Bass Strait Mayor wants to see a jewel for King’s crown

King Island is uniquely poised to transform its fortunes by creating a new cruise destination, according to outgoing Mayor Julie Arnold.

King Island Mayor Julie Arnold has told travelBulletin she is keen to see the Bass Strait destination develop its cruise industry over the next few years.

Off the back of the overburden created by the Dolphin Mine – one of the largest tungsten reserves in Australia – Arnold said the Island needs to take the “one-off” opportunity to build an all-weather port.

King said such a development would change the Island’s tourism market “quite substantially”, as the it can present only accept tender visits.

“We’d like to see an expansion of the time cruise passengers spend on the island, and that’s a bit difficult when you don’t have an all-weather port,” she said.

King said this kind of progress could see the Island take in “about $20 million” each year, up from the roughly $4 million it currently receives.

“What we need to do is to work with the cruise companies to make sure that we fit in with what they want as well,” Arnold said of King’s cruise journey.

“We have to be very careful if we have large delegations, and we’ve got three or four promotions with Keep Australia Beautiful, our golf open, etc, we have to try and schedule those so they don’t clash, because we need to make sure that everybody has acceptable accommodation.”

She added investment in an expanded port should go into King’s accommodation offerings, which could potentially see it attract overnight calls.

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