Tasmania is Australia’s hottest travel destination for international and domestic travellers, who travelled more often to Northern regional towns such as Bridport, Beaconsfield and Deloraine, and spent a record $2.4 billion across the state.
Latest data from Tourism Research Australia reveals that Tasmania recorded the highest rise of international visitors in Australia, up 15 per cent to 307,000, who brought $547 million to the state, representing a 13 per cent rise.
Australians were also more likely to choose Tasmania as a holiday destination, with the state recording the strongest growth in domestic visitation, up by 11 per cent.
Data just released by Tourism Tasmania also reveals that more than 69 per cent of all visitor nights in Tasmania was in the regions, with destinations across the North recording the highest overnight stays.
The same data also recorded a 4 per cent rise in tourist spending across the state, with a record spend of $2.4 billion.
While overnight stays in the West Coast rose the most overall by 6 per cent, Launceston stays increased by 1 per cent, and regional towns in the North East, East Coast, West Tamar, Meander Valley and Northern Midlands also experienced significant overnight tourism growth.
For instance, overnight stays increased in Bridport by 70 per cent, Derby by 60 per cent, Campbell Town by 53 per cent, Beaconsfield by 44 per cent, George Town by 38 per cent, Deloraine by 13 per cent, Mole Creek by 10 per cent, and St Helens by 13 per cent.
Tourism Northern Tasmania chief executive Chris Griffin said the latest data revealed a healthy trend of tourists spending more time and more money in the North.
“There has been a consistent trend for quite a number of quarters where we are seeing the number of nights and the amount of tourist expenditure growing stronger than the number of visitors, and that is the tourism equation you always look for,” he said.
Mr Griffin said the rise in spending showed that tourists were prompted to purchase more products and activities while on holiday, this included spends on food and wine.
The Tourism Tasmania data shows that wineries, distilleries and breweries all experienced an increase in visits, up by 4.3 per cent overall.
Outdoor activities such as bushwalking, cycling, mountain biking and fishing also proved more popular, with scuba diving experiencing the highest rise of 26 per cent, and train journeys also increasing by 13 per cent.
Of the international tourists arriving in Tasmania, a majority were Chinese visitors, with a 51 per cent increase to 52,300 in the year ending September 2018.