WILD WEST PUSH

The Gazette (Derwent Valley) - - FRONT PAGE - SHAUN McMANUS and CHANEL KINNIBURGH

THE Der­went Val­ley can cap­i­talise on a new ini­tia­tive to en­cour­age tourists to ex­plore Western Tas­ma­nia, but more de­tail is needed on the route, Mayor Mar­tyn Evans says.

Af­ter the suc­cess of the Great East­ern Drive, tourists are be­ing en­cour­aged to travel to the other side of the state.

The iconic drive will be known as the Western Wilds, with the new name re­vealed last week.

Work will soon be­gin on the Western Wilds project, with plans for up­dated sig­nage, sto­ry­boards, art and dig­i­tal dis­plays along the route, which is still to be a fi­nalised.

The $500,000 State Gov­ern­ment project comes af­ter the East Coast re­ceived a 20 per cent in­crease in vis­i­tors fol­low­ing the de­vel­op­ment of the Great East­ern Drive.

A trav­el­ling road­show kicked off at New Nor­folk last week be­fore head­ing to Queen­stown, Stra­han and Cra­dle Moun­tain to dis­cuss the project with tourism op­er­a­tors.

Cr Evans said any pro­mo­tion for the area was good.

“As long as the sug­ges­tion to go West means also to go West as in to the great South­West, as in [places such as] Lake Ped­der, May­dena, Na­tional Park,” Cr Evans said.

“My­self and ob­vi­ously the Cen­tral High­lands are the same, mak­ing sure that we’re not left out of this fund­ing.”

With tourism num­bers in the re­gion grow­ing, Cr Evans said it was im­por­tant for the Der­went Val­ley to con­tinue to pro­mote it­self.

“The Der­went Val­ley is now front and square with tourism at­trac­tions and ad­ven­ture tourism, we need to cap­i­talise [ on] any­thing the State Gov­ern­ment is fund­ing,” he said.

Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil Tas­ma­nia CEO Luke Martin said the Western Wilds jour­ney was ex­pected to be ready in time for next sum­mer.

“The Western Wilds will be the great Aus­tralian wilder­ness ex­pe­ri­ence,” he said.

“It’s about en­cour­ag­ing vis­i­tors to get out of the ma­jor ci­ties, and stop and ex­plore re­gional parts of Tas­ma­nia.”

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