A Tasmanian economy that relies on over 10 per cent of its input from tourism could be excused for feeling blue as speculation grows that international travel may be off the agenda this year.
According to Tourism Tasmania, however, the state has a much heavier reliance on domestic and intrastate tourism than the rest of the nation, and chief executive John Fitzgerald said he was confident about the year despite the probable dearth of international tourists.
"Less than 20 per cent of our visitation is international," he said.
IN OTHER NEWS:
Mr Fitzgerald said Tourism Tasmania had focused its energy on a growing intrastate travel market through the continuing Make Yourself At Home campaign.
He said while there was no way the domestic and intrastate market could completely fill the international hole and that multiple campaigns were lined up going forward.
"Of course we aren't going to have anything like the boom years, but we are confident that we can have something that is relatively good," he said.
Mr Fitzgerald's positivity was mirrored by Tourism Industry Council Tasmania chief executive Luke Martin.
He said there was a chance focus away from international tourism could bode particularly well for the state.
"International travel being closed could be a net positive for Tasmania over the next 12 months if we get domestic tourism working effectively," Mr Martin said.
Though he was concerned whether the domestic market could be unlocked with the current government approach to the pandemic.
"The state and federal governments have a simple choice to make - get these hotel quarantine outbreaks under control and open up the country, or stump up more support for the businesses and regional economies that will go under due to border restrictions," he said.
One that stands to gain the most from an interstate market is the Spirit of Tasmania and Spirit spokesperson said the recent announcement that cars would be free aboard the vessel had been popular.
"Twenty five per cent of the government's initial allocation has been taken up, which is a significant positive for the state's tourism sector," they said.
"More broadly, people are travelling on board the Spirits, and we expect that this number will continue to increase when there is greater certainty around interstate borders."
What do you think? Send us a letter to the editor:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.