Port Arthur is our most iconic heritage tourist destination, with many visitors to our state making their way to the Tasman Peninsula to take a step back in time and experience our colonial past.
The Hodgman Government is committed to protecting and celebrating our iconic heritage sites, which will play an important role to help us achieve our goal of attracting 1.5 million visitors a year to Tasmania by 2020.
In response to strong growth in tourist numbers making their way to Port Arthur, the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA) has developed a master plan to expand and renovate the Port Arthur visitor centre.
Visitation to Port Arthur in 2015-16 saw an increase, with 344,180 visitors pouring through the gates. Day visitors increased by 13.2 per cent from the previous year, and night visitors by 4.2 per cent.
This increase was helped along by the cruise ship sector, which saw 10 ships visit Port Arthur last season. Cruise ship visits will increase this season, with 22 ships expected to berth at the heritage site.
The Visitor Centre Redevelopment is the largest construction project ever undertaken by PAHSMA and is entirely self-funded through savings and borrowings.
The tender process closed in November, and has generated strong interest from the Tasmanian construction industry.
Works are scheduled to commence in January, with completion expected in December 2017.
Matthew Groom, Minister for State Growth