Tasmania breaks international tourism records in 2017

Andrew Munro 7 September 2017

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It's all about the appropriately developed untouched wilderness.

The world seems to have fallen in love with Tasmania, and is show its appreciation for the destination by spending more time and money on the island than ever before. A quarter-million international visitors made their way to the Apple Isles in the year to June 2017, spending a record-shattering $457 million. This is a 24% increase over the previous financial year.

A few countries in particular seem to have added Tasmania to their must-sees. Visitors from the USA and China made out-sized contributions, with visitor numbers increasing 28% and 30% respectively, while tourists from Hong Kong, Singapore, Germany and Japan also represented a substantial portion of the total visitors.


Tasmania's most popular places

253,000 international visitors went to Tasmania island in the 2016-2017 financial year, and it seems they were mostly drawn there by nature, with a few attractions netting substantial portions of them. The three most popular were:

  • Tasman Peninsula - 98,000 visitors. With its wildlife, waterfalls, sea caves and towering cliffs, and its proximity to Hobart and perfect position en route to Port Arthur, the Peninsula is hard to pass up.
  • Cradle Mountain - 87,000. A world wonder of hiking and road trips alike, there's no wrong way to take in the sights at Cradle Mountain.
  • Freycinet National Park - 81,000. An equally scenic but slightly more leisurely spot, the park might be more about the bushwalking than the hiking. It's safe to say that a lot of visitors found themselves in Freycinet before or after the more popular spots.

While the number of tourists spiked in the 2017 financial year, the increase remains part of a broader trend of international tourism boosts around Australia. But Tasmania in particular is proving to be a major draw-card, with international visitor spending increasing by a whopping 82% in the last five years.

It's no surprise that tourist visits have increased considerably, and many countries are doubtless seeing similar trends as travel becomes much cheaper and easier, largely thanks to the swift development of new airline routes.

The especially sharp increase in spending, relative to the increase in visitor numbers, also speaks to the usefulness of developing tourist infrastructure. There's been a lot of investment in Australian tourism, in the form of countless grants, new construction projects and industry training, and so far it seems to be paying off.

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