A new Predator Experience will be built at Monarto Zoo following approval of joint Federal/State funding for the project.

The funding was announced today by the Federal Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Steven Ciobo and South Australian Minister for Regional Development, Geoff Brock.

The Predator Experience, developed by Zoos SA, will bring visitors up close and personal with the conservation park’s lion pride within their 10 hectare habitat at Monarto Zoo.

Modelled on the popular Great White Shark diving experience, visitors will be able to safely walk through a tunnel under the lion enclosure and emerge in the heart of the lions’ den, surrounded by up to 12 lions.

The building works will be co-funded through the 2017-18 Commonwealth Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program and the South Australian Regional Development Fund, in partnership with Zoos SA.

As the largest pay-to-enter tourist attraction in regional South Australia, Monarto Zoo attracts over 130,000 visitors a year and it’s expected the Predator Experience will increase that number by an extra 3,000 people annually, spending an estimated $1million in the region.

Background

Construction of the Predator Experience will start next month and is scheduled to open later this year.

The South Australian Government has allocated $360,000, Zoos SA $720,000, and the Commonwealth Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program $350,000 to complete the project.

The State Government has invested an additional $70 million to market South Australia nationally and internationally and to attract major events and conferences.

Quotes attributable to Federal Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Steven Ciobo

The investment of $350,000 in the Monarto Zoo comes from the Turnbull Government's Tourism Demand Driver Infrastructure program.

This program, a Coalition election commitment, ensures government investments are focused on tourism projects that have benefits across the tourism sector.

These investments are complemented by the Turnbull Government's record $639 million investment in Tourism Australia to market Australia overseas.

Spending by international tourists in South Australia is up 33 per cent since the Coalition Government was elected.

This spending is a great driver for the South Australian economy.

Quotes attributable to SA Regional Development Minister Geoff Brock

Monarto Zoo is one of South Australia’s most popular destinations, both with locals, interstate and international visitors.

Our visitor economy is worth an all-time high $6.2 billion and we are on track to reach the target of $8 billion by 2010.

This exciting project – the first of its kind in Australia – will further enrich visitor experiences, increase the tourism appeal of Monarto Zoo and provide economic benefits for the region.

There’ll be more visitors to Monarto Zoo who will take the opportunity to explore the region which will benefit local businesses and tour operators.

The $360,000 investment from the Regional Development Fund, together with the Federal funding and the commitment of Zoos SA to this unique project will ensure our tourism industry and the region continues to grow.

Quotes attributable to Zoos SA CEO Elaine Bensted

The Predator Experience will be a truly hair-raising experience, with visitors able to enter a tunnel and emerge in the heart of the lions’ den surrounded by up to 12 African Lions.

Monarto Zoo is home to one of the largest lion prides in the country, and this experience will allow our visitors to get closer than ever before.

Originally announced as part of our 20-year Master Plan, Zoos SA will contribute $720,000 towards this exciting project.

As a conservation charity, we’re looking forward to bringing around 3,000 new visitors to Monarto Zoo each year once this project is built.

We’re thrilled to have Federal and State Government support to bring this unique experience to life at Monarto Zoo.