Drive tourism to get a welcome boost in Tasmania following federal government announcement

Caravan Industry Association of Australia applauds the federal government for their announcement this morning of a $6 million extension to the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme (BSPVES) making it free for passengers to bring their car on the Spirit of Tasmania from March to June 2021.

Those travelling with a caravan or motorhome will also receive the average $240 return saving for their vehicle.

2020 has not been kind to business operators in Tasmania, and the summer season continues to be a disappointment for many.  Recent occupancy numbers have shown that caravanning and camping is underperforming all other states in the country at a time when caravan parks should be overflowing, with forward bookings also soft.

“Across Australia we continue to witness a V-shaped recovery in the caravan and camping sector, however Bass Strait has continued to put Tasmanian operators at a disadvantage in what is a very competitive domestic tourism market” said Stuart Lamont, CEO of Caravan Industry Association of Australia.

Mr Lamont explained that “this announcement could not have come soon enough, and while the Tasmanian Tourism Voucher Scheme was great to encourage locals to travel, there is only so much we can rely on the local market to keep Tassie caravan parks open.”

Making access cheaper for passengers coming from the mainland will be an incredible incentive and will go a long way to kick-starting the recovery of the sector in Tasmania while supporting many regional communities right across the state.

“We know that those arriving via the Spirit of Tasmania stay longer, spend more and disperse further than other visitors to the state, so it is vitally important to stimulate this portion of the travelling public, and to recoup some of the cancellations incurred due to border restrictions throughout 2020.” Mr Lamont continued.

Media contact: Madeleine Sawyer