Source: Australia Government – AusTrade
25 November 2021
Diversifying tourism products and markets brings success, according to the Visitor Economy Expert Panel. It’s a key driver in the proposed long-term strategy for the visitor economy, THRIVE 2030.
The Tasmanian Walking Company has diversified both its market and its product by developing a unique experience that combines comfort, adventure and sustainability.
It has broadened the appeal of the Three Capes Walk to an older, less hardy market. It has also delivered a sustainable eco-friendly, high-yield product.
Making the Three Capes Track accessible to more people
The Three Capes Track has long appealed to nature lovers prepared to stride out into the wilderness. It stretches 48 km along Australia’s highest sea cliffs, through coastal heath and silver gum forests.
Until 2018, trekkers had to carry all their provisions with them. Their packs might weigh up to 20 kg. The only accommodation available was in shared dormitories. It was for the young and fit.
The Three Capes Lodge Walk was developed to attract more age groups, different fitness levels and deliver bigger returns.
The walk has opened up the Tasman Peninsula’s spectacular landscape to a new kind of adventure seeker.
‘They’re happy to go a little out of their comfort zone, yet they like their comforts as well,’ says Heath Garratt, General Manager of the Tasmanian Walking Company.
The Three Capes Lodge Walk is a four-day, guided trek. Visitors stay overnight in purpose-built eco-lodges. They enjoy three-course meals featuring locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Balancing comfort and sustainability
The quality accommodation is one of the reasons for the Three Capes Lodge Walk’s success. The Tasmanian Walking Company invested in two high-end sustainable lodges.
Each eco-lodge is designed to blend into the natural environment. Their impact is reduced further with solar power and water-saving features.
The lodges are also inviting. Guests enjoy comfortable bedrooms, great views and superb food and wines.
The lodges can only accommodate 14 guests, but providing an exclusive experience has a benefit. Keeping numbers low and maximising return per visitor means the experience is profitable and environmentally sustainable.
A market that wants to connect with nature
Most of the people who do the Three Capes Lodge Walk are between 45 and 65. They are interested in travel experiences that challenge and connect them with nature.
‘I love that more and more people want to do this rather than a weekend city escape,’ says Garratt.
The Tasmanian Walking Company gets much of its new business through word of mouth. Many customers also return to do other treks.
A close relationship with Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife Service
The project benefited from the close relationship with Tasmanian Parks & Wildlife.
‘They went out of their way to work with us at every stage of the process,’ says Garratt. ‘We continue to work closely with them.’
The Three Capes Lodge Walk demonstrates that collaboration between government and industry in the visitor economy brings mutual benefit. The THRIVE 2030 strategy proposes this approach.
Read the draft strategy and provide feedback at austrade.gov.au/reimagine.