Mainlanders keen to experience Tasmania

The Pruen-Brugnera family from New South Wales: Bev, Tess, Dick and Robert with 13-year-old Mitchell at the Basin. Picture: MARK JESSER

THE Pruen-Brugnera family is among the growing number of  mainlanders   taking the trip south to Tasmania.

The New South Wales family of five - grandparents, children and grandson - are spending about two weeks in Tasmania.

Dick and Bev Pruen hail from Albion Park while Tess, Robert and 13-year-old Mitchell Brugnera are from Balarang.

They have visited Hobart, Port Arthur, Strahan, Deloraine, Launceston and Bicheno.

Yesterday they were taking in the sights of Launceston's Cataract Gorge, which Mr Pruen declared ``gorgeous'', while Mrs Brugnera said they would recommend Tasmania as a destination to family and friends.

Earlier this week it was revealed that visitors to Tasmania  increased by 15 per cent to more than 1 million in the year ending September 2013.

In that time, nearly 885,000 were interstate tourists.

It is an increase that has not gone unnoticed in the industry.

Launceston Airport general manager Paul Hodgen said the airport's figures for December were up 6 per cent on last year.

Mr Hodgen said that usually numbers of departures and arrival passengers were on par with about a 2 per cent swing to arrivals. However, in December there was a 7.5 per cent rise in arriving passengers.

Anecdotally, Mr Hodgen said there had also been an increase in Asian tourists over the Christmas period.

Country Club Tasmania's Bede Clifton said the facility had noted a 10 per cent uplift in room nights, with an even mix of international and interstate customer growth.

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