Positive outlook for tourism in the Cradle Coast Thu 9 August 2012 Scott Bacon Minister for Tourism The Tasmanian Government's commitment to regional tourism has been highlighted at the 2012 Qantaslink Cradle Coast Regional Tourism Forum today. Speaking at the Forum, the Minister for Tourism, Scott Bacon, said the Cradle Coast had led the way with the establishment of the first of Tasmania's four new industry-led Regional Tourism Organisations. "We've needed these new regional tourism structures to fully represent the interests and needs of those local tourism businesses," he said. "The Cradle Coast Authority was the first to make that transition, and I congratulate the inaugural Chairman, Richard Dax, and all other industry representatives appointed to the new committee for not just the speed with which the new body was formed, but for showing just how successful these groups can be." Mr Bacon said that the forum's theme of 'new beginnings and new directions' was especially pertinent in the current business climate. "There is a real air of positive and enthusiasm for the future in the industry at the moment, despite the mixed fortunes we're facing," he said. "The announcement by Qantas that the airline would be increasing its capacity on its Devonport to Melbourne run is an exciting announcement for the region, as is the recent opening of upgrades to the Devonport Airport, which is seeing improved services for visitors to Tasmania." Mr Bacon said Tourism Tasmania and its industry partners were continuing to invest in creative and innovative promotions to make sure people both interstate and overseas were taking notice of what the state had to offer. "There's no doubt the recent episodes of Masterchef filmed in Tasmania and, particularly the North West, were invaluable for our tourism and hospitality sectors - introducing millions of Australians to our state and our wonderful gourmet experiences in a new and exciting way. "The Cradle Coast has been able to capitalise on this exposure, promoting regional holiday offers via the mytassiebreak website, and I understand hits on the website tripled during an 8-day regional ad campaign run by the Cradle Coast Authority during the Tasmanian episodes of Masterchef. "In the formation of their new industry body, the Cradle Coast Authority has shown real passion and commitment to tourism in the region, and I commend them for their work in support of this vital industry."