Coinciding with the Australian Tourism Awards being held in Launceston, the inaugural meeting of the Tasmanian Wilderness Guides Association will be held in Hobart on the 1st of March 2019 to discuss and raise concerns in regards to the future of the wilderness and the direction of the tourism industry in Tasmania.


The Tasmanian Wilderness Guides Association is a representative body for people working as guides in the Tasmanian tourism industry. Founding member, Nick Davis, said the association is materialising as a direct result of mounting concerns in the guiding community about the direction the tourism industry is taking in Tasmania and a number of developments proposed for our national parks through the State Government’s Expression of Interest process. The association will involve guides from across a diverse range of outdoor operators.


“As the interface between guests and these natural places, we are concerned that the landscapes and their internationally-recognised heritage values, which we so proudly spruik to our guests, may be compromised and degraded by an open-ended government process without sufficient framework.”


“We know that a number of guides are concerned about the future of the Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. As the people in the field, we are interested in maintaining the values that pertain to these places, operating sensitively whilst continuing to build  healthy and sustainable tourism and wilderness tourism industries.”


“Developments like those proposed for Lake Malbena are not compliant with our vision for the future of tourism and guiding in Tasmania. We want to promote a tourism industry that focuses on providing guests with quality experiences that are consistent with maintaining wilderness values.”


“It was clear in today’s Central Highlands Council meeting that current processes for assessing new tourism developments in parks and reserves have been inadequate. We need a process that has at its forefront the protection of the natural and cultural values of Tasmania’s Wilderness World Heritage Area and the preservation of the natural, primitive and remote character of wilderness areas. Any process that involves public land should also include meaningful public consultation and transparency around decision making.”


“Today, we applaud the Central Highlands Council (CHC) for rejecting the proposal for luxury accommodation at Halls Island. We expect the proper scrutiny, consideration and public consultation that the CHC afforded today to be replicated across all levels of assessment. We also hope that, in future, tourism companies proposing developments will consult with the Tasmanian Wilderness Guides Association on the appropriateness of proposals and projects that we, as outdoor stewards, leaders and professionals, are expected to facilitate over the coming years.”