Tasmania wants to encourage domestic tourism with free or discounted fares for all vehicles including motorcycles on the Spirit of Tasmania ferry when the state reopens its borders after the pandemic closure.
Tourism Industry Council Tasmania CEO Luke Martin has called in the Federal Government to temporarily extend the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme that covers the gap between the true cost of taking a vehicle on the ferry and the ticket price.
That would make fares attractively cheap or even free.
The proposal has been supported by Premier Peter Gutwein and the Motorcycle Riders Association (MRA) in Victoria who asks riders to email the Premier to show their support.
Luke says tourists spend an average of $2400 in the local economy.
Motorcycle tourists should be among the most desirable for local businesses, spending more than other motorists.
For example, Tourism Queensland estimates motorcycle tourists spend up to $160 a day in local communities on food, drink, accommodation, fuel and necessities, while caravaners are more self-contained and only spend about $40 a day.
A Spirit of Tasmania spokesperson says the current motorbike fare starts at $69 each way in the low tourist season.
It can rise to $99 in the high season or $109 for a flexi fare. Sidecars and trailers can lift the price to as much as $139 each way.
A discount or free fare would encourage more riders. Not that riders need much encouragement to head to Tassie. Charley Boorman rates it one of his favourite riding destinations.
The Tasmanian Government loves to welcome visiting motorcyclists, but also promotes important road safety messages about roads and riding conditions in Tasmania.
They have produced a Tasmanian Motorcycle Travel Guide video which is given to all motorcyclists when they board the Spirit of Tasmania.
It is one of many motorcycle-oriented tourism videos they have released.
In 2015, they produced a video featuring multi-Australian Superbike Champion Malcolm Campbell and interstate motorcycle club member Lester Knowles riding around the state and pointing out the features and dangers.
Each year the video is updated.
Road safety billboards and posters are also displayed on popular riding routes.