How can the development optimise economic benefit to the East Gippsland region?
The economic benefits are substantial in the case of a 4-5 day walk and the development of a base/hub concept, but are extremely low for the 10-12 day original Sea to Summit walk concept.
These outcomes are based on 32 walkers per night (128 on the trail at any one time), 12,000 hub visitors per annum and 2,000 walkers on the 10-12 day walk per annum and applying a 70% occupancy rate estimated by the project team given weather limitations of the walk (i.e. wet winters and hot dry summers).
The demand analysis shows these numbers to be conservative with an appropriate investment in marketing the concept and the region.
Net economic benefit
The net economic contribution of the project option to Australia is appropriately measured by cost benefit analysis where the impacts of project options are compared against a Base Case option to determine the incremental impact of interventions. Economic costs relate to the capital and maintenance costs of the project options, economic benefits are the inflow of tourism dollars.
The incremental impact of the options, compared to the Base Case of doing nothing, are shown below:
|Year 1 visitation (persons p.a.)||Average spend per visitor ($)||Present value costs ($m)||Present value benefits ($m)||Net present value (NPV) ($m)||Benefit to cost ratio||PV economic impact ($m)||Jobs created in operation phase (persons p.a.)|
|4-day walk, 1-day cycle||8,176||2,219||69.9||182.3||112.3||2.6||298.9||254|
|10-12 day walk||
Complementary business opportunities
The key complementary business opportunities include:
- Indigenous interpretation and cultural education ranging from welcome to country conversations, explanations of culture and storytelling in huts, to fully immersive on country experiences explaining bush medicine and food. There are many opportunities for the local first nations people to share and charge for proving education to walkers.
- There are other interpretation products to be developed, maintained and expanded over time. These range from signage, through to apps, to lectures provided in the huts that cover the geology, flora, fauna and heritage of the region.
- Local food, fruit and beverages are also desired in all the huts along with coffee and snacks. The servicing of four huts for up to 128 people per day is a significant business opportunity.
- Pack transfer will be a daily requirement for many of the walkers.
- Path and hut construction and maintenance will be substantial requirements, with approximately 60 km of path to be built and maintained, and four huts needed.
- Ideally, a helicopter offer to start the walk will likely lead to a daily service for a portion of the 32 daily walkers depending on the ability to get a permit for helicopter operations in a wilderness setting.
- Electric bicycle/MTB hire is needed to extend the 3-4 day walk to a 4-5 day experience, riding from the end of walk to the coast.
- Similarly a 4WD service is needed to deliver walkers to the start of the trail and collect the walkers choosing to 4WD out as opposed to cycling to the coast. There will be the need to collect cyclists (and e-bikes/MTBs) at the end of the trail.
- Building a car park may enables walkers to leave their car at the end of the experience.
Additionally, the walk will bring walkers to the East Gippsland region, and many will want to fill their preferred 7-9 day break with other adventure activities.