It’s a fantastic time to be a tourism operator

It’s certainly a good time right now to have your business involved in Tasmania’s burgeoning tourism industry.

National awards, record numbers through our major airports and sailing on our ferries, and overall records being broken during virtually every reporting period in terms of overall visitor numbers to the state.

The state government’s announcement on Sunday that visitors exceeded 1.2 million for the first time is exciting. The fact there has been an 11 per cent increase in the number travelling to the North is even more reason for optimism.

That 1.2 million figure gives even more credence to the state government’s overall target of 1.5 million travellers to Tasmania by the year 2020 – it’s certainly now within reach.

But that record hasn’t come about just by sheer luck. 

Everyone – from state and local governments, through to tourism boards and regional bodies – has been working hard over the past few years to realise this dream and to make it a reality.

TT-Line has become more than just a business enterprise that links us to the mainland. It is now a successful, viable tourism driver, with about 80,000 passengers travelling on the two Spirits in January alone – up 5 per cent on the same period last year.

The state capital’s booming hotel industry has been well documented – and it continues to grow.

That optimism is now seeping through to other regions, with a number of hotels under construction or in the development phase in Launceston. It wouldn’t come as any great surprise to see even more announcements in the not-too-distant future. As they say, confidence breeds confidence.

The recent official opening of Marcos Ambrose’s Thousand Lakes Lodge and the $5 million redevelopment of the historic Rosevears Hotel is testament to the growing confidence. 

And you only need to look as far as the Launceston Airport, which is in line for a new $2 million improved security screening area, to see how far the North has come in terms of becoming a leading regional centre for domestic travellers.

This latest project follows revamps to its shopping and dining area, which already underwent a transformation last year.

It’s certainly a good time to be a Tasmanian tourism operator and things should only get better.