Visitation to Tasmania
In 2014-15, Tasmania attracted 1.15 million visitors. This was an 8 per cent increase on the previous year, and set a new record of visitor numbers to the state.
Tasmania's visitor economy is dominated by Australian travellers. About 86 per cent of all visitors to Tasmania in 2014-15 came from mainland Australia3, with the three source markets of Melbourne, Sydney and South East Queensland representing the mainstay of the state's visitor economy.
While this is unlikely to change, the performance of individual state economies, improvements in access, and levels of consumer confidence in each source market are likely to influence future visitor growth and market opportunities.
People visit Tasmania for many reasons. This includes coming to Tasmania for a holiday, to visit friends and relatives who live here (VFR), for business or employment purposes, to study, or for a specific business, cultural or sporting event.
Looking ahead, the most current national tourism forecast2 suggests the rate of domestic travel growth in Australia over the next five years will be low and largely driven by business and VFR travel rather than by Australians taking domestic holidays.
On the international front, the current forecast for international tourism to Australia is healthier with predictions of around 4.5 per cent average annual growth in international visitors to Australia over the next five years. Asian economies are expected to deliver even higher levels of visitor growth than this during the next five years.
Tasmania's recent success at attracting a rapidly growing number of visitors from greater China while also retaining visitors from its traditional UK and US source markets, offers great potential to increase international visitor numbers to the state over the coming years.
Tasmania has outperformed domestic and international visitation forecasts over the past five years, and will achieve the 1.5 million visitor target if this rate of visitor growth can be sustained until 2020. The challenge is for all elements of Tasmania's visitor mix to grow strongly - holiday, business, VFR, event and the education travel sectors.
The opportunity is for all elements of the visitor economy to align to the Tasmanian brand to ensure a consistent approach to Tasmania's market position as Australia's preferred place to visit, live, work and invest.
3 Tasmanian Visitor Survey for year ending June 2015, Tourism Tasmania
4 Tourism Forecasts – Autumn 2014, Tourism Research Australia