The Australian Walking Company (AWC) is set to build eco-sensitive accommodation facilities on the Kangaroo Island Wilderness Trail, creating 30 full-time jobs, with the support of a State Government Future Jobs Fund grant of $832,889.
The grant goes toward the $4.8 million project cost to develop luxury tent-style eco-sensitive accommodation and other facilities, initially at two sites along the Wilderness Trail in Flinders Chase National Park.
Australian Walking Company spokesperson Geoff Dixon said, “Our off-the-grid, sustainable, luxury tented accommodation will be a reflection of Kangaroo Island’s remarkable landscape, and provide support to our educational and immersive walking experience within the Flinders Chase National Park.”
Walks owned and operated across the partnership which includes Rob Sherrard, Brett Godfrey, Geoff Dixon and Scott Malcom, have won multiple awards.
Godfrey and Dixon are widely known for their roles as CEOs of Virgin Airlines and Qantas respectively.
Both are former board members of Tourism Australia.
The AWC also operates high quality, multi-day wilderness walks – including the Twelve Apostles Lodge Walk in Victoria, the Bay of Fires Lodge Walk, the Cradle Mountain Huts Walk, and the Wineglass Bay Sail Walk all in Tasmania.
Adventure tourism, including walking and hiking, has grown at an average rate of 25 per cent a year since 2009, according to the Adventure Travel Trade Association (ATTA), and is worth $3 billion globally.
Sustainability, Environment and Conservation Minister Ian Hunter said, “The AWC’s involvement will do much to raise the profile of Kangaroo Island as a major eco-tourism destination while also providing a significant number of local jobs for those involved in the building project and later working in the accommodation facilities.”
Tourism Minister Leon Bignell said, “This development, and the 30 new jobs it will provide, is great news for the KI community and is expected to contribute $1.8 million in total visitor expenditure by 2020.”