Tourism is an important cog in the Tasmanian economy and news that international tourist numbers to the Apple Isle continue to set new benchmarks comes a no surprise.
The latest data from Tourism Research Australia and the Tasmanian Visitor Survey and International Visitor Survey provides more good reading for the state, particularly for businesses and families in regional areas that benefit.
The 15 per cent increase in international visitors in the year to September saw 307,000 overseas travellers visit us and spend $547 million.
And while a high percentage toured the South, the North and North-West are not missing out with the average journeyman reportedly spending $556 per day.
Overall, 1.3 million visitors (domestic and international) spent a record $2.4 billion, up 4 per cent from the previous year.
The total number of holidaymakers has grown by 2 per cent with the length of their stay up 8 per cent to 5.87 million nights with 69 per cent of all visitor nights spent outside Hobart.
Chinese, Europeans and Indians are unsurprisingly our biggest markets and according to the state government, the industry supports 38,000 Tasmanian jobs.
As The Examiner highlighted this week with a trip to the East Coast, tourism is helping the region thrive with new hospitality businesses popping up left, right and centre.
Swims Cafe at Scamander, The Wharf restaurant and NRMA waterfront holiday park at St Helens and Bridestowe’s plans for accommodation are just some examples.
Tourism is driving investment all over Northern Tasmania.
Launceston has been the beneficiary with several hotels been built or in the pipeline in 2019 and beyond.
There are more events in the region as a result and upgrades to infrastructure such as roads and the like are in future budgets.
With a rapid increase in the past five years, it is important Tasmanians don’t become complacent.
We must invest wisely, invent new ways of keeping visitors here and continue to ensure regional area reap the rewards too.