There has reportedly been a surge in Spirit of Tasmania bookings on Thursday morning, as TT-Line's "bring your car for free" promotion went live.
The $6 million federal government injection to the Bass Strait Passenger Vehicle Equalisation Scheme is designed to encourage holidaymakers to the Apple Isle during the somewhat quieter autumn months.
It's a saving of between $99 and $149 for ferry passengers bringing a vehicle onboard going in either direction between March and the end of June 2021.
“We’re confident that this incentive will bring new visitors to Tasmania and we know that visitors who arrive by sea with their own vehicle stay longer, spend more and explore more regional areas than visitors who arrive by air,” CEO Bernard Dwyer said.
Those with a motorbike or bicycle will pay zero for their vehicle fare and those with a caravan or campervan will receive a discount equivalent to that of a standard vehicle fare.
The offer expires on June 30 or when the funding allocation is exhausted.
“Already this morning, bookings have been running hot, with travellers excited to bring their car to Tassie for free," Liberal Senator for Tasmania Jonathon Duniam said.
Meanwhile Devonport's Mayor is hoping the city can cash-in on the influx of bookings.
Annette Rockliff acknowledges in the past it's been difficult getting ferry arrivals to hang around before they head towards Launceston and Hobart, but believes holiday-deprived mainlanders won't just be passing through the North-West this year.
"It's always been an issue for us. Part of the whole Living City project and some of the things we've put in place around that are either encouraging people to have a day here before they explore the rest of the state or make sure that they plan to come back and have a couple of days here before they hop back on the Spirit."
"It's really important that we are welcoming and we make sure we highlight the amazing experiences on offer. I think it's becoming a place that people want to come and visit because it's always been seen as clean and green but I think 'space' now is a another word that people look for when they're travelling."