Tourism industry gets behind the Tassie devil Sat 13 October 2012 Lara Giddings Premier Download hi-res version Download hi-res version Tasmanian tourism operators are joining forces to save the state's most recognisable icon and ambassador - the Tasmanian devil. The Premier, Lara Giddings, today congratulated the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania on becoming the inaugural official industry partner of the Save the Tasmanian Devil Appeal. "The devil is an ambassador for Tasmania throughout the world, and for many meeting the animal in its natural habitat is one of their most cherished and memorable experiences of visiting our state," Ms Giddings said. "There is no doubt the devil is an extremely important part of the Tasmanian brand and an asset to the tourism industry. "That's why it so fantastic that the industry is now putting its considerable strength and energy behind efforts to ensure the devil remains a living, breathing icon of Tasmania for generations to come." Ms Giddings said tourism operators around the state would help to spread the word of the plight of the Tasmanian devil and encourage tourists to donate to the research effort to find a cure to the devastating Devil Facial Tumour Disease. "The TICT will also use the Tasmanian devil as the central theme for both their upcoming state awards ceremony and the national gala awards night, which Tasmania will host in February. "The February event at Princes Wharf Number One will be attended by 800 of Australia's leading tourism operators, providing an invaluable fundraising opportunity." Ms Giddings said a range of initiatives were underway to save the devil from extinction, including research into DFTD, captive breeding programs in wildlife parks here and interstate and relocation programs. A proposal to relocate wild disease free devils to Maria Island was recently approved "This work relies on the financial backing of State and Federal Governments, but also the support and generosity of businesses, organisations and individuals throughout the community. "I commend the tourism industry's commitment to protecting a true icon of Tasmania."