Hotel a 'must' to boost tourism

An artist's impression of the proposed Silo Hotel at Northbank.

An artist's impression of the proposed Silo Hotel at Northbank.

IF WE are going to reach the state's tourism target we need to have new accommodation such as the proposed Silo Hotel at Northbank, according to the state's peak hospitality body.

Tasmanian Hospitality Association chief executive Steve Old yesterday said he was supportive of Errol Stewart's hotel development in light of the Liberal government's plans to see tourism increase to 1.5 million visitors by 2020.

The $30 million Silo Hotel proposal includes 140 rooms, conference facilities for up to 400 people, a bar, restaurants and a gym with an indoor swimming pool.

Mr Old said the hospitality industry would need to respond to the government's targets if it had any chance of being reached.

``If the target is going to be met, then I think we are going to need more accommodation in all parts of the state,'' Mr Old said.

He said tourists were visiting the state in increasing numbers over a nine-month period and events such as AFL games were helping to bring in more people through the winter months.

He said more accommodation near the centre of Launceston was a good idea.

Mr Old said the state was in need of large conference centres in both Launceston and Hobart to be able to target the conference market and bring more people to Tasmania.

He said facilities that offered both conference rooms and accommodation were more popular to hold such events.

Mr Stewart revealed earlier this week that he may have to come up with an alternative to or downsize the original 60-room proposed hotel development in light of rising building costs.

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