In an effort to boost domestic tourism, Spirit of Tasmania ferry passengers will soon be able to bring their cars and motorcycles on board for free – all thanks to the newly announced expansion of the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme valued at $6 million.
“For travel between the 1st of March 2021 and 30th of June 2021, Australians can take their car or motorbike to the Apple Isle at zero cost and discover everything this beautiful state has to offer,” says Deputy Prime Minister Mr McCormack.
“COVID-19 has significantly affected tourism in Tasmania and the number of passenger vehicles travelling across the Bass Strait, which is why we are moving to increase the rebate.”
“Visitors who travel to Tasmania by sea are among the most valuable to the industry, they spend more, stay longer, and travel further into our regional areas… In fact, these travellers account for 12% of all visitors to Tasmania yet they contribute a massive 20% of all annual visitor spending.”
According to Assistant Industry Development Minister Jonathon Duniam, Spirit Tasmania booking have decreased by a staggering 85% due to the ongoing pandemic. But with an offer such as this on the table, there’s a fighting chance for recovery. Fun fact, this announcement also covers travel to King Island and the Furneaux Group (cluster of 100 islands between Victoria and Tasmania); meaning you have more than a few options on hand.
On average, the free car/motorcycle travel incentive will be saving each visitor $240 return. Taking the entire expansion budget into consideration, that’s an estimated total of approximately 25,000 Spirit of Tasmania return fares.
Ferries will, of course, adhere to COVID-19 safety measures, which currently includes all passengers to wear masks during the check-in, boarding, and disembarking stages, as well as when they’re in any indoor public areas onboard. Additionally, any individuals from areas deemed “high risk” will be barred from crossing the Tasmanian border, while individuals from “medium risk” areas must quarantine for 14 days.
Once again, this is strictly limited to travel between March 1st and June 30th of 2021 (unless sold out prior). The rebate will automatically apply when the ticket is booked.
Find out more about travelling on the Spirit of Tasmania for free below.