An announcement about a new tourism plan for northern Tasmania has raised the possibility of there being new developments adjacent to the Cradle Mountain National Park.

The Examiner reports that:

AN ‘‘EDGY’’ plan to upgrade Cradle Mountain tourist facilities aims to have a similar effect on tourism numbers in Northern Tasmania as the launch of the Spirit of Tasmania.

The master plan, formed over six months and spearheaded by the Cradle Coast Authority, is expected to be launched late this week after stakeholders are briefed.

While the details of the plan are yet to be released, the Premier is describing it as being ‘‘edgy’’ and ‘‘innovative’’, and aiming to greatly increase visitors to the north. Regional tourism manager Ian Waller said the plan would “do nothing to invade or impact negatively on the national park”.

Amongst the scant detail released so far is a suggestion of an ‘alpine village-style centre on a disused air strip at Cradle Mountain’.

What is of concern is the fact that the gondola proposal has been raised. This proposal has floated around for a while and been ‘tested’ on tourist focus groups. It would aim to transport visitors from Cradle Valley to Dove Lake, which is under Cradle Mountain. It would be a cable car and aim to reduce traffic to Dove Lake and ‘improve tourists’ experience in the park’. I question whether relying on expensive ‘gadget tourism’ is a sensible strategy. For an iconic outdoor location like Cradle Valley and Dove Lake surely an aim is to get people OUT into nature rather than putting them into an aerial box once they get out of their car. There are of course other options to reduce congestion at the Lake.

The plan will be launched next week.