The Port Arthur Historic Site has enjoyed record-breaking visitation over the past financial year. 254,000 daytime visitors represented an increase of 7.1% over the previous financial year. Night-time visitors for the Historic Site’s popular Ghost Tours were similarly improved, up by 5.6% to 49,400.
The positive visitor numbers were, however, just one of many notable achievements in what has been an exceptional year for the Historic Site’s Management Authority detailed in its Annual Report for 2007-2008.
Another highlight was the successful completion of the first stage of the Separate Prison Conservation Project, which was reopened in a high-profile event in August by Prime Minister Kevin Rudd and Premier David Bartlett.
In the past year, the Authority has completed a new Draft Statutory Management Plan, which is due to be signed into law imminently. It has developed a Strategic Marketing Plan and implemented a number of key marketing strategies to ensure its ongoing popularity as a leading cultural heritage destination. It has provided significant input into the Australian Convict Sites World Heritage Nomination and participated in and offered substantial conservation input into the Female Factory Historic Site Working Group.”
the Site and the Authority has also provided significant community, social and economic benefits to the region and to Tasmania. PAHSMA is a major employer and driver of business and economic activity in the Tasman region and beyond.An economic impact study from 2004 estimated that the Authority’s annual state-wide contribution to Gross State Product more than $25million.
Its contribution is not just economic – it is also a significant contributor to the social well-being of the community, through the delivery of cultural activities, training and support of local initiatives, such as the Port Arthur Picnic, the Port Arthur Talks program and providing work experience and pre-employment training opportunities.”
The Authority’s work has been recognised over the past year by a range of awards:
- 2008 Tasmanian Tourism Awards – Major Attraction (8th successive year) and Heritage and Cultural Tourism (4th time)
- 2008 Travelling in Australia Award – Best Cultural Heritage Experience
- 2008 Gourmet Traveller Awards – Best Heritage Tourism
- Keep Australia Beautiful – Tidy Towns Awards
- Inaugural Martin Davies Award for the best Public Archaeology Program
- 2007 AILA Tasmania Project award for Design in Landscape Architecture (joint winner)
The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority Annual Report for 2007-2008 is available from the Authority’s website.