The Australian Greens Tourism spokesperson Peter Whish-Wilson stated today, “The Party is glad Tasmania’s beautiful and rare world heritage areas had been yet again recognised as helping underwrite our tourism industry and economy.
“It’s great news the Tasmanian Government has committed $300,000 to promoting visitor numbers to our wilderness World Heritage areas..
“Our wild places are valuable because they are rare, and recognised as such, judging by the ever-increasing numbers of visitors to the state.
“It’s an important reminder of why we need to protect and nourish wilderness areas such as the Tarkine and Eastern boundaries, which have much greater long term value in conservation than short term mining profits.
“A report to the Department of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts in 2008 confirmed this.
“Tasmania's World Heritage areas are estimated to contribute $721 million in annual direct and indirect state output or business turnover. It is worth noting that, if this figure is accurate, that is approximately half of the total tourism spend in Tasmania, which was $1.56 billion in the last financial year.
“They also contribute $313 million in annual direct and indirect state revenue and $208 million in direct and indirect household income and create 5,372 direct and indirect jobs.
“Several respected studies, including one done by Tourism Tasmania, have also highlighted the value of nature-based tourism to our state - particularly visits to our national parks and wild areas. Tourism Tasmania, in their report noted that Tasmania's natural assets and its wilderness and coastal experiences have the strongest emotional associations, the strongest appeal rankings and are the most potent motivators to shift travel intentions to Tasmania.
“Tasmania's wilderness is the key point of difference for our state in the rest of the country and represents to many potential visitors an opportunity to explore in peace and solitude. Other reports have also found that nature-based tourism far outweighs other drawcards as a reason to visit Tasmania, including food, wine, history, and heritage.
“Tourism, driven by our World Heritage areas, is a great ambassador for Tasmania.
“A strong tourism industry is one that emphasises not just our natural splendour but also our small-scale, high-quality food and wine producers and the great interest of our cultural and historic attractions.
“Recent studies of business clusters, a critical mass of linked industries and institutions in one geographical location, suggest that cottage, artisan, hospitality, food and beverage, and other service industries can flourish around popular iconic tourism destinations. Linking all these elements together in Tasmania is our crucially important 'brand'.
“Many would argue that Tasmania's rare wild areas are our state's brand - if not entirely then certainly its beating heart. I feel that many Tasmanians take our World Heritage areas for granted and assume they have always existed, especially younger Tasmanians such as my children.
“The truth is they have been hard fought for and won by the courage of many conservationists over a long period.”
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