WILD WEST PUSH
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.”