Chief Executive Officer's Report
What a great year this has been for us in Tasmania. Among a range of accolades and opportunities, Lonely Planet ranked Tasmania number four in its top ten regions in the world to visit in 2015, and a visit to Hobart by the Chinese President and First Lady dramatically raised our profile in one of our most significant international markets.
Best of all, our visitor numbers increased over 8% on last year while expenditure was up by 9%. This terrific result comes on top of similar increases the year before and as long as we can continue to match supply and demand, indicators suggest there should be more to come.
We know we have a fantastic offer. Our challenge is to get more people here to find out for themselves why Tasmania is such a special place to visit.
This year we received additional funding from the Tasmanian Government to help grow our market share, an unambiguous vote of confidence in our work and its importance to the state.
This increased funding capability has allowed us to further explore the creative possibilities of our tourism brand with the result that our two most recent Go Behind the Scenery domestic marketing campaigns successfully exceeded our expectations.
On the international front, we continue to work closely with Tourism Australia to grow our international market share.
Our opportunity to host the Invite the World to Dinner final gala event of Tourism Australia's Restaurant Australia campaign successfully raised our international profile with some of the world's most influential food writers and celebrities and brought considerable domestic and international credibility to our food and beverage sector.
Our relationship with China was also reinforced with a Trade Mission, led by the Premier and accompanied by myself and other representatives of the government, to boost our trade and cultural ties with the world's second largest economy.
Of course, to increase visitor numbers we need to make it easier for people to get here and we're working closely with TT-Line and our aviation partners to secure more flights, better access and competitive fares.
At the same time, TT-Line's refurbishment of the Spirits of Tasmania is another example of a move to improve the quality of the Tasmanian travel experience and the increase in the number of seats is already leading to more bookings.
A planned extension to the Hobart Airport runway to accommodate larger aircraft and more flights will also increase our opportunities to welcome more international visitors.
Despite this potential for growth, to stay ahead of the game we need to work smarter, so over the coming year we will look at new ways of doing business and review our plans to make sure they reflect our new approach.
We're also moving to new premises. The new office space will better meet our physical needs, will save us money over time and provide an inspiring work place conducive to creative problem solving and the ability to capitalise on emerging opportunities.
In a big year of opportunity, I thank and acknowledge all of my team who have had a very busy and successful year, the Board for their ongoing support and contribution to our strategies and the Minister for Tourism, our Premier, for his ongoing commitment to Tourism Tasmania and our sector more broadly. The team and I look forward to helping grow the economic and social value of tourism in Tasmania over the coming year.
Chief Executive Officer