News release - Ian Hunter MLC
20 June 2017
More than 1000 people have walked the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail in the nine months since its launch, as South Australians and visitors embrace our state’s stunning outdoors.
The State Government is encouraging more South Australians to walk the trail – and bring their friends along – as it continues to promote Nature Like Nowhere Else, the nature-based tourism initiative.
Steady bookings for the coming year are allowing businesses on Kangaroo Island to plan for future growth in nature-based tourism.
The majority of walking groups on the trail are self-guided, visiting Kingscote or Penneshaw before or after their walking adventure.
More than 50 people have walked the trail with commercial tour operators and the same number are booked in advance for future walks.
Nearly 300 walkers have taken advantage of nearby accommodation while doing the trail since its launch last October.
Bookings and further information at www.kangarooislandwildernesstrail.sa.gov.au.
The Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail is a key pillar of the State Government’s nature-based tourism strategy: Nature Like Nowhere Else.
The $5.8 million trail was a State Government commitment at the last election, designed to strengthen Kangaroo Island’s reputation as an international tourist destination.
Nature-based trips account for $1.1 billion in expenditure in SA each year, and the strategy aims to inject $350 million a year into the economy and create 1,000 new jobs by 2020.
Kangaroo Island is a landscape of national significance, sometimes referred to as ‘Australia’s Galapagos,’ with spectacular coastal views, unspoilt habitat, and abundant wildlife and flora.
Quotes attributable to Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter
I am delighted that less than a year since its launch the centrepiece of our strategy to invest in nature-based tourism on Kangaroo Island is boosting local businesses and increasing visitor numbers.
I encourage South Australians to come to KI and see it in a new way – on foot, at your own pace, really taking the time to enjoy the natural beauty.
Steady upcoming bookings show the trail is an investment in the future prosperity of Kangaroo Island.
This is evidence that supporting nature-based tourism is a sound and sustainable investment in regional economies.
Quotes attributable to Mark and Fiona Jago, Western Kangaroo Island Caravan Park
From initial interest we budgeted for perhaps 50 bookings in the first year, but we have seen over 300 people take up our range of services, with a further 200 booked in for next season so far, and further enquiries coming in daily.
We can safely say our business has experienced a marked increase in volume due to the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
The exciting thing is we are all learning about the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail together. Not just how it works but what it can mean for all of us on Kangaroo Island.
Quotes attributable to Trek Tours Australia General Manager Nick Scharm
We have seen the island become one of the must-do walking destinations in Australia, with a significant increase in interest and bookings for guided treks on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail.
The trekking market is certainly growing in Australia and we are seeing a trend for domestic walkers seeking more unique wilderness destinations locally, rather than overseas.
Communications and media officer