Restrictions on travellers from Sydney have caused a fresh round of cancellations for Northern Tasmanian tourism and hospitality businesses, with a key industry body saying the COVID outbreak was "like the Grinch just stole Christmas".
Businesses were keen for an uptick in interstate visitors over the Christmas-New Year's period, driven primarily by returning family and friends, and also business travel.
The NSW market is the second largest for Tasmania's tourism sector.
Visit Northern Tasmania chief executive Chris Griffin said the restrictions could not have happened at a worse time.
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"It's like the Grinch just stole Christmas, to be blunt," he said.
"We were not expecting to finish 2020 with a shutdown like this, and on the eve of 2021, having another round of cancellations on the back of what we've been seeing with rental car restrictions, particularly in regional Tasmania.
"This wasn't the news we wanted to see a week before Christmas."
The tourism body expected "some significant rounds of cancellations", but was confident targeted tourism campaigns on social media and in recreation publications - fly fishing, mountain biking, golfing and bush walking - would increase visitation from other states.
Tourism Tasmania has renewed its Unordinary Adventures campaign, with Victoria the main target followed by other states and territories.
Trout Guides and Lodgers Tasmania Association president Roger Butler said this campaign had coincided with an increase in interest in fly fishing in rivers and lakes.
"I've certainly had good feedback from members already that bookings are increasing, inquiries are certainly increasing. I, myself, have had regulars back from interstate that I haven't had for years," he said.
"Just seeing that Tassie is a place to come to, 'let's go down there to fish'. We've got one of the best wild trout fisheries in the world."
Angling licence sales have increased in Tasmania in 2020, according to the government, reflecting a growing local interest in the sport which could help to fill the tourism gap, Mr Butler said.
Water Minister Guy Barnett said these targeted tourism campaigns would be vital going forward.
"We know that visitors that come to Tasmania to pursue interests such as fly fishing are more likely to stay longer and spend more, which benefits our regional communities and the broader visitor economy," he said.
On average, fly fishers stay for 12 days longer and spend $800 more than other tourists.