The study ruled out introducing any new upmarket cabins or accommodation facilities on the track until tourism numbers recovered following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Analysis examining the return on investment for the construction of three $2 million facilities on the track, which could cater to 12 guests each paying $250 a night, found there would be a limited return on investment for any operator based on the 50 per cent average annual occupancy rate for the region.
Three new high-end private developments close to the track are currently being planned.
Gene Hardy, who has run guided hikes on the track for 11 years with his company Cape to Cape Explorer Tours, said he would be fine with a new fee.
“It’s more about having infrastructure to protect areas that need it and the more areas that can stay natural the better,” he said.
Mr Hardy said there was already plenty of accommodation which could be utilised by walkers and he did not feel there was a need for the government to build more facilities.
“[The national park is] already fragmented, the last thing we need to is encroach with accommodation when there is so much accommodation,” he said.
However, Liberal Vasse MP Libby Mettam was against a new walking fee being introduced.
“From a government that promised that no new taxes would be imposed on West Australians it is unacceptable that this Tourism WA report recommends charging people to enjoy this unique attraction,” she said.
“While this fragile landscape requires investment, like Kings Park this should be available for the public to enjoy at no cost to the community.”
A Tourism WA spokeswoman said the government was considering the report’s recommendations.
“The study has flagged the track needs significant upgrades to be considered a world-class experience and recommends a master plan be developed to outline potential improvements as well as identify tourism and recreation opportunities,” she said.
“We’ll work with other state government departments and interested parties to determine the next steps.”
Peter de Kruijff is a journalist with WAtoday.