Goal 1: Maximise Tasmania's Tourism Potential
Following extensive industry consultation and a review in 2011, the Tasmanian Government supported the introduction of four industry-led Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) through the provision of grant deeds with Tourism Tasmania.
These organisations set the strategic direction for tourism in their region, identify annual priorities and deliver programs that engage the participation of their industry and stakeholders. The four regional tourism organisations cover the North West and West Coast region, the Southern region, the Northern region and the East Coast. This arrangement represents a tourism industry-led approach to regional tourism in Tasmania.
This year has seen all RTOs set the strategic direction for their organisations through the preparation of Destination Management Plans. Tourism Tasmania supported the development of the plans through the provision of regional research specifically tailored to their individual needs. The plans have now been approved by their respective boards and prioritised actions will be implemented over the coming year.
Throughout the year, Tourism Tasmania also worked closely with the RTOs to help them understand and articulate the state and regional tourism brand positions. This is subsequent to Tourism Tasmania's developing a new tourism brand for the state in 2012. In providing this assistance, Tourism Tasmania aims to develop a coordinated approach to articulating Tasmania's tourism brand in all state and regional level marketing activities.
Tourism Tasmania has also provided region-specific research derived from the Tasmanian Visitor Survey (TVS), Tourism Information Monitor (TIM) and national marketing and profiling data in the form of Quarterly Regional Snapshots.
Tourism Tasmania also contributed to research undertaken by the Tasmanian Parks and Wildlife Service on intrastate travel behaviour to Tasmania's regions.
Aviation and access development
The availability of adequate air and sea services connecting Tasmania to the Australian mainland is not only crucial for the growth and development of our tourism industry, it's also a critical economic issue for our business community and a social issue for all Tasmanians.
To address this constraint on growth, the Tasmanian Government established an access working group whose recommendations included the appointment of a Director Aviation and Access Development. This key leadership role, although housed in Tourism Tasmania, was recruited to take a whole of economy perspective. The role is focused on access and will link into government areas responsible for infrastructure, policy, investment attraction and freight.
Tourism Tasmania filled the position in March 2014 and in May commenced a five-year planning process to deliver agreed strategic long-term access outcomes. This process will identify and implement ways to ensure access capacity delivers government economic growth, visitor number, jobs and population growth targets.
Increased air and sea domestic capacity and frequency is a key deliverable along with improvements in seasonal demand and the maximisation of low fare availability. Increases in international visitation and the attainment of a small number of direct flights are also a key component of the Access 2020 plan.
Tourism Tasmania has also overseen the execution of a cooperative marketing agreement between Tourism Tasmania and Qantas Group (QF) that will see the involvement of senior Qantas Group leadership on a range of initiatives including the implementation of government-wide access strategies.
Tourism Tasmania also now has closer engagement with senior executives at Virgin Australia in order to develop a closer working and planning relationship with this important service provider.
Tourism Tasmania is working with the Department of State Growth stakeholders to create a commercially sound Tasmanian integrated freight strategy that includes the addition of effective air freight solutions.
The Director Aviation and Access Development is now the key state government contact for airport master planning activity, which will also link into the development of effective, long-term Tasmanian integrated access and freight strategies.
Tasmanian Visitor Information Network
The Tasmanian Visitor Information Network (TVIN) consists of 20 Visitor Information Centres across the state. Members of the network are required to meet national standards and adhere to a code of conduct. In 2013-14 Tourism Tasmania provided grants to two gateway visitor centres – Hobart and Launceston – and funds for the administration of the Network. The combined amount was $340 000.
Tourism Tasmania works with TVIN members to encourage discussion, research and analysis related to the ways that consumer behaviour impacts the services provided by the centres. This encompasses not only how visitors access and process information before they arrive, but also as they travel around the state. This research also encompasses the scope and provision of requisite infrastructure, information gathering and storage, and future media delivery channels.
In April 2013, Tourism Tasmania undertook a global review of the current approaches to visitor information gathering and use. The findings from this initial research were shared widely with stakeholders including Tasmania's Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) and local councils.
The TVIN is now an incorporated entity and is wholly responsible for enforcing the code of conduct amongst registered visitor information centres and supporting marketing and professional development across its membership including running an annual conference. It is expected that ongoing and mutually beneficial exchanges between the TVIN membership and the newly formed RTOs will play a critical role in future destination marketing activity and the scope and degree of visitor engagement before, during and after travel.
Grants Support Program
Tourism Tasmania proactively supported eligible Tasmanian businesses in preparing strong, quality applications to grant programs: the Australian Government's T-QUAL Grants Tourism Quality Projects and the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF), as well as the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund (TGIIF). Tourism Tasmania's support program provided eligible applicants with a consultant to help them respond to the criteria outlined in the grant application. Tourism Tasmania supported those projects that had a strong synergy with the government's strategic tourism objectives at state, regional and local level, as well as those consistent with the objectives of the National Long-Term Tourism Strategy.
This year saw 10 Tasmanian projects successfully access $732 092 through the last round of T-QUAL Grants and when matched funding is taken into consideration this amounts to at least $1 464184 in tourism sector investment. In addition, two tourism-related projects worth $81 042 were funded through the Tasmanian Government's TGIIF 2013 program.
The TIRF Round 2 did not proceed to assessment due to a change in Australian Government policy.
A total of 32 businesses applied for Tourism Tasmania assistance under the program, of which Tourism Tasmania gave full assistance to 16 businesses and reviewed the final application of a further three businesses. Of the 19 businesses that were assisted, nine successfully received grant funding. Note that of the 32 applications, 11 were withdrawn after advice that their applications would benefit from further work or should consider alternative grant schemes better suited to their business needs.
The Tasmanian Government through Tourism Tasmania works closely with the Tourism Industry Council of Tasmania (TICT) to help grow Tasmania's tourism industry. This partnership is formalised through both parties' support of Tourism 21, a joint strategic business plan that aims to improve the performance, competitiveness and structural efficiency of Tasmania's tourism industry.
Tourism 21 was established more than a decade ago and sets out shared long-term goals for the growth of Tasmania's tourism industry and how Tasmania can make the most of the opportunities and challenges ahead.
In August 2013, Tourism Tasmania and the TICT undertook a review of Tourism 21 to ensure the agreed goals and strategy remained achievable, challenging and relevant to current and forecast market conditions.
As part of the review, Tourism Tasmania used a range of research sources to examine current trends in the tourism sector that are affecting Tasmania's own performance and tourism in Australia more generally. The research considered national tourism trends and forecasts and the potential to improve Tasmania's tourism performance through its own independent efforts and actions.
Following this assessment, Tourism Tasmania used expert forecasting advice to examine and revise the previous Tourism 21 targets.
As a result, the new goal aims to lift the current rate of conversion of Australians who are considering a holiday to Tasmania, to deliver a total $2.05 billion annual spend by interstate and international visitors in Tasmania by 2021.