Tasmania is now a better place to live than ever before and a priority for the Hodgman Liberal Government is to ensure that even more Tasmanians and their communities benefit from the jobs and economic growth generated from a strong visitor economy.
Results from the latest Tasmanian Visitor Survey show that all four regions of the State have experienced growth in total visitor numbers in the year to June 2018.
We are committed to encouraging visitors to enjoy everything our regions have to offer and our plan to boost visitation in regional areas is clearly working.
Importantly the East Coast and Cradle Coast regions increased their total share of the State’s overall visitors with the Cradle Coast region receiving the strongest regional growth rate with visitation up 4 per cent.
Holidaymakers are also staying longer in Tasmania and spending more, with holiday nights up 11 per cent and holiday expenditure up 7 per cent compared to the same period in the previous year.
Impressively, visitors to Tasmania in the year to June 2018 spent a record $2.4 billion – up 6 per cent per cent.
While Tasmania welcomed 1.3 million visitors for the first time, it’s important to note that this represents steady growth of 2 per cent in the past year.
We always knew that the path to achieving 1.5 million visitors annually by 2020 would ebb and flow, but what this figure shows is that we cannot afford to pull up the welcome mat.
Recent calls to pull back tourism marketing, and the Green’s ridiculous suggestion of a tourist levy, risks damaging this vital sector and the 38,000 jobs it supports.
More than 85 per cent of our tourism operators are small or micro-businesses, run by passionate, hard-working and determined Tasmanians, and the Hodgman Liberal Government is proud to back our tourism, hospitality and events sector.
The ignorant questioning of the fantastic work being undertaken by the Premier during the Asian Trade and Tourism Mission fails to recognise that 45,900 Chinese visitors came to Tasmania last year – up 46 per cent from the previous year.
International visitors are unquestionably a key market for Tasmania’s tourism sector and results from the last international visitor survey showed a total of 300,400 international visitors came to the State in the year ending March 2018 – up 20 per cent from the previous year.
International visitors stayed an average of 17 nights and, in total, they spent $559 million in Tasmania – up 32 per cent from last year.
Earlier this week we also welcomed Virgin Australia’s first direct flight from Perth to Hobart which will open up an important new domestic market.
There are currently 4.5 million air seats annually into and out of Tasmania’s key access points of Hobart and Launceston and 157,133 new seats were added on the Tasmanian air network, which is above the 140,000 target per annum required to meet the T21 goals.
Increased access capacity not only helps our visitors get to our State, but it also provides Tasmanians with more travel options, improved affordability and in some cases reduced travel time.
Congratulations to Tasmania’s committed and professional tourism operators for your efforts which have contributed to these latest results for our visitor economy.