The Train's Impact on Tourism
Oz Experience is an Australian coach company and tour operator directly targeting the youth market. They offer a range of short and long duration bus passes that allow passengers to make last minute decisions about getting on or getting off. It is totally flexible and the key benefit is that the journey itself is part of the fun. The train will never be able to compete with this product on price, features and benefits or destinations. Oz Experience is also one of the many private operators, big and small, shuttling passengers to and from Coolangatta Airport. The bulk of other tourists who arrive and depart by air or in private or rental vehicles, would have no use for a train service either.
The belief that tourists would sit on a train to enjoy the view is another misconception. Contemporary tourists take the time to feel and experience the destination not just view it. There is currently little of interest to temp the Byron Bay legions inland with the notable exception of Nimbin which is not on the railway line. What would a tourist do in Lismore, Casino or Murwillumbah after arriving at the railway station, what do our inland towns and villages offer this tourism segment?
Conversely, there would be major reasons to visit these very same areas if they were points on a walking or cycling journey. Casino, as the 'Head of the Trail' has potentially the most to gain.