Tasmanian tourism snapshot shows fewer visitors, but longer stays and bigger spends

Tourists and sightseers at a coastal lookout.

Less is more is the story of the tourism numbers to Australia's smallest state — with fewer people visiting Tasmania, but staying longer and spending more.

Key points:

  • In the year from March 2021, visitor numbers to Tasmania were up but still way down on 2019 pre-pandemic levels
  • Interstate visitor nights spent in Tasmania increased by 132 per cent since March 2021
  • Interstate visitors spend an average of $271 per night in Tasmania, up 15.6 per cent since last year

And while the data is promising, tour operators have said there is still a way to go before the sector is back to 2019 pre-COVID levels.

According to the Tasmanian Tourism Snapshot, in the year to March the state had 744,200 visitors, which was down on 2019's figure of 1,324,100.

While visitor numbers have not returned to pre-pandemic levels, travellers are spending more money on average and staying longer.

The average spend per night is up by $36 on 2019 levels, to $271.

People are also staying an extra two nights on average compared to 2019, from an average of 8 days up to 10.8 days.

This means that the average spend per visitor trip for 2022 is $2,939, an increase of 55 per cent.

Tourists at the Port Arthur historic site.

The total visitor spend is still down on 2019 but higher average spending means the gap is smaller than anticipated.

The top activities are visits to historic sites, national parks, the markets, bushwalks and museums.

Most holiday-makers travel to the greater Hobart area, with the north of the state the second-most-popular destination. 

Visits to non-Hobart destinations have increased from previous years. 

Tasmania's biggest market was Victoria, followed by New South Wales — both of which were locked out for part of the year.

Queensland's tourist numbers increased by 10 per cent on previous years.

Robert Pennicott from Pennicott Wilderness Journeys said while his business has been steadily bouncing back, there is still a way to go before they reach pre-pandemic numbers.

"We're probably about 30 per cent down or 25 per cent down. However, because of COVID, we had to go through our business and really fine-tune it."

"Considering all that's happened, we're in a really good patch, and the forward bookings are looking really good."

"I would say by the time we get to around September and October, I think we could be back to pre-COVID numbers."

Tourists take photos on a Bruny Island tour

Mr Pennicott said his business has seen visitors from all across Australia this year.

"Our key markets are New South Wales and Victoria, but Queensland's also doing quite well.

"We're getting direct flights now from Western Australia and South Australia, which has also helped a lot."

Mainland 'cabin fever' helping island operators 

Mr Pennicott said a hesitancy for Australians to book international travel was a positive thing for local tourism operators.

"The international travel from Australia has started, but it's still relatively slow compared to how it was."

"The people from the other states of Australia have a fair bit of cabin fever, and they're definitely wanting to get a holiday because they haven't had one for a couple of years.

"They're getting to spend more money here, because they'd otherwise be spending more overseas with airfares and activities."

"There's no doubt that they're spending a higher yield and more time here."

Tourists on the Tahune Airwalk.

Owner of the Tahune Airwalk Ken Stronach said it will be a considerable time before his tourism business makes a full recovery.

"We were closed all of 2019 because of the fires, so we've really had three and a half years of [downturn].

"Our mainland domestic market and our Tasmanian markets are holding more than their fair share in those areas. They are, however, still down on levels we saw in 2018."

Musical performers on stage.

International market gone missing

Mr Stronach said his business saw a higher percentage of travellers from outside of New South Wales and Victoria than usual.

"Due to the lockdowns in Victoria and the New South Wales lockdowns, we had quite a significant amount of business that arrived from Western Australia, South Australia, and Queensland."

"Now those lockdowns are over, we've seen a resurgence of travellers from our key markets of Victoria and New South Wales."

A rider on the mountain bike trails at Derby in Tasmania's north-east.

He said while visitors were spending more money, the loss of an international tourism market had greatly impacted his business, which was forced to close for a period following bushfires in 2020 .

"Typically from the period of about October and November through to Easter, a very large portion of our business would typically be international, and we really haven't seen any of those through the door to date," he said.

