Goal 1: Maximise Tasmania's Tourism Potential
Regional Tourism Initiative
In early 2010, Tourism Tasmania initiated a review of Tasmania's regional tourism sector. The aim was to identify how the state's regional tourism industry could create effective partnerships with stakeholders and make the best use of available resources.
This and other independent reviews, along with further industry input, informed a new approach to regional tourism in Tasmania – one that encourages greater regional autonomy and accountability.
This new approach has seen Tourism Tasmania support the establishment of four regional tourism organisations whose respective jurisdictions cover Tasmania's North, North West (including the West Coast), South and East.
Tourism Tasmania was instrumental in supporting the transition to the new regional tourism structure, working closely with local councils, the Tasmanian Visitor Information Network, local tourism organisations and regional tourism operators on the transition to the new arrangement.
The new industry-led regional tourism organisations have now completed all the necessary legal and governance requirements to receive funds, employ staff and administer regional marketing and industry development programs and all four regions are now established with their own Boards and Chief Executive Officers.
These organisations will set the strategic direction for tourism in their region, identify annual priorities and deliver programs that engage and attract the participation of their local industry. They will have the autonomy to plan and deliver programs that effectively develop and market the region and will be accountable to their key stakeholders.
Tourism Tasmania will continue to work closely with these organisations through their early development to ensure they remain sustainable in the long term.
As Australia's only island State, Tasmania faces unique economic constraints due to restricted access to the island.
To address these constraints, The Department of Economic Development, Tourism and the Arts, led by Tourism Tasmania, worked with private sector operators to develop a Tasmanian Access Strategy. The strategy delivered a number of recommendations aimed at fulfilling current airline seat capacity and developing access investment sustainability.
In response to the recommendations, the Tasmanian Government provided Tourism Tasmania with an extra $1 million for tourism marketing to stimulate short-term travel demand and reduce seasonality.
Of this, $350 000 was added to Tourism Tasmania's existing budget for joint marketing activities with access partners. This funding allowed two significant national Jetstar campaigns, a campaign with Virgin Australia, Qantas and Qantaslink, Tiger Airways and Sharp Airlines, all scheduled to stimulate shoulder season demand.
The remaining $650 000 contributed to the new tourism brand campaign, Behind the Scenery, that ran from March to June 2013.
The review also recommended the appointment of an Access Adviser to consider whole-of-government issues including infrastructure, policy, investment attraction and freight and would encompass access to Tasmania by both air and sea.
While the role will have a broader whole-of-government scope than that of Tourism Tasmania, it will nevertheless be located in Tourism Tasmania to take advantage of its extensive research capacity, established relationships with carriers and staff with aviation industry experience.
The position's role will include the development of an aviation strategy based on a sound understanding of the complex economic and structural issues facing aviation, direct management of Tourism Tasmania's Cruise ship Strategy 2012-15, the development of policy and processes to enable private investment, and the development and leveraging of the relationship between Victoria and Tasmania in terms of air and sea access.
The role will be implemented in 2013-14.
Strategic Plans – Heritage, Arts and Cruise ships
In 2012, Tourism Tasmania, working with its strategic partners, developed three strategic plans that aim to grow Tasmania's tourism offering. These plans addressed the areas of heritage, arts and cruise ship visitation and aimed to increase Tasmania's appeal as a tourism destination, deliver benefits for local communities and contribute to the economic growth of the state.
Each plan addresses the issues impacting the growth of the sector and outlines recommended actions to achieve increases in visitor numbers, increased range and quality of visitor experiences and other broader marketing outcomes. The majority of Tourism Tasmania's support under the strategies is provided through its marketing activity, through the provision of research services and through ongoing advocacy within tourism and government networks.
Heritage is recognised as one of Tasmania's primary destination experiences and continues to play a significant role under the new tourism brand. Tourism Tasmania regularly produces and distributes images and written copy focussing on heritage experiences through distribution partners and for use in the media and advertising.
Visits promoted under Tourism Tasmania's Visiting Journalist Program have also focused on heritage experiences with heritage stories published in print and social media and aired on television.
Tourism Tasmania has also provide $10 000 to support the development of an interpretation strategy linking the five Tasmanian World Heritage Convict Sites, to be completed in 2013-14.
Tourism Tasmania incorporated substantial arts-based content into the Behind the Scenery marketing campaign, following the development of a new tourism brand for Tasmania. Tourism Tasmania's VJP and Sector and Niche marketing teams continue to pursue promotional opportunities that leverage and highlight arts experiences in Tasmania.
Cruise ship strategy
Tourism Tasmania continues to support the cruise ship sector with marketing to the cruise ship industry including involvement in cruise industry forums and trade events, familiarisations visits for personnel designing shore excursion programs, and a biennial cruise ship passenger survey to gauge cruise passenger satisfaction levels.
The redevelopment by TasPorts of Macquarie Wharf No 2 as a dedicated Cruise and Antarctic terminal will also help Tourism Tasmania target growth in the cruise ship market.
Tasmanian Visitor Information Network
The Tasmanian Visitor Information Network (TVIN) consists of 21 Visitor Information Centres across the state. Members of the network are required to meet national standards and adhere to a code of conduct.
In 2012-13, the Tourism Tasmania provided grants to each of the three gateway visitor centres - Hobart, Launceston and Devonport - as well as for the administration of the Network. The combined amount was $380 000.
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 through 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 will be further supplemented through ongoing liaison with stakeholders such as Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs) and local councils in the coming year.
The TVIN is now 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.