1301.6.55.001 - Tasmanian Statistical News, Mar 2010  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 09/03/2010   
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SPOTLIGHT ON TOURISM



Tourism remains buoyant
Parks prime drawcard


TOURISM REMAINS BUOYANT

Despite the world-wide economic downturn, visitors have been flocking to Tasmanian shores, with 917,100 visitors to Tasmania arriving on scheduled air or seas services in the year ending September 2009 (excluding cruise ships and navy ships). This was an increase of 4% compared with the same period the previous year.

Most (86%) visitors to Tasmania hailed from interstate: 45% from Victoria, followed by New South Wales (25%) and Queensland (14%). Of all interstate visitors, 72% were leisure visitors, whose main purpose for visiting was for a holiday or to visit family and friends. Of the 143,600 overseas visitors, 28% were from Asia, 20% from Europe, 19% from USA/Canada, 18% from the UK and 9% from New Zealand.

The 2008-09 cruise ship season began in early November 2008 and went through to the start of April 2009. During this time, 21 vessels visited Tasmania for a total of 66 visits, bringing 105,400 passengers and crew to the state. This was an increase of 22,400 people (or 27%) on the 2007-08 cruise ship season. Most (75%) visitors came from overseas, of which 36% were from the USA and 12% from the UK.

In trend terms, takings from Hotels, Motels and Serviced Apartments with 15 or more rooms in Tasmania increased 7.0% between the September quarter 2008 and the September quarter 2009, from $47.1m to $50.4m.

Room occupancy rates increased by 3.2 percentage points for the same period, from 59.9% to 63.1%

Further information is available in Tourist Accommodation, Small Area Data, Tasmania (ABS cat. no. 8635.6.55.001) or visit the Tourism Tasmania website: http://www.tourism.tas.gov.au/


PARKS PRIME DRAWCARD

The Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service manages around 37% of the area of Tasmania. Tasmania has 19 national parks and over 420 other reserves which offer a variety of activities from easy short walks to challenging extended bushwalks, camping, cave tours and a chance to get up close and personal with native wildlife. The parks range from remote alpine areas to stretches of spectacular coastline, pockets of ancient rainforest to forests of dry eucalypt. Besides the many and varied recreational opportunities the reserves afford, many have been declared to protect rare or endangered species of plants and animals. All play a vital role in preserving and maintaining the stunning diversity of Tasmania's natural and cultural heritage.

Freycinet and Mt Field were the first national parks proclaimed in Tasmania in 1916. Despite the world being at war, the importance of preserving these areas for all time and for all people was seen as a priority. Six years later, in 1922, a scenic reserve and wildlife sanctuary was established between Cradle Mountain and Lake St Clair. This showed incredible foresight, as today these sites remain iconic places in terms of annual visitation. In 2007-08 visitors to the 8 national parks for which there are reliable figures topped 714,000. Freycinet was the most visited park in the state with 207,225 visitors, followed by Cradle Mountain (177,040), Mt Field (115,490) and Lake St Clair (92,764).

Further information is available on the Parks and Wildlife Service website: http://www.parks.tas.gov.au/index.aspx?base=1