Tourism is westward-bound

Sign. The new tourism sign promoting the Edge of the World is working wonders, according to Circular Head Councillor Betty Kay.

The 4.5 by three-metre sign, erected a kilometre east of the Stanley turnoff, is hoped to encourage visitors to venture west.

And it’s doing just that says Cr Kay: “The sign’s been wonderful; I’ve just had nothing but good comments.”

Cr Kay said numerous touring parties had mentioned the sign, with four new contracts sold to visitors from outside of the area in recent weeks.

“We’ve never seen so many tourists. To have people saying they wouldn’t have come here for not seeing the sign . . .

“Every day there would have to be at least five different lots of tourists that have been into the office – I think it’s fabulous for Circular Head.”

Also on board with the initiative is Tall Timbers general manager John Dabner, who said it’s a push in the right direction.

“I think it can only be an asset for tourism,” he said.

“It will be two-fold once the Tarkine Drive’s finished, pushing people beyond Stanley . . . it can only be good for the region.”

With 10 kilometres left to be sealed and toilets and interpretation signage still to be installed, the tourist road is expected to be opened to travellers in the coming months.

Mr Dabner said it is hoped to lift the west’s tourism numbers; recent reports showing Stanley’s annual tally at 100,000 compared with Smithton’s 70,000 or so.

Reiterating the sentiment, Tarkine Forest Adventure owner Graham Gallaher said there are big hopes for the Tarkine Drive.

Admitting his business was located “kind of on the edge of the world”, Mr Gallaher said “tourism is still a bit quiet”.

He said the situation was not helped by the high cost of travelling to the north-west of Tasmania.

“If we can get the word out there to vistors to Tasmania, that there’s now a route through the top end of the Tarkine . . . anything like that that brings people west is good for us.”

HAVE YOUR SAY

Tell us your thoughts on the new tourism sign erected on the Bass Highway near Stanley, by texting 0400 143 190 or emailing news@chchronicle.com.au.

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