Long weekend events stoke Launceston tourism numbers

A spike in tourist numbers over the long weekend shows the effect of a full events calendar, according to Tourism Northern Tasmania. 

The Eight Hours Day weekend saw the Northern Tasmania calendar packed with events such as A Day on the Green, the Hawthorn v Carlton pre-season game, Shakespeare in the Park and A Taste of Italy festival. 

Manager of aviation operations and compliance at Launceston Airport Peter Holmes said he estimated about 11,000 people flew into Launceston over the four-day period starting Friday, March 9.

He said this was an increase from other periods in the first two months of 2018. 

Tourism Northern Tasmania chairman James McKee said carefully coordinating events in the calendar was a part of the body’s tourism strategy.

Mr McKee also said Tourism Northern Tasmania was concentrating on organising events throughout the winter period to maintain tourism numbers. 

“We had a welcome problem [on the weekend] in that we had many events on that attracted quiet a few interstate visitors,” he said. 

“This is where the strategy on the weekend proved if you get the right events you can pull people in.”

Despite the surge, home sharing company Stayz reported a low occupancy rate, compared to January. 

“Launceston holiday homes booked on Stayz over the recent long weekend was 33 per cent, compared to the 73 per cent of homes booked in January,” a spokeswoman said.

Attempts were made to gather hotel occupancy rates.