It is a great relief to see tourists once more walking the streets of Launceston, after the trials and tribulations of 2020.
Tourism is a significant economic driver in Launceston, with a pre-COVID output estimated at around half-a-billion dollars annually.
Importantly, the sector employs more than 3500 Northern Tasmanians either directly or indirectly.
Now that interstate travel is opening up, Northern Tasmania has a real opportunity to showcase what sets our region apart from other Australian destinations.
We must redouble our efforts to make Launceston a welcoming city and one which acts as a gateway to the region and state.
Fortunately, we can all play a role in maintaining Launceston's reputation as a family-friendly destination, something our city has traditionally excelled at.
Whether it's a friendly wave to passers-by on the street, stopping to provide a lost visitor with directions, or simply saying, "Hi", Launceston residents are an amiable lot.
It's especially important for our region that we continue to maintain those high standards for our visitors in the months ahead, as Northern Tasmania seeks to strengthen its tourism offering.
It's also a great opportunity for businesses and property owners to reposition themselves, spruce up their shopfronts, capture new customers and ensure their online presence is accurate and up to date.
This is the time for Launceston to put its best foot forward, and I have no doubt our city will rise to the challenge.
There's also light on the horizon in terms of capacity increases for indoor and outdoor events venues from May.
It will be simply wonderful to see community assets like the Princess Theatre at 100 per cent capacity again, along with venues like UTAS Stadium.
There is a growing number of cultural, community and sporting events planned for Launceston over the coming months, so it is particularly exciting we can look forward to embracing our incredible events once again.
It's been really heart-warming to see our community show its support as various events have re-emerged in recent months. And again, we all have an opportunity to play a role in backing those events.
So please keep doing what you're doing, Launceston. Let's keep building our reputation as one of the world's great regional cities and one of Australia's best regional tourism and events destinations.
Love where you live, and live where you love.
- Danny Gibson, Acting Mayor, City of Launceston