Chief Executive Officer's Report

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Annual Report 2014-15

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.

John Fitzgerald
Chief Executive Officer

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