State stands tall on global must-see list

Mercury (Hobart) - - NEWS - HE­LEN KEMP­TON

THE world is sit­ting up and tak­ing no­tice of Aus­tralia’s small is­land state and the lat­est ac­co­lade has the tourism sec­tor beaming.

Tas­ma­nia has been kick­ing na­tional tourism goals for sev­eral years and its growth leads the na­tion.

But the state is get­ting in­creas­ing global recog­ni­tion and the lat­est ac­co­lade tar­gets the kind of au­di­ence the Tourism In­dus­try Coun­cil of Tas­ma­nia says we need to main­tain as over­seas vis­i­tor num­bers soften slightly.

This week, Tas­ma­nia was the only place in Aus­tralian to make it onto Na­tional Geo


graphic’s pres­ti­gious an­nual list of 25 must-see des­ti­na­tions.

Tas­ma­nia topped the list in the ad­ven­ture cat­e­gory ahead of Gross­glock­ner High Alpine Rd in Aus­tria, Wales Way in the UK, To­huku in Ja­pan, Kam­chatka Penin­sula in Rus­sia and Chad’s Zak­ouma na­tional park.

TICT CEO Luke Martin said Na­tional Ge­o­graphic read­ers were ex­actly the au­di­ence Tas­ma­nia wanted to en­gage with.

“They are gen­er­ally trav­ellers who look for des­ti­na­tions with unique and ex­cep­tional nat­u­ral and cul­tural val­ues,” Mr Martin said. “It is al­ways a wel­come boost to get these global recog­ni­tions as it is des­ti­na­tion pro­mo­tion money can­not buy.”

It is the lat­est in a se­ries of wins for Tas­ma­nia’s tourism sec­tor. The state’s ever-grow­ing num­ber of world-class moun­tain bik­ing tracks are bring­ing thou­sands of twowheeled tourists to re­gional ar­eas, a record num­ber of cruise ships are dock­ing this sea­son and a new he­li­copter tour busi­ness has taken flight.

Tas­ma­nia also saw a 11.7 per cent spike in the num­ber of Amer­i­cans com­ing af­ter it fea­tured in a Croc­o­dile Dundee tourism ad at last year’s Su­per Bowl.

And last month it was re­vealed that Bruny Is­land, the Mu­seum of Old and New Art and other iconic Tas­ma­nian des­ti­na­tions would be splashed across tele­vi­sion screens from China to Ger­many as part of Tourism Aus­tralia’s new global cam­paign.

Tourism Aus­tralia said re­search showed Tas­ma­nia was one of the top des­ti­na­tions wealthy over­seas tourists were con­sid­er­ing vis­it­ing over the next four years.

Act­ing Premier Jeremy Rock­liff said be­ing sin­gled out by Na­tional Ge­o­graphic would give Tas­ma­nia’s stand­ing on the world stage an­other boost.

“Tas­ma­nia has what the world wants – an un­ri­valled nat­u­ral en­vi­ron­ment, pre­mium ex­pe­ri­ences, world­class pro­duce and un­beat­able way of life,” Mr Rock­liff said.

“This award is very much recog­ni­tion of the hard work of our Tas­ma­nian tourism in­dus­try.”

The recog­ni­tion fol­lows Tas­ma­nia be­ing sin­gled out

re­cently as the num­ber one Top Des­ti­na­tion in the Aus­tralian Brands in China Index 2019, one of the top 10 wine travel des­ti­na­tions of 2019 by

Wine En­thu­si­ast mag­a­zine and Ho­bart be­ing named in Lonely Planet’s World­wide Top 10 Cities to visit.

“Our state can­not af­ford to take our tourism suc­cess for granted, nor un­der­es­ti­mate the con­tri­bu­tion it makes to our econ­omy both in our vi­brant cities and our re­gions,” Mr Rock­liff said.

“That is why we con­tinue to sup­port and in­vest in the sec­tor, fo­cus­ing on high yield­ing trav­ellers in our mar­ket­ing strate­gies and safe­guard­ing our nat­u­ral as­sets for vis­i­tors to ex­pe­ri­ence through our trans­par­ent and ro­bust parks EOI process.”

The ac­co­lade comes as the lat­est TICT sur­vey of Tas­ma­nian tourism op­er­a­tors shows al­most half are ex­pect­ing a boom sum­mer sea­son and a new he­li­copter tour busi­ness gets off to a fly­ing start out of Cam­bridge.

The sur­vey showed 46 per cent ex­pected their busi­ness to be busier this sum­mer vis­i­tor sea­son com­pared to last year and 70 per cent have a pos­i­tive out­look for the in­dus­try over the next five years.

Mr Martin said the fact one in two op­er­a­tors ex­pected their busi­ness to be busier this sum­mer was great for the Tas­ma­nian econ­omy.

“With busi­ness con­fi­dence comes in­vest­ment. When ex­ist­ing busi­nesses are feel­ing pos­i­tive about the fu­ture of the in­dus­try, it means they are more likely to take that plunge and ex­pand their busi­ness or turn their ca­sual staff into per­ma­nent em­ploy­ees.”

One such in­vestor is Tas­ma­nian Air Tours which will op­er­ate a fleet of he­li­copters to take vis­i­tors and lo­cals on tai­lored ad­ven­ture, na­ture, food and bev­er­age, and cul­tural tours.

For $599 per per­son you can go on their Wom­bat and Wal­laby re­turn tour to Maria Is­land or spend $349 be­ing flown into Frog­more Creek Cel­lar Door and Restaurant. The cost in­cludes lunch.

Tas­ma­nian Air Tours will op­er­ate out of Bar­illa Bay Oys­ter Farm and Restaurant at Cam­bridge.

“Tas­ma­nia is re­ally ready for this niche, qual­ity ven­ture and we are very pos­i­tive that it will be a great ad­di­tion to the tourism mar­ket in par­tic­u­lar as well as lo­cals,” pi­lot and TAT manag­ing di­rec­tor Greg Ross said.

“Tar­get au­di­ences will in­clude those who are time poor and want to ex­pe­ri­ence Tas­ma­nia from the air, as well as those with mo­bil­ity is­sues who oth­er­wise wouldn’t be able to ac­cess some of the beau­ti­ful unique at­trac­tions.”

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