one of Australia’s great caravanning and camping destinations.
“Research in the past has shown that while Tasmania has been much desired, concerns around pricing and availability on the Spirit has been a major inhibitor to travel for caravanning and camping tourists.”
“The commitment to reducing passenger fares, enhancing the on-board passenger experience, and increasing sailings particularly into the shoulder seasons will greatly assist the government in increasing visitor numbers to Tasmania to 1.5 million people a year by 2020,” said Lamont.
“The significantly increased capacity for vehicles should also provide greater flexibility in timing for caravanning and camping travellers, and lead to more competitive pricing to make a Tasmanian self-drive experience even more attractive” he went on to say.
Caravan park visitors increased 17.5 percent in 2013-14 with total caravanning and camping nights spent on the island approximating 1.48 million with this set to explode under the new announcements.
Caravanning Tasmania Chairman Anthony Edwards echoed the statements.
“Any effort to increase the length of season and placing Tasmania back on the caravanning and camping map is applauded.”
“The caravanning and camping sector provides great benefit to the regional townships and economies of Tasmania, and the ability for more tourists in our sector to experience what Tasmania has to offer is a real positive shot in the arm,” said Edwards.
Caravanning and camping tourists have one of the longest lengths of stays of any inbound tourist and opening up the sea highway to more of these visitors will be a real windfall to the Tasmanian economy.
Caravan Industry Association of Australia and Caravanning Tasmania have committed to working with the Government, Tourism Tasmania and TT-Line in filling this new capacity, and will shortly start talks on how to best capitalise on this exciting announcement.