"I expect our numbers won't fully bounce back until about 2024-2025." 

The Tasmanian Tourism Snapshot contains a summary of the latest Tasmanian visitor survey results, along with additional data from Tourism Research Australia.

The Tasmanian visitor survey is a quarterly exit survey of visitors leaving the state.

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Tasmania entices winter tourists with 'odd jobs' offer

Tasmania has launched a tongue-in-cheek "odd jobs" initiative to boost tourism during its winter months.

The Australian island state is offering people the opportunity to swap the "daily grind" of their job for an unusual temporary role during the off-season.

Paranormal investigator, wombat walker and stargazer are among the 10 jobs being advertised.

While the positions are unpaid, successful applicants will have all their expenses - including travel, food and hotels - covered by the Tasmanian tourist board.

The paranormal investigator role is voluntary and just for one day, Tourism Tasmania said.

It is open to those with an interest in "history and mystery" and involves picking up on paranormal activity using "the latest ghost-hunting equipment" at Willow Court, one of Australia's oldest asylums.

Another role is as an "oyster organiser", which entails sorting, cleaning and categorising oysters freshly harvested from Great Oyster Bay.

Importantly, there will also be opportunities to "taste-test" the oysters - though according to Tourism Tasmania, this is "purely for quality control".

Train enthusiasts are invited to apply for the "puffer nut" role, another one-day job in which the applicant will join the crew on the Lynchford Express steam train as it travels along the Tasmanian west coast.

Also being sought are stargazers interested in joining Tasmania's Astronomical Society for a night to observe the skies.

There are also jobs for truffle hunters, "wine whisperers" and wombat walkers willing to take the marsupials "on their morning waddle".

Tourism Tasmania says that 1.25 million people visited the island last year - more than the previous year, but still shy of the 1.35 million visitors in 2019, before the pandemic.

Winter runs from May to August in Tasmania, where temperatures typically fall between 3-11C, Tourism Tasmania said.

“As temperatures drop during winter, we know Australians are seeking a well-being boost and a break from the daily grind,” Lindene Cleary, the authority's chief marketing officer told local media.

Only adult residents currently living in Australia are eligible to apply for the roles, and must explain why they want to swap their day jobs for one of the "odd jobs" in under 50 words.

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How are your wombat walking skills? If they're good enough, Tasmania has a job for you

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  •  / Tasmania

Full list: All the gold award winners from the 2023 Tasmanian Tourism Awards

Pulse Tasmania

  • Pulse Tasmania
  • Friday, November 17 2023

tasmanian tourism board

Tasmania’s best tourism offerings from 69 finalists across 23 diverse categories have been celebrated at this year’s Tasmanian Tourism Awards.

Entries were received from all over the state this year, with the top golden medal tourism drawcards ranging from tourist attractions, ecotourism and adventure outings, restaurants, accommodation, wineries, distilleries, festivals, events and many more.

Premier and Minister for Tourism and Hospitality Jeremy Rockliff thanked those working in the industry for their work that he said is “helping to cement Tasmania as a must-visit travel destination”.

Of this years winners, five businesses achieved consecutive wins for the third year in a row, earning them a place in the Tasmanian Tourism Awards prestigious Hall of Fame.

tasmanian tourism board

Each category winner will now automatically become a finalist in the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards to be held in Darwin next year.

