REFLECTING tourism’s growing strength and diverse experiences in the Derwent Valley, a new map for visitors was launched last week. The venture brings together operators of hospitality and tourism businesses in the Valley, the Department of State Growth through its Regional Tourism Projects Program and Destination Southern Tasmania.
It was launched at the Agrarian Kitchen on Tuesday. CEO of Destination Southern Tasmania (DST), Alex Heroys, said the Derwent Valley had become one of Tasmania’s tourism and hospitality hubs. He said DST, which is focused on encouraging visitors into regions outside centres like Hobart, was pleased to see an increasing number of experiences in the Valley, places to eat and drink, as well as visitation drawn by history, nature and exciting tourism adventures.
Fiona Weaver, operator of Tassie Bound Adventures said the new Derwent Valley Tourism Map had a focus on currently operational businesses. “This includes new product, as well as tourism and hospitality businesses which have adapted and reinvented themselves through Covid-19,” Ms Weaver said.
She says the map, soon available from local operators as well as the Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre in Hobart, provides inspiration for travellers to discover and travel further into the region as well as improving the on-ground, wayfinding experience. And while a printed map may be an old-fashioned guide for tourists, they work well in Tasmania. “What our surveys say most clearly is that a map is what’s preferred by visitors on the ground,” Mr Heroys said.
“Yes, they check out things on their phones and computers when they’re in the planning phase, but once here, they’re using an old-school printed materials like this.” And why’s that? “The problem with digital devices as a guide for visitors is the moment you close or put down the phone, you forget the information,” he said.
“The information is no longer in front of you. But a printed map continues to work … it’s open in your hand, in your car, ready for your attention.” The largest drawback with anything in print, of course, is that the contents get dated quickly. “Sometimes, the moment it’s printed, it’s already out of date,” Mr Heroys said. “So we look to update things and reprint them every 12 to 24 months.” The new brochure links with street signage around the Valley and New Norfolk.
“This is a first-class opportunity for tourism businesses in the Valley to work together, to provide a connected experience,” he said. “This is where we play best in Tasmania, when we’re collaborating, doing things together.”