Achievements and Challenges for Port Arthur
World Heritage status for its three sites was the highlight of the 2010-2011 financial year for the Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority (PAHSMA).
The Environment, Parks and Heritage Minister, Brian Wightman, said the inscription of the Australian Convict Sites on to the World Heritage List marked the beginning of a new and challenging era for the Authority in managing heritage, conservation and cultural tourism.
“PAHSMA assumed responsibility for the Coal Mines Historic Site (also an Australian Convict Sites World Heritage property) in 2007. Following the World Heritage inscription, PAHSMA was asked to take responsibility for a third Australian Convict Sites property, the Cascades Female Factory Historic Site at South Hobart,” Mr Wightman said.
“However the year has also been a challenging one for PAHSMA.
“The consequences of the global financial crisis and economic uncertainty, the strength of the dollar luring Australians overseas, the Queensland and NSW floods, the volcanic ash event and significant competition within the travel industry have all affected local visitors numbers.”
Mr Wightman said despite the circumstances, 239,095 day-time visitors (3.3 per cent below the previous year) to the Site was a reasonable outcome.
A similar decrease occurred in Ghost Tour numbers with 38,483 visitors taking the tour being 3.5 per cent down on the previous year.
“Despite the downturn, PAHSMA’s tourism operations carefully monitored expenses and maintained or increased yield per visitor,” he said.
“This is important as any surplus from tourism is reinvested into the Authority’s conservation program.”
Mr Wightman highlighted the continued support of the Tasmanian Government for PAHSMA’s conservation program.
“This is an excellent investment of public funds given the substantial economic and other outcomes for the local community and the State in general,” he said.
“The Port Arthur Historic Site’s Community Advisory Committee continues to grow in strength and plays a most worthwhile and effective role as a conduit between the Authority and the Tasman Peninsula community.
“It supports community groups and initiatives as well as hosting cultural events such as the outstanding performances by Strange Fruit as part of Ten Days on the Island earlier this year.”
The Port Arthur Historic Site Management Authority’s Annual Report for 2010-11 can be downloaded from www.portarthur.org.au/annualreports.