ALL OF THE GOLD AWARD WINNERS

  • Major Tourist Attractions – Gorge Scenic Chairlift
  • Tourist Attractions – Seahorse World
  • Major Festivals & Events – Tasmania’s Taste of Summer
  • Festivals & Events – Junction Arts Festival Inc HALL OF FAME
  • Ecotourism – Tasmanian Walking Company HALL OF FAME
  • Cultural Tourism – Cascades Female Factory Historic Site
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Tourism Experiences – wukalina Walk HALL OF FAME
  • Tourism Retail, Hire and Services – Coal River Farm HALL OF FAME
  • Visitor Information Services – Tasmanian Travel & Information Centre
  • Business Event Venues – Peppers Silo Hotel HALL OF FAME
  • Major Tour & Transport Operators – Pennicott Wilderness Journeys
  • Tour & Transport Operators – Air Adventure Australia
  • Adventure Tourism – Blue Derby Pods Ride
  • Tourism Marketing & Campaigns- Business Events Tasmania
  • Tourism Restaurants & Catering Services – Grain of the Silos
  • Tourism Wineries, Distilleries & Breweries – Bangor Vineyard Shed
  • Caravan & Holiday Parks – BIG 4 St Helens Holiday Park
  • Hosted Accommodation – The Dragonfly Inn
  • Unique Accommodation – The Cove Tasmania
  • Self Contained Accommodation – The Granary Richmond Hill
  • 4-4.5 Start Deluxe Accommodation – Ship Inn Stanley
  • New Tourism Business – On Board
  • Excellence in Food Tourism – The Truffle Farm

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  5. Tasmania Travel Guide: The Ultimate Guide for First-Timers

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COMMENTS

  1. The Official Tourism Tasmania Website

    Explore Launceston and the north. Imagine a vibrant food scene, plenty of cool-climate wine, and adventure in bucketloads. Follow a tasting trail or a wine trail. Take a hike in a city gorge or a ride in a rainforest. From farm gates to cellar doors, meet the makers of northern Tasmania.

  2. Home

    Unforgettable winter experiences on offer in Tasmania 19 June 2024. As part of this year's Off Season campaign, Tourism Tasmania has launched a playful new initiative, Odd Jobs, encouraging Australians to take a break from their day jobs for a one-of-a-kind Tasmanian Odd Job experience this winter.

  3. Board of Directors

    Grant O'Brien. Grant O'Brien is the Chair of the Tourism Tasmania Board of Directors. He is a Tasmanian through and through, growing up on the north west coast. Grant entered employment with Woolworths Limited in 1987 as an Assistant Accountant and then rose through the ranks to become the CEO and Managing Director at Woolworths Limited, a ...

  4. Home

    The Voice of Tasmanian Tourism. Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT) is the peak body for Tasmania's tourism industry. We are a not-for-profit organisation providing leadership for the industry and a strong voice for Tasmanian tourism operators. Our vision is to lead the best tourism industry in the world. More information What we do

  5. Visitor Information Centres

    Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates and tips on what to do in Tasmania, including upcoming events and festivals, special offers and more. Location*. The Tasmanian Visitor Information Network offices are staffed by friendly, knowledgeable locals who are passionate about Tasmania and their particular region.

  6. What We Do

    What We Do. Tourism Tasmania is a State Authority that is focused on brand management and generating demand for leisure visitors to the state. It is the Tasmanian Government's lead agency in the T21 visitor economy partnership by actively managing and contributing tourism expertise to strategy and policy development for the benefit of all ...

  7. 2024 Tasmanian Tourism Awards

    The Tasmanian Tourism Awards form part of the Qantas Australian Tourism Awards Program and are the premier awards for tourism and hospitality excellence. The Awards are a major part of the Tasmanian tourism calendar each year. Learn more about the Program and past winners: 2023 Medalists. Congratulations to the operators who medaled in the 2023 ...

  8. PDF Tourism Tasmania Annual Report 2020-2021

    Tourism Tasmania is a State Authority that operates under the Tourism Tasmania Act 1996. It is governed by a board of seven members appointed by the Governor on the recommendation of the Minister. The board of directors hold strong expertise in tourism development, sustainability, marketing and commerce. ABOUT TOURISM TASMANIA Penny Farthings

  9. Tours

    Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates and tips on what to do in Tasmania, including upcoming events and festivals, special offers and more. Subscribe. Itinerary - sorted. Travel arrangements - all good. Pack a sense of adventure and join a guided tour of Tasmania, where insider tips will be just part of the package.

  10. Industry Council

    About the TICT Board. The TICT Board has a college-based structure, with Directors appointed to a two-year term on behalf of industry sectors broadly representative of the Tasmanian tourism industry. Half the board is up for re-election each year through an online vote of TICT Members. Not all accredited tourism operators are also members of ...

