The record year for Tasmania’s tourism industry is continuing with the greatest ever number of travellers arriving in the 12-months to September.
The latest Tasmanian Visitor Survey figures show a record 1,062,700 tourists travelled to Tasmania, an increase of six per cent on the one million who visited in the same time last year.
Visitors are staying longer and spending more, and there’s been a massive increase in key interstate and overseas markets.
In the 12 months to September, visitors spent a record $1.74 billion while holidaying in our state, that’s around 15 per cent more than last year.
The number of visitors from interstate has grown overall by three per cent, with a massive 20 per cent increase in Queensland travellers.
In the overseas market, Tasmania continues to be a hot destination with a record 167,800 international tourists visiting our state.
More than 53,000 of those travelled from the four most important Asian markets; China, Hong Kong, Singapore and Malaysia.
Importantly, China continues to be the greatest source of international visitors with some 21,000 visitors, a 60 per cent increase compared to last year.
The visitor survey also shows visitors stayed longer, with the total nights spent in the state increasing by eight per cent to 9.35 million.
Regional Tasmania shared in the record growth, with the East Coast outstripping other regions with an 18 per cent increase, while the North jumped by six per cent, the South by seven per cent and the Cradle Coast by nine per cent.
The opening of the Kiss a Fish Cookery School at St Helens today will no doubt encourage even more visitors to regional Tasmania.
Ensuring we have new experiences like Kiss a Fish available to travellers is key to helping the Liberal Government reach our target of attracting 1.5 million visitors to Tasmania every year by 2020.
These are encouraging figures, but there is still a way to go, which is why we have invested a record $16 million in tourism marketing, made Tourism Tasmania a stand-alone authority and are opening our wilderness areas to sensible development through the Expressions of Interest process.
Exposure including the Chinese President’s visit and Restaurant Australia’s Invite the World to Dinner and acclaim from the Lonely Planet will also help ensure this trend continues.