Tasmanian Times


Lonely Planet is wrong!

The Tasmanian Greens today rejected comments by the newly updated Lonely Planet travel guide to Tasmania, which is released today and is critical of the North-West, and said the region remained one of the most stunning and attractive in Australia.

Greens Member for Braddon Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran said the guide’s description of Burnie as “unattractive” and Devonport as unglamorous was harsh, unfair and completely wide of the mark.

“I reckon the writers of this guide needed to spend more time in the North-West before making comments like these, which I roundly reject,” said Mr O’Halloran.

“Having grown up in the area, I know these towns well, and that’s why I also know this guide is wrong about them. Burnie is a gateway to some world-class sights, like the Tarkine region and Cradle Mountain. And Devonport is a vibrant town on one of the country’s most spectacular coastlines and natural habours.”

“The north-west is a tourism hot-spot, especially for eco tourism, and these towns are in transition and bursting with potential. The residents have worked hard to develop their distinct and vibrant communities and I would say to them: ‘Keep doing what you’re doing and ignore the naysayers’.”

“I support Tourism Tasmania’s rejection of these comments too, and its commitment to develop the tourism appeal of the north-west so that visitors can see for themselves just what a singular and precious asset the North-West is,” said Mr O’Halloran.

Paul ‘Basil’ O’Halloran MP
Greens Member for Braddon
Wednesday, 3 August, 2011


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  1. russell

    August 7, 2011 at 4:18 pm

    Well perhaps that is what is partially wrong with Forestry Tasmania and tourism in this state.

    That dreadful tourism industry has infiltrated our beloved FT! Clearly this is with a mind to sour poor old FTs image in the tourism sector and marketplace.

    Why is there a significant component (how much?) of tourism budget being spent from within FT? FT get to make all these little propaganda pieces for its favourite cic channel, but very little can be shown to be of any real or tangible benefit at all, in the wider tourism context.

    How many 10s of millions of tourism dollars are being spent by Forestry Tasmania?

    Tourism is not and has been proven by consistent failure to be not, core business for FT.

    Why do reviews of tourism not include the blighted role and effect of FT on Tassies image? Or even the negatives along with any claimed positives.

    Is tourism just another little subterfuge from which FT can hide behind in order to mask its accumulated losses to the Tassie taxpayer?

    What is the rationale for FT to be expensively involved in marketing front line tourism?

    Surely FT should be looking after the logs and let the tourism industry look after traveler and visitor needs and related infrastructure.

    Tourism in this state operates with a split personality, deliberately so. Core forestry values of clearfell and burn are inconsistent with tourism values of clean and green, or clever.

    Inconsistent values blight the tourism industry here. Forestry attitudes drag down a consistent approach by tourism authorities…… surprised?

  2. Jane Rankin-Reid

    August 7, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I’m not sure what the fuss is about. An independent travel writer hired by a highly regarded international travel publisher finds the experience of visiting Tasmania less than enticing. So instead of working harder and more effectively to solve these evident problems, our politicians are wasting thousands of public dollars trying to contradict the Lonely Planet’s opinion. Now, I’m not suggesting that parochial loyalty doesn’t plays an important role in Tasmanian politics, but do politics really belong in the business of the travel industry?

    The message O’Halloran sends to me is that it is not worth reviewing Tasmanian tourism because if you dare, like all “messengers”, you will be shot at by time wasting politicians. The idea that Tourism Tasmania has also “rejected” the Lonely Planet’s review of Tasmania is another ludicrous example of the profligate waste of public resources that too many Tasmanian government appointed boards are so good at here. If the Lonely Planet had given Tasmania a gold star, Tourism Tasmania would have swiftly plastered its commentary all over its marketing materials. But for daring to publish a less than perfect review, the industry has come out with its guns blazing. This is a total contradiction to me. Tourism Tasmania’s board is stacked with highly experienced tourism operators, who usually crave Lonely Planet coverage to promote their businesses.

    As “dignitaries”, state and federal politicians are usually the last people on earth to experience the poor service rest of us are all too frequently served up in the name of hospitality in this state. Public life requires inhabiting a parallel universe, particularly when encountering the local service industry. So, it would be fool hardy to pay too much credence to politicians’ views of the quality of Tasmanian tourism in my opinion. A painfully expensive example of such misplaced faith is Brenton Best’s passion for funding Devonport’s so called “iconic” Spirit of the Sea as a “major” tourism draw card. Yet three years later, are we really to believe the state and local government’s claims that 60 bus loads per week of tourists would visit the site have ever materialized? What sort of rewards do these people deserve for conning the public in this manner? The old New York adage could be very useful here; “Go make a mess in someone else’s industry!”

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