Chairperson's report

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Over this past year, Tourism Tasmania invested in a variety of marketing programs aimed at attracting more visitors to Tasmania, and the results have been sensational. For the first time, we welcomed over one million interstate visitors and we also reached the $2 billion visitor spend mark. Furthermore,  this growth is likely to continue, with Tasmania's contrasting blend of heritage and wilderness, along with our unique cultural character, continuing to attract sustained interest in our domestic and international markets.

With results like this, the benefits to Tasmania are considerable, with tourism and the visitor economy driving additional investment in direct and indirect job creation, particularly in our regions.

To sustain this growth path, the Tasmanian Government revitalised an earlier agreement to launch T21 - The Tasmanian Visitor Economy Strategy 2015-2020, a five-year plan to increase the number of people visiting Tasmania.

The new plan acknowledges that people visit Tasmania for many reasons, not just holidays, so we are now working closely with sectors not traditionally seen as part of tourism such as the international education sector, other state government departments and local government.

To achieve the T21 target, the Tasmanian Government allocated Tourism Tasmania $15 million over three years to undertake marketing activities and in this first year, we have fulfilled our responsibilities in directing the year's allocation almost exclusively to marketing the state.

The funding allowed us to explore the potential of our tourism brand in two major domestic marketing campaigns and a smaller winter activation. We also put in place more cooperative marketing agreements with strategic partners, including our domestic and international access partners and with industry,  to strengthen our brand message and marketing reach.

Our partnership with Dark Mofo in our Season of Curious winter activation, for example, allowed us to strengthen our marketing message using engaging, brand-aligned content while at the same time promoting the event on behalf of the event organisers to increase sales. We also partnered with industry  representatives on an Asia trade mission, gaining high profile recognition in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur.

To make the most of our opportunities through to 2020, we reviewed our corporate plan. The new plan emphasises the importance of our tourism brand and further highlights Tourism Tasmania's multi-strategy approach to promoting the state. We also moved to a new office space that better reflects the size  and work of Tourism Tasmania and provides a comfortable, creative and sustainable environment for our people.

Given the Tasmanian Government's commitment to grow the state's visitor economy and the continuing good will of all those working towards this goal, I am convinced we will make further significant gains over the coming year. I thank the board for their support and their commitment to achieving our  goals over this past year. Pleasingly, this is also the first year we've had equal gender representation on the board, ensuring a diverse range of skills and capabilities contribute to the board's decision making.

I also thank CEO John Fitzgerald for his leadership and the staff of Tourism Tasmania for their hard work over the year and look forward to sustaining this success in the year to come.

James Cretan
Chair Tourism Tasmania

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