An artist's impression of the cable car.

Planning has begun for a cable car between Elizabeth Quay and Kings Park, which the tourism industry believes could be the flagship tourist attraction that Perth desperately needs.

Planning Minister John Day confirmed yesterday that he had asked the Metropolitan Redevelopment Authority to investigate the design, operation and costs of a cable car and then provide advice to the Government.

It is understood the construction of the cable car is a key plank of the Tourism Council's strategy to boost visitor numbers to Perth.

It wants a private operator to be able to build and run the cable car.

The council's strategy is due to be released next week after more than two years of work, including numerous workshops, forums and meetings with key figures in the tourism industry.

Its focus is on Perth because the city is seen as the gateway to the rest of the State.

But the strategy argues that Perth needs to evolve "beyond beaches and open spaces" and that iconic attractions need to be built that "epitomise the brand of a cosmopolitan city with a natural outdoor lifestyle".

The idea for a cable car up to Kings Park has been talked about for decades.

It was raised more than 20 years ago when then premier Carmen Lawrence offered a $50,000 prize for the best foreshore design for the Swan River.

And it also was touted by Premier Colin Barnett in 2009 in the early planning for the Elizabeth Quay project.

Mr Day confirmed yesterday that a proposed cable car was included in the plans for Elizabeth Quay but was not part of the first stage of the project.

Tourism Minister Liza Harvey said these types of experiences would bring more vibrancy and vitality to Perth.

"I encourage investors with innovative concepts for exciting attractions like this," she said.

Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall confirmed yesterday that a cable car was part of its long-term strategy.

He said it should be privately funded and operated.

"Perth needs a must-do tourism experience like climbing the Eiffel Tower, catching a Sydney ferry or riding the London Eye," he said.

"A cable car from Elizabeth Quay to Kings Park will unite our global city with its unique natural environment, providing amazing views of the city skyline and the Swan River. The cable car will be a unique experience.

"Nowhere else in the world will you be able to take a ride from a world-class attraction like Kings Park into the heart of the city."

Mr Hall said the council was keen to work with the Government on a feasibility study for the cable car.

Perth needs a must-do tourism experience like climbing the Eiffel Tower . . ." Tourism Council chief executive Evan Hall

The West Australian

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