  11. Tasmanian tourism snapshot shows fewer visitors, but longer stays and

    According to the Tasmanian Tourism Snapshot, in the year to March the state had 744,200 visitors, which was down on 2019's figure of 1,324,100. While visitor numbers have not returned to pre ...

  12. Tasmania entices winter tourists with 'odd jobs' offer

    Tourism Tasmania says that 1.25 million people visited the island last year - more than the previous year, but still shy of the 1.35 million visitors in 2019, before the pandemic.

  13. Trip Planner

    Subscribe to our newsletter and receive updates and tips on what to do in Tasmania, including upcoming events and festivals, special offers and more. Create your holiday using the Trip Planner: explore accommodation, attractions and events around Tasmania, all available in one handy planning tool.

  14. Contact Discover Tasmania

    For corporate information, please contact Tourism Tasmania tourismtasmania.com.au . TOURISM TASMANIA Postal address. GPO Box 399 Hobart, Tasmania 7001 Australia . CORPORATE ENQUIRIES Telephone. 03 616 55334 Int'l: +61 3 616 55334. Email. [email protected]

  15. Tourism Tasmania, Tasmanian Visitor Information Network, Start With I

    Whether you're looking for information to plan your holiday or help to book your accommodation and activities while you're here, we recommend you start with i. The Tasmanian Visitor Information Network Inc. (TVIN) is a network of Visitor Information Centres strategically located throughout Tasmania who provide a quality service for visitors.

  16. Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre

    Email. [email protected]. Address. 20 Davey St, Hobart TAS 7000. Phone +613 6238 4222 (Phone Worldwide GMT+10) Davey Street Centre. Monday to Friday | 9 am to 5 pm

  17. Full list: All the gold award winners from the 2023 Tasmanian Tourism

    Friday, November 17 2023. 11:30pm. Share. wukalina Walk. Tasmania's best tourism offerings from 69 finalists across 23 diverse categories have been celebrated at this year's Tasmanian Tourism Awards. Entries were received from all over the state this year, with the top golden medal tourism drawcards ranging from tourist attractions ...

  18. Your Essential Tasmania Travel Guide: Start the Journey!

    This essential travel guide will help you navigate everything from climate and weather to accommodation options and transportation choices. You'll also discover popular tourist attractions, shopping destinations, outdoor activities, nightlife hotspots, and useful safety tips as you explore what Tasmania offers.

  19. Itineraries

    Our pre-planned, multi-day regional itineraries are a great way to get around Tasmania. Follow our lead, or use these for inspiration to build your own one-of-a-kind Tasmanian adventure, which you can tailor, extend, save and share using the Trip Planner. To enhance your stay, download the Discover Tasmania appfor real-time tips and updates ...

  20. Tasmania entices tourists with 'odd jobs' offer

    Tourism Tasmania says that 1.25 million people visited the island last year - more than the previous year, but still shy of the 1.35 million visitors in 2019, before the pandemic.

  21. Tasmania Travel Guides

    View our online guides below or pick one up at any Tasmanian Visitor Information Centre, airports, tourism brochure racks or on board the Spirit of Tasmania. Latest Information. Our Welcome Guides contains the latest details from all the best tours, attractions, restaurants, shops, transport operators and accommodation providers - and much more

  22. The Board

    Andrew is a passionate Tasmanian who has been involved in southern Tasmania's tourism industry for 13 years. As General Manager for Pennicott Wilderness Journeys, he is involved in the overall strategic management of the company's six award-winning products which operate from Bruny Island, the Tasman Peninsula and Hobart.

  23. Tasmanian Travel and Information Centre

    Despite a relatively quiet two years during Covid-19, Tasmania continues to retain its strong tourism profile as a place of spectacular nature, outdoor activity, arts, culture and gourmet food trails. Please send us your contact details and fill in your interests and we'll be in touch to discuss your ideas further with you.