The $27 million funding, which has been secured via the NSW Government’s Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund, will be spent developing walking and mountain biking trails in the National Park.
Austrade and Tourism Australia, in collaboration with the NSW Government, have identified the Snowy Mountains as a priority region under its Regional Tourism Infrastructure Investment Attraction Strategy. The strategy aims to work across governments and industry to attract tourism investment within eight key Australian regions, seeking to identify and overcome local impediments that may be inhibiting investment. The commitment of funding towards Kosciuszko National Park demonstrates the confidence of the NSW Government in the tourism potential of the Snowy Mountains region, further enhancing its attractiveness for investors.
The NSW Government’s funding project aims to help transform summer tourism in the region, encouraging a steady stream of visitors, mountain bikers and walkers throughout the year. The work on the trails is expected to create a combined 139 full-time jobs in the region over the course of their construction. Once delivered, the upgraded National Park is expected to create an additional 190 full-time positions.
The funding will go towards two separate projects. More than $17 million will be invested in developing a new 25-kilometre section of the Kosciuszko Snowies Iconic Walk, which will ultimately link with other tracks to create a world-class 44-kilometre multi-day walk. Upon completion, the new section of track will allow visitors to hike from Thredbo, via Charlotte Pass, Guthega, and Perisher, to Lake Crackenback.
A further $9.8 million will see the popular Thredbo Valley Track extended by 21 kilometres. Once complete, the track will be more than 61 kilometres long, allowing for hiking and mountain biking from Dead Horse Gap to Jindabyne. The connection of the trails will maximise opportunities for the region to tap into the growing summer mountain biking market, including opening up the ability to host long-distance mountain biking tournaments.
Work on the Thredbo Valley Track project is expected to commence by October 2018 with development of the Snowies Iconic Walk due to commence in early 2019. The first stage of the Thredbo Valley Track Extension is expected to open in 2019, with the final stage to be completed in 2020. The Snowies Iconic Walk will be delivered in stages over a four-year period with final completion in 2022.
In light of this announcement, the Snowy Mountains tourism region is well placed to attract increased private sector investment against a backdrop of strong visitation numbers and new and improved visitor infrastructure.