The state’s slogan ‘explore the possibilities’ appears to be working, with more people visiting Tasmania and staying for longer.
Insights from the latest visitor survey from Tourism Tasmania reveal the Apple Isle has surpassed Queensland as Australia’s most appealing holiday destination, with good food, drink and scenery among the top selling points.
International visitors have also increased by 13 per cent to 253,200, with the USA, China, Hong Kong and the UK representing the biggest demographics.
This all means big business for the state’s north, with total expenditure by visitors estimated at $540 million – up 11 per cent from the previous year.
Tourism Northern Tasmania chairman James McKee said Tasmania is starting to see the fruits of the government’s T21 visitor target of 1.5 million tourists by 2020.
“These results are a testament to what we have to offer here in the north,” he said.
“As a state we have definitely adopted a more proactive approach to tourism.”
With accommodation making up nearly half of all northern tourism businesses, cities such as Launceston are already seeing a greater demand for quality hotel developments.
The state’s summer social calendar is also busier than ever, with Mona Foma, Party in the Paddock, Falls Festival and the Launceston Cup all contributing to the tourism appeal.
According to Trip Advisor, the state’s top destinations are Hobart, Launceston and Devonport, with Mount Wellington, Bonorong Wildlife Sanctuary and Cataract Gorge rounding out the top things to do.
Mr McKee said the challenge now facing the state was ensuring the correct infrastructure is in place to meet the demand.
“Accommodation is obviously the big one, but also roads, access to public toilets and all those functional pieces,” he said.
“The challenge is encouraging more people without undermining the experience by it being too crowded.”
Tonight the Tourism Industry Council will host the annual Tasmania Tourism Awards, with nearly a third of all finalists representing the north.
Tasmania will also host the Australian Tourism Awards in February 2019.