Conservationists call for Fraser Island prices to increase

THE Fraser Island Defenders Organisation is calling for an increase in travel and accommodation prices on the World Heritage tourist hot-spot.

FIDO spokesperson John Sinclair said some price increases were essential to meet basic costs of care for the island, and would increase visitors' respect for the area.

"And most of all FIDO is of the opinion that as long as Fraser Island is cheap, people will treat it as cheap, they'll trash it," Mr Sinclair said.

"We've been watching media reports of recent trashings over Easter.

"It's about changing the psychology of the people who visit."

In FIDO's most recent newsletter, the organisation sited statistics from Roy Morgan marketing group, which showed Fraser Island was the "cheapest coastal holiday destination in Australia".

According to the statistics quoted by FIDO, the average cost per night to stay on Fraser Island was $94, compared to other popular places including Lady Elliot Island ($111 per night) and Coffs Harbour ($120 per night).

Mr Sinclair said those statistics showed tourists were willing to spend more money at other popular destinations.

Brad Nardi from Fraser Coast Tourism and Events said FCTE was "happy to see prices rise on Fraser Island as long as they do so in line with consumer demand forces and normal product development".

"A visitor levy is not a current proposal and modelling around potential ramifications for tourist businesses would need to be diligently undertaken before any endorsement would be given," Mr Nardi said.

"As a final point I would note that the Fraser Island National Park is for a range of visitors and not purely those with the socio-economic status to afford it.

"FCTE supports (and via our Visitor Information Centre's sells permits for) the 45 camping area options on the island which start at $6.15 per person per night or $24.60 per family per night."

DO YOU think prices on Fraser Island should increase to better protect the World Heritage area? Or do you think visitors pay enough already? Let us know in the comments below, or email us at editorial@frasercoastchronicle.com.au.



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