Goal 3: Enhance industry's competitive position with market-leading research and analysis and sound policy advice

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Annual Report 2012-13

Research Services

Tourism Tasmania is committed to strategic decision-making based on evidence, data and market feedback. Tourism Tasmania's research team provides government and industry with relevant research and market intelligence on industry performance, consumer behaviour and future potential.

As part of this work, Tourism Tasmania commissions and coordinates market research that analyses the behaviour of visitors and the motivations and desires of potential customers as well as undertakes performance tracking and measurement of key activities such as Tourism Tasmania's marketing campaigns.

The Tasmanian Visitor Survey (TVS) provides a profile of the characteristics, travel behaviour and expenditure of international and domestic visitor to Tasmania. Tourism Tasmania reports quarterly on visitor numbers and other data gathered using the TVS through a series of online reports, a published Tourism Snapshot, a Fast Facts publication and a commentary on the survey results by the CEO of Tourism Tasmania.

A second research tool, the Tourism Info Monitor (TIM) is used to complement the TVS. The Tourism Info Monitor is an online survey conducted every month using 500 interstate respondents, all of whom have taken a holiday in the last 12 months or are considering taking one in the next 12 months. TIM provides information on changes in the characteristics, behaviours, perceptions, motivations and intentions of travelling Australians and in particular those who are considering travel to Tasmania.

Tourism Tasmania also uses TIM to provide a detailed understanding of Tasmania's performance as a holiday-leisure destination against other domestic locations. Data from the survey is published on Tourism Tasmania's corporate website and presented to industry in a series of workshops held across the state. Last year, Tourism Tasmania's research team presented workshops in 14 locations around the state. A similar series of workshops to share data from the TVS and TIM is planned for 2013-14.

Tourism Tasmania also uses the TIM survey to track the effectiveness of its marketing campaigns. Tourism Tasmania undertook research to test the new tourism brand prior to development of the most recent Behind the Scenery campaign.

To assist the new Regional Tourism Organisations (RTOs), Tourism Tasmania prepared a series of regional visitor snapshots, based on data from the TVS and the Australian Bureau of Statistics. These snapshots focus on regional visitation, activity and spend.

Over the year, Tourism Tasmania also undertook the analysis of existing data or commissioned new research including a cruise ship visitor survey in support of Tourism Tasmania's cruise ship strategy, a Flinders Island visitor survey, a purpose of visit survey and forecast and data modelling to provide input into Tourism 21, a joint strategic business plan between the Tasmanian Government and the Tourism Industry Council Tasmania (TICT). Ensuring that Tourism 21 sets goals that are realistic and relevant to prevailing economic conditions is essential if the plan is to achieve its long-term goals.

In 2013-14, Tourism Tasmania will continue to research visitors and potential visitors to the state through the Tasmanian Visitor Survey and the Tourism Info Monitor. Rigorous market testing of our advertising and marketing campaigns will be conducted twice a year during each major campaign. Through these activities and other data sources, our Regional Tourism Organisations will be provided with the data and statistics they require to continue management of tourism development and local marketing. In addition, a number of qualitative studies will be undertaken to identify regional tourism perceptions and consumer behaviour, with particular focus on what drives regional dispersal and what does not, and levels of visitor satisfaction. Further online tools and resources will be developed to provide better access to Tourism Tasmania's research and insights.

Building Opportunities for Business

This year saw Tourism Tasmania develop a program to benefit those tourism operators interested in developing their business.

The Building Opportunities for Business (BoB) program aims to improve business outcomes for Tasmanian tourism operator by increasing their exposure to, and understanding of, accreditation programs and marketing opportunities and by helping them access funding from grant schemes and through mentoring and enterprise programs.

The program provides operators with advice on specific learning and development programs such as TQUAL accreditation, the ATDW e-kit, and Startpoint for new business start-ups, and helps them leverage product development opportunities through a range of Department of Economic Development Tourism and the Arts (DEDTA) activities.

Under a grants support program, operators interested in applying for State and Federally funded grants including the Tourism Industry Regional Development Fund (TIRF), the Tasmanian Government Innovation and Investment Fund (TGIFF) and TQUAL, are supported in developing a strong application.

Over the year, the program provided mentoring assistance to 49 Tasmanian tourism businesses applying for grant funds, and while the success of any grant applicant is dependent on a range of variables and is not a direct reflection of the work of the program, Tasmania has demonstrated considerable success in securing grants at the same time as effectively developing the quality of the businesses involved in the program.

Tourism Tasmania's business assistance resulted in more Tasmanian tourism businesses receiving funding through these programs than at any time in previous years. In total, the state's tourism sector secured around $1.8 million in national grant funds for new tourism projects and improvements to existing tourism businesses valued at well over $3.6 million. Tourism Tasmania's innovative approach is now being adopted by other states and territories.

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