Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Annual visitor numbers to Tasmania pass 1 million mark for first time - Yahoo!7 News

Tasmania's tourism industry has cracked the million visitor milestone for the first time.

Airlines and ferry operators reported 1,007,000 visitors arriving in Tasmania in the year to September 2013.

About 10 per cent of those arrivals were international visitors, with the rest from interstate.

Tourism Minister Scott Bacon says there has been a particularly pronounced jump in numbers during winter.

"We've seen things like Dark MOFO, increased growth for the Festival of Voices, we've seen AFL football in Launceston."

Tourism Tasmania CEO John Fitzgerald says the numbers show the Government's focus on social media advertising is paying off:

"People come here because of recommendation more than any other state and social media is the powerhouse of that word of mouth."

He says the state's tourism industry is now readily comparable to those interstate.

"For instance the (Northern) Territory gets about 1.3 million, so we're very close to jurisdictions like that."

"And as we know the mainland capital cities drag a lot of people in, so it's a very good result for a small state in Australia."

He would like Tasmania to clock up 1.5 million visitors per year, by 2020.

The milestone was announced a day after Qantas detailed plans to replace its Hobart flights with a QantasLink service in April.

The tourism industry welcomed the airline's move to provide more frequent flights on smaller jets.

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