Visitation to Tasmania
Pre COVID in 2019, Tasmania attracted 1.35 million visitors. This was a 2.7 per cent increase on the previous year and part of steady growth achieved over the past decade.
Tasmania's visitor economy has been dominated by Australian travellers. About 86 per cent of all visitors to Tasmania in 2019 came from mainland Australia3, with the three source markets of Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland representing the mainstay of the state's visitor economy.
People visit Tasmania for many reasons. This includes coming to Tasmania for a holiday, to visit friends and relatives who live here (VFR), for business or employment purposes, to study, or for a specific business, cultural or sporting event.
Looking ahead, noting this data was pre-COVID-19, national tourism forecasts4 suggested the rate of domestic travel growth in Australia over the next five years would be low. However, COVID-19 has significantly impacted travel and tourism, including changed consumer behaviour and destination marketing, and domestic tourism is rebounding strongly albeit in a highly competitive environment.
On the international front, the forecast for international tourism to Australia had been healthier with predictions of around 10 per cent average annual growth in international visitors to Australia over the next two years.
With the continuing closure of Australia’s international borders these projections are invalid, and visitor number projections will need to be recast in light of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic including national and global travel restrictions and changed consumer travel preferences in the future.
Tasmania had outperformed domestic and international visitation forecasts over recent years, however tourism industry targets will need to be reconsidered in response to the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
3 Tasmanian Visitor Survey for year ending December 2019, Tourism Tasmania
4 Tourism Forecasts –2019, Tourism Research